Long before Sebastian Kaufmann was a top purveyor of heirloom-quality products, he was busy producing ads and music videos for the likes of TV on the Radio, Chris Cornell, and Bad Religion. But four years in, he grew weary of the media game and sold the company, Draw Pictures, launching Kaufmann Mercantile in the fall of 2009. Originally conceived as a blog, the site quickly became a resource on top-grade materials, featuring interviews with pioneering craftsmen making everything from artisan-level hammers to must-have beeswax leather treatments. "I was always in love with well-made things and my shopping habits were much more focused on buying less, but buying better things — always," says Kaufmann, who was living in Los Angeles when he first started the company, which is now located in New York. "There’s so many of these super stores in LA, from Home Depot to Office Depot to Staples, and I was so annoyed that it was so hard to find nice things whether it was products for the office or for gardening. I saw it as an opportunity because I thought other people must be annoyed to not be able to find nice things." Four years on, KM now carries everything from choice grooming and kitchen gear to his first clothing items, curated from the Todd Snyder + Champion collection. As part of their collaboration, Todd selected a group of Kaufmann-endorsed items to be sold at the City Gym store, and Kaufmann will also be with us at the Pop Up Flea in Soho this weekend with some new must-have items.
Pop Up Flea open December 6-8, 82 Mercer Street (between Spring & Broome).
On Saturday, November 2nd, we're opening our first collaborative store with Champion at 242 Elizabeth Street, in Nolita. It's going to be called City Gym — after our debut Todd Snyder + Champion collection — and the shop is meant to evoke an old school sporting goods store with athletic-inspired industrial furniture from ABC Carpet & Home, the latest Champion gear, and some jeans and khakis from our signature collection. City Gym will also function as a curio of sorts, stocking my favorite handmade American goods, including bicycles and watches from Detroit's Shinola; throwback ballcaps from Seattle's Ebbets Field, Hoosier bats and Leather Head balls; books by Assouline and Taschen; along with a special assortment of curated goods by Kaufmann Mercantile. We'll also have some of my favorite new and vintage magazines on hand, Stephen Kenn furniture, even bottled juice from Liquiteria. So come on by, get some gear, and stay a while.