After hours of endless internet searching, I finally settled on using Mel Campbell, owner of Six17 Design and a San Diego local to design the logo for Riley G Designworks. We met down the street at the Tio Leos and drafted up a few ideas. About ten days later, Mel sent over four concepts that totally rocked, but one really stood out. We are going to move ahead with the orange one, second down from the top, maybe modify the “G” so it’s a little more legible. There are just too many decisions to be made to really spend more than a few days on the details. I’m really excited as the branding really seems to be coming together.
Riley and I were tooling around the local photography shop yesterday and right next door… was a tailor. Cool. We walked right in to find an older, refined looking gentleman dressed in perfectly tailored clothes, operating a humming sewing machine. Now this machine looked ancient, but sounded perfectly tuned; gears, oil and thread chugging along. We introduced ourselves to Joseph. Finally we asked him where he got his equipment. He scribbled the name Fred and phone number on a piece of paper.
Today, we visited Fred up in Oceanside. Riley played with an empty bobbin as we explored the wooden shelves of the back room of his “storefront”. “What you need is a walking-foot”, Fred explained. We zeroed in on a well used green, belt driven sewing machine. This thing looked like it had sewn every flag on earth, but sounded just as good as Joseph’s. By the time Riley was up from his nap, Fred had delivered the machine to the garage. I’m renting it for three months. Let’s see what this baby can do!
My camera strap idea came to me as most of my hair-brained ideas arrive: uneventful. I was walking around a Guitar Center with my son Riley and discovered their collection of guitar straps. Wow, what a variety, furry straps, leather covered in spikes, simple patterns and wild materials. How fun! Camera in hand, I looked down at my boring little black camera strap. “And I call myself a creative professional” I said to myself. Riley (my 18 month old son) reached out and grabbed a handful of guitar straps.
The idea simmered in my brain for a few months, sharing my idea with my close friends and fellow photography colleagues. Most of the feedback was positive. So I did more research on what is out there, who is making straps, what they look like, how they are made. I wasn’t very impressed. Until I came back to those cool guitar straps, and not just those Levy straps from Guitar Center. Cool, custom straps from all over: leather, cloth, vinyl, even found guitar straps from recycled materials. Even more cool.
Since Riley and I have plenty of time during the day to drive around, we did some exploring. Visiting local upholstery shops, scoping out materials, thread, needles. At one of the shops, we met Leo. He owns his own auto-upholstery business here in San Diego. We looked at some of his cool leather and vinyl materials and it all came together. There on the floor, on old bench seat off a 1980’s Ford pickup, ready to be re-upholstered. Wow, distressed leather. Leo hooked me up. And so did several other upholstery guys. Old stuff, 10, 20, even 30 year old materials. I found my self in my garage with my mom’s old Bernina, sewing up some prototypes.
After several tries at different designs, I have a few working straps to try out. WPPI is a few months away… maybe I can sponsor a few photogs…