In this second post of our series ‘The Craft Difference’, we’ll focus on the importance of human touch. What is human touch, and how can you use it to be real your customer in a medium when you never come face to face, for example online? We’d like to share what we’ve been hyper focused on for the past couple of weeks in the office.

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Take a human approach towards design. It’s easy to get caught up thinking of things from a cost perspective. Instead of having to work from budgets that impose restrictions from the start, having a human centric approach at the core of design means putting customers first. This almost always translates to the quality of the product, meaning you start by thinking about the snug fit, stitching, and usability of even something seemingly simple such as a leather wallet or device case. For us, this means customizing and personalizing the user experience. We like to ask ourselves questions like how can big companies sound small? Take that answer, and add a tinge of personalization and character. 

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The Felt Case by elevenplus is furnished with pockets for a memo pad, business cards, and cables.
It readily transforms into a portable workstation for those on the go.

Human touch also is about the little things that machines can’t do. Be it the rustic attention to details, or the tactile selection of materials - mass production of goods by large-scale industry has limited craftspeople to market segments where mass-produced goods are unable to satisfy the preferences of potential buyers or their environments. They thus participate in a certain division of labour between industry and craft, where making becomes an art.

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Small breakfast board by Herriott Grace.

We’re often asked if we make anything ourselves. While there are many exciting plans in store for the near future, we’re currently focused on hand-coding Haystakt. Not only is technology proprietary, customizing the website is something we take a lot of pride in. There’s nothing like being able to craft a web solution just for makers and designers - an audience we know will appreciate what we do. We spend our days thinking about the little things, and then translate those thoughts into code (a.k.a. making things we love).

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Hand-coded.

Lastly, human touch is a story, a connection, and a community. HERRIOTT GRACE is a venture of father and daughter, and this is their story.

Lance and Nikole Herriott live 3400 kilometers apart: his workshop is in Victoria, British Columbia, and her studio is in Toronto, Ontario. When she first made her home more than halfway across the country, they started to send packages back and forth. In some of those packages, Lance began to include his own hand carved spoons. He had been collecting wood since the early seventies, and used his best pieces for these gifts. Nikole loved them; their balance and shape, the pieces were made with unmistakable care. She knew they were something special.

One day it dawned on her that others might appreciate her father’s talent as she did, so Nikole asked if he would ever want to share his work. Lance took a few days to think about it. And, after some convincing, he agreed to her plan, but only with people that understood and cared about the time and effort spent on each piece. She told him, “Leave it to me, I know just the sort.” And with that, Herriott Grace was born.

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Herriott Grace