From two college friends to a team of highly skilled artisans, the handcrafted techniques that it takes to make a Brackish piece have evolved into something that co-founders Ben Ross and Jeff Plotner could never have imagined. Crafting these beautiful pieces of wearable art is no easy feat - it requires critical attention to detail and a willingness to learn how to work with a unique and delicate medium.
Crafting just one piece can take hours of meticulous preparation. Being able to craft every single Brackish piece seems like an impossible task, but for the first time in Brackish history, one incredibly talented artisan has accomplished this (among many other things) and achieved the title of Master Artisan.
We sat down with Lindsay to get a behind-the-scenes look at the day-to-day of a Master Artisan at Brackish.
How long have you been at Brackish and what is your role?
This month is my 4-year anniversary at Brackish and I am an artisan.
Can you take us through a little of your day-to-day as an artisan?
I like to start off each morning by coming in to work and giving my doggy coworkers a little belly rub before I start gathering up my supplies for the day and getting everything organized. I have made all the different types of products that Brackish sells, but I mostly make bow ties; which I don’t mind at all because they are my favorite. I select a kit of feathers for a specific bow tie design and I get lost in my craft. Each tie gets my full attention - from every feather individually selected to the way they are applied, I take great joy in making each product that leaves my desk the best it can be.
You recently became a Master Artisan. Can you explain a little bit about what that means and how you accomplished such an impressive title within the amount of time you’ve worked at Brackish?
I have worked for Brackish for 4 years but it wasn’t until 2 years ago that Brackish developed a classification system that encourages Artisans to work hard and accomplish a variety of goals. The classification system starts at trainee and eventually reaches the highest level, master, which is measured by a combination of production and quality successes and the exemplification of Brackish core values. In order to achieve this milestone, you have to meet certain qualifications. While there are a variety of qualifications that must be met, I will mention one in particular that took me the longest to complete and the one I am most proud of. To be a Master Artisan you have to be able to make every product type that Brackish offers - over 20 different categories! This final objective allowed me to push myself to make new things all while learning a lot in the process.
Besides hard work and dedication, the reason I was able to accomplish this title is because I truly love this job and I want to promote a company that has been so good to me. I’ve been lucky to have amazing managers and coworkers on this journey with me to teach me and build me up along the way.
What core value do you resonate the most with? What does it mean to you?
Every time I am asked this question I have to pick 2 because I use them every day. The first is “What Box?” and the second is “Better, Better, Better”. "What box?" is important to me and I use it daily because I get to work in a job that not only lets me work outside of the box but encourages it. I get to come up with new, better, and innovative ways to do my job easier and faster. Because of the collaborative spirit of Brackish, I can share those ideas with my coworkers.
"Better, better, better" is probably my favorite because you can always find ways to be better at what you do. I try really hard to make every product as if I was making it for a friend or family member because I want whoever opens their Brackish box to be blown away and have the best experience possible.
What are your top 3 men’s and women’s pieces?
My favorite men’s pieces are the Hammock, the Turner, and the Mill Pond bow ties. My favorite women’s pieces are the Mary Ann Wide Cuff, the Dez Drop Earring, and the new Liberty Drop Earrings.
What’s your favorite part about working at Brackish?
Other than just the actual job, I really enjoy the people I work with, human and dog alike. Being able to do what I love with dogs running around and making everyone smile is awesome!
When you're not making feather accessories, what do you like to do? What other creative outlets do you utilize?
I enjoy doing any kind of craft like crocheting, coloring, digital art, and designing shirts and stickers. However, aside from crafty things I love spending time with friends and family and my two great dogs, Penny and Nash. I like to go camping, swimming, and I love watching movies.