Jason Gregory of MAKR
The studio sometimes feels more like an “artist” studio than a “brand”. I’ve always been responsible for all creative direction, design, patterning, sampling, and product photography. I have a small team of friends that handle production, fulfillment and all other aspects of the business. MAKR started out as a garage project and has ebbed and flowed in both spaces and employees since then. I feel like the last few years have been the best iteration of the project yet.
You make everything from camera straps to furniture, how do you decide what is to be a MAKR piece?
The diversity originally came from our main softgoods factory becoming overwhelmed with production. They wouldn’t be able to take on new designs so I would research a different vendor type and design new products for that style of production. The first “non-softgood” that we did was our Studio Work Stool, a stool for our actual studio, which led us down a path of metal and wood products. I love design and everything that surrounds it and want to work in as many mediums/disciplines as possible. This couldn't be further from just a “job”, I would design and make things no matter what my circumstances. I’m constantly thinking about, researching and working on new things. I’m this way about learning programs also, I want to be able to design anything I can think of without the software getting in the way.
If we are talking about diversity in a specific product type, typically it comes from the point of a construction concept rather than setting out to make a certain “thing”. I start trying to figure out the assembly of one thing and that triggers multiple other product ideas.
The overall answer is that it’s almost like a new garden, you have ideas of what you want to plant but what really blooms is kind of up to all of the elements that are involved. I have definitely finished a product and said to myself ”where did that come from?”
When handling a MAKR piece the quality of fabric, design and craftsmanship is clearly evident. Can you tell us a little bit about what has gone into the MAKR pieces available in Kind Curations?
I spend as much time as needed on everything that I make and never rush something through to production. Sometimes a product takes 3 weeks, others, two years. I’ve spent weeks on a pull tab for a zipper. I want all elements of the object to work together without stress and to just feel good and complete when you encounter them. It’s not about luxury, more about appropriateness. I want our product to live nicely with our customers, fit into their world, yet surprise them with the intent behind all of the details and each line of it’s form.
Details of the Prism Sacoche Large Bag in Black.
Are all your pieces made in Florida? To have the studio, sampling and production all within driving distance must be amazing for development…
They are, indeed! We have been very lucky to find incredible manufacturing partners throughout Florida. There are hi-tech factories and production houses in various industries here, mostly because of the theme parks and aerospace industries. Getting people to make our weird (for them) products is definitely an art - I’ve found that enthusiasm is contagious and people can tell when you are sincere and appreciative.
Kasey and I have spent some time in LA but never have made it to the east coast. What should Australians know about Florida?
It’s a beautiful and diverse place that I’m very proud to live in. It’s so different from region to region, has incredible beaches and nature and is definitely worth a visit. We have a very similar population to Australia, which is wild to think about when comparing a state to a country. An all around wonderful place despite what people may say.
What’s coming up in 2021? Any exciting projects in the works?
We will continue to challenge ourselves and do our best to make nice things. I don’t have any specific projects that I can speak of, but we have quite a few new things we’ve been working on and a multitude of collaborations that will be released.
You can shop a selection of MAKR pieces here.