The oldest tool known to mankind is the axe. It is a powerful tool that resembles survival and productivity. In 2009, the axe became more than a tool through the Best Made brand- a brand of handcrafted, American-made axes allowing us to appreciate the simple nuances of life that is often lost in our everyday lives. In a time where the tap of our fingers can bring groceries, clothes and entertainment to our door step, Best Made hopes to inspire life outside the home by making high-quality axes for people to get outside and use their hands. The lifestyle brand also carries a range of related outdoor products, such as camping cups, first-aid kits, knives, soap and homemade syrup just to name a few. As a brand dedicated to bringing back a sense of adventure into our lives, Best Made reminds us of our origins and our inherit human needs for food, shelter and protection.
Beyond addressing this tactile need for handcrafted goods in a digital world, Best Made axes stood tall with pride for American-made products in a market driven by foreign manufacturing. ‘Made in U.S.A’ is an unusual label in American retail and lifestyle products, but we’re able to find hope and pride through the Best Made brand since its inception in 2009. It is a brand that brings to surface the American value of being self-sufficient through the creation of fine axes, each made with these four virtues in mind: Courage, Compassion, Grace and Fortitude (C.C.G.F). These are coined as ‘The Famous Four,’ the four virtues Best Made aspires to live up to every day. Axes are adorned with one of these virtues along with a coat of bold colored paint at the handle as an act of respect for the tool. It is in the brand’s aspirational character that allows people to believe in something together, representing the potential behind American-made products.
When we flip over a clothing tag, we used to assume an American brand would be made in the U.S.A, but more often than not, we find brands such as Gap, Ralph Lauren and Nike made in China or elsewhere. So, what does it mean to create from local resources? Is a brand perceived differently when made from its own kind? This idea of creating from local resources takes us to the ‘locavore’ trend, identified by those who eat foods that are locally produced. Restaurants have adopted this trend by calling themselves ‘farm-to-table’ restaurants, which have become widely popular for maintaining and utilizing their own vegetable gardens. Being able to eat a dish knowing the beats and carrots were grown in their very own garden is reassuring, and it reminds you of the importance of origins. In the same way, to use an axe knowing where and how it was made and from what material, is all part of the axing experience.
To have a tool created from its surrounding resources not only adds to the resourcefulness of the tool’s creation but it also shows how Best Made axes are self-sufficient products- created without external resources. When brands like Best Made can shine and take pride in their product origins, so much so that it lives and breathes a set of meaningful virtues of courage, compassion, grace and fortitude, that is when a brand can truly become an inspiration unto others. It allows people to believe not only in the brand itself but most importantly, in themselves.