Meet Your Maker - Brett Shipley

Meet Your Maker - Brett Shipley

In our Randolph workshop, we're proud to work with an extremely talented and diverse group of people. With a variety of different backgrounds in everything from fine art to product design, and every single slice of creative craft in-between, we've got a charming bit of everything-expertise at Tanner Goods.

Earlier this year, our crew decided it was time for a friendly little homegrown design competition. The objective was simple: create an all new minimal wallet design utilizing anything, and everything, available in the workshop with the final selection making it's premier in our core product line this summer. 

Well, today, we're proud to announce that we've finally selected the winning design of our very own belt craftsperson, Brett Shipley, and his great new design, the Minimal Card wallet.

As a newcomer to the Pacific Northwest, we sat down with Brett to chat anything and everything we could think of. That means breakfast, tacos – and sure enough, breakfast tacos – along with with his background in design and his thoughts on Portland.  

Tell us a bit about your background.

I moved to Oregon for school, I studied product design at the University of Oregon. I’ve done a few design internships back home in Southern California and then Tanner Goods was my first job out of college. I got hired here a week after I moved up to Portland last year.

Let’s talk design. What lead you down this path?

I grew up playing basketball and always loved the shoe design in basketball. I felt like that's what I most wanted to get into, it's part of the reason I came to Oregon, but through changes of interest and experiences I became more interested in menswear and accessories. And really I just love designing things I want to use.

What brought you to Tanner Goods?

Tanner Goods was one of the top companies I wanted to work for coming out of college. I was drawn to them because I felt my style lined up well with their products from the bags to the apparel essentials, as well as their belief in quality and creating something worthwhile and timeless. What's really cool was this company was the one I was most persistent with and there's been many doors that have opened for me here. I'm very thankful for that.

What is your role like?

I am a craftsperson here, I mainly work in the Belt and Accessory department, run our CNC making rivets, and help out in wallets from time to time. 

What are your favorite things happening in Portland?

I moved to Portland leaving a great community of people and only knowing about 4 people here, but have been blessed with some great friend groups. So my community would have to be a favorite. I also love how everyone has a restaurant or coffee shop recommendation here and I love trying them out, as well as doing my own research. Aziz Ansari calls it being a “maximizer,” where there are so many options, but you have to have the best brunch or taco or brunch taco. Portland is also great because the outdoors are so accessible here, I enjoy getting out and camping or hiking in the forest. I grew up with the beach, but I feel like I look at the giant trees here like people look at the beach for the first time.

What inspires your creative process?

I love looking at older versions of things or the history of a type of product. Seeing and pulling things from stuff that was built to last or it had a particular purpose that we've done away with and using those ideas. A coat rack is a good example of a product I like, it can be clean, simple, and fully functional.

Which tools do you use in your own work?

Mainly just a pen, box cutter, ruler, sewing machine, and my computer. Nothing special.

What projects are you currently working on?

Currently I'm still designing more small leather goods, a variety of wallets, a woman’s clutch for a friend, and I’ve been working on a wax canvas jacket for a while now. But I'm also creating a poster series, at least for myself, inspired by the patterns printed for privacy on the inside of envelopes. Notice them next time, my favorite is the Oregon DMV's pattern.

For more of Brett's work, head over to his site: