I live in Los Angeles and I would never, by any means refer to the city as anything related to “craft.” Now, of course, I don’t mean craft in the sense of making little paper toys and gluing things together: I mean craft in the sense of woodworking and building and having a craft to your name. I reserve that name for cities like Portland and Austin and even Williamsburg, places where men and women dress very dapper and have beards and build shit–that isn’t very Los Angeles. However, there is a new wave of men and women who are makers and builders. Who’s leading the pack? A little design/building collective by the name of WoodSmithe.
The group is led by Nathanael Balon who has a crazy story of being a trained builder turned government builder turned drummer for Skrillex turned small business craftsman in Los Angeles. He and his crew are the people behind the physical manifestations of brands from local trendy coffee spot Handsome Coffee to Tom’s shoes. They’re quickly picking up steam and are becoming well known beyond our little city and into the rest of the country as they are working with tons of new businesses. It’s really great to hear that Angelenos are building and making neat things again, which is something our area has been known for since Sam Maloof made it known that Southern Californians are craftsmen, too. WoodSmithe is a great company and Nathanael has a really awesome story: you can check it out here.