Dads are notoriously difficult to buy gifts for, but Father’s Day shoppers shouldn’t despair. (You did remember that the celebration falls on June 19 this year, right?)
We’ve found four locally made accessories for foolproof Father’s Day giving. It’s unlikely that Dad already owns these accents, including a bracelet made of century-old wood or a one of a kind bowtie. Receiving them could help him boost his style game.
For the rough-and-tumble dad
Cuff links from Woodchuck
Many men don suits and ties and head to offices for work even though they’d rather be outdoors. Minneapolis-based Woodchuck taps into their longing to connect with nature by hand-making products such as flasks and notebooks from wood.
“It was honestly a beer drinking idea,” founder Benjamin VandenWymelenberg said about starting Woodchuck. “After watching a TED talk I realized I was really passionate about nature and wanted to figure out how we could put nature back into people’s lives.”
The answer: creating woody wares such as iPhone cases, pocket squares, flasks, money clips and journals. While any of these gifts would be good for Dad, a pair of Woodchuck’s cufflinks signals a man who’s both unafraid to break rank and file — and who’d rather be fishing. Bonus: The company says that for every product sold, they plant a tree.
Where you can find it: woodchuckusa.com
For the practical dad
Leather Works’ Over & Under Wallet and Toothpick Holder
Launched in a garage in 1999, Leather Works’ profile rose after a series of serendipitous events. Martha Stewart magazine featured one of the company’s products, and menswear trade show Northern Grade helped propel them further.
“A blogger at Northern Grade asked ‘Can I take a picture of your wallet?’ ” co-owner Kent Begnaud said. “I didn’t even know what a blogger was five years ago, but he put a picture online over the weekend, and that coming week we started getting orders from all over the country, and I’m like, ‘What in the world just happened?’ ”
With a wide range of products, Begnaud said, Leather Works’ wallets make an ideal Father’s Day gift. The Over & Under Wallet is the most versatile and minimalist, paring down a man’s carrying kit to the bare essentials. Colors like London Tan and Oxblood punch up its panache, and the durable handcrafted leather will last a lot longer than the retail store numbers most guys replace year after year. At $35, that leaves enough leftover dough to pick up one of Leather Works’ toothpick holders that star power can vouch for.
“My wife got a text from a store in New York that we do business with, and Leonardo DiCaprio bought one last week,” Begnaud said.
Cost: $35 for the wallet, $6 for the toothpick holder
Where you can find it: leatherworksminnesota.com, various local boutiques
For the history buff
Marine Bracelet by Urbain
Logan Ketterling is just 19 years old, but the college senior has already gained national attention for his jewelry start-up, Urbain. You can spot local Instagrammers sporting his wares, but the story behind his popular Marine Bracelet draws on the 100-year-old wood he uses to make its circular sanded beads.
Named after Minnesota’s first commercial sawmill — the Marine Mill — Ketterling uses wood abandoned by the company in the St. Croix River after it shut down in 1895. “This mill [played] a huge part in the expansion of the country,” Ketterling said of its significance. “These logs are dated from 100 to 150 years old.”
For dads wary of less traditional adornments such as bracelets, this one’s masculine style makes it an accessible entry into the world of men’s jewelry.
“People [will say], ‘I never wear jewelry, but this is a piece that I love wearing or would love to give to somebody,’ ” Ketterling said. “I think the unisex market is so powerful because clothing is the way you express yourself.”
Where you can find it: urbainmn.com
For the spiffy dad
Bow tie from Mill City Fineries
Bow ties aren’t just for congressmen anymore. Perhaps your dad has elevated his style over the past couple of years and all he’s missing is the piece de resistance. While there’s nothing wrong with traditional neckties, bow ties provide fun and unexpected contrast to conservative attire.
Founded in 2013, Mill City Fineries has the local bow tie market on lockdown. Not only do they carry an assortment of fresh styles, but they offer a wide range of ties that draw upon vintage fabrics.
“We’ve got a number of our pieces that are from eras like the 1940s, ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, so there could be something cool in regard to getting a tie from us where the fabric is from the same decade that your father was born,” said Brad Wellman, co-founder of Mill City Fineries.
Where you can find it: millcityfineries.com, Atmosfere, Brightwater Clothing & Gear, Martin Patrick 3, Trappings, Uptown Minnesota