Why We Love Best Made Co.

Now that everyone and their brother is churning out throwback artisanal goods, it’s easy to dismiss each new online mercantile startup as the wannabe Urban Outfitters home section they are so painfully attempting to be. Then you come across a place like Best Made Co., whose selection of goods is so clearly above and beyond that you can’t help but shop it all until you've overdrawn your bank account.

We first met BMC back in 2010 when it caused a ruckus with the unveiling of what’s become its signature item: hand-painted axes. Those hit a nerve with a lot of folks, and helped paved the way for founder Peter Buchanan-Smith and his team to branch out into other areas. It wasn't long until they transformed themselves into a bonafide online mercantile with an eclectic line of ruggedly handsome goods that harken back to a day when quality craftsmanship and dependability were the norm.

If they were around in Hemingway's day, there's little doubt it would be his go-to for everything from fishing gear to kitchen plates.

From the confines of their lovely TriBeCa workshop-slash-storefront, the brand continues to expand its offerings, which now include a whole range of beautifully designed utilitarian gear for your home, like canvas aprons (pictured above), French Army collapsible laundry buckets, and a wonderfully old-school brass magnifying stand.

With an overall mission to equip you with good-looking, meaningful tools and resources needed to get back to the basics, they also stand by a core of four virtues: courage, compassion, grace, and fortitude (you'll notice each of their axes is emblazoned with the first letter for each).

Hitting that sweet spot successfully requires working closely with a trusted group of leading designers and manufacturers to execute each and every new product. The Map Notebook, which features a symbol guide and 160 pages set up to sketch your own personal exploration maps, is a perfect example. It was conceived and designed by the BMC team in New York, then printed and bound by a special shop in Winnipeg, Canada, that uses particular paper they considered absolutely essential.

They've also become known for their selection of pocket knives, of which this Silver Fish pen knife—complete with waxed red lanyard—may be our favorite. 

God forbid that Silver Fish hooks you when you’re out on the water, but not to worry if it does—they also make a spectacularly rustic-looking first aid kit.

Another one of our favorites is the Seamless & Steadfast set of enamelware. Not only do they look slick as hell, but they're ready for a beating, from your kitchen table to the trail. They're manufactured by a legendary European operation who use WWII-era machinery to bake the signature "X" and compass rose onto them and reinforce the rims of each piece with a double-dipping of enamel. These things, like most everything else they make, will probably outlive you...and your grandkids.

Joe McGauley is a senior editor and semi-professional ax-thrower at Supercompressor.