Recently, we did a photoshoot at Wadley Farms (if you missed our blog from it, you can find it here). The rings that we took pictures of for this shoot were unique and really interesting. We decided that we wanted to learn more about the company that made them, so we talked to Cam at Staghead Designs. To do that we set a date to meet up with Cam, take some photos of their shop, and interview him to find out what makes Staghead so different! We loved what we learned and saw and Dallin is now trying to come up with some cool material that represents him and his love of space, or us as photographers. If you are looking for a ring, or awesome groomsmen gifts (we saw hatchets, cufflinks, etc.), go to http://www.stagheaddesigns.com
After talking to Cam, here’s what we learned about Staghead Designs!
It started in 2011 when our founders, Brad and Liz, were getting married. They were looking at rings and were uninspired by the options that were available to men. All they found were run of the mill flat bands made from gold, silver, titanium, and tungsten. There was nothing that really stood out to them and they were kind of frustrated with the lack of options. One day, they were out on a hike and found a piece of antler. Brad had always been a really hands-on person and had been fascinated with building and creating things and Liz was an art major. So Liz asked Brad if he would be able to make a ring out of the antler shed that they found and he said let’s give a shot! It caught people’s eye and they would ask about it often. Then, he started selling them at farmer’s markets and they opened an Etsy store. After that, they had the thought that this would be a good way to earn a little extra income. Within a couple of months Brad had to quit his job and pursue it full time because the etsy store had grown so quickly and had become such a big part of their their daily life.
Our main goal at Staghead is to create something that is both meaningful and personal. We look at a wedding ring as a symbol of love, instead of just a piece that you have to wear. I think what separates us is the ability to create something from scratch that is custom from our customer’s own brain and is made from something that might be meaningful to them. We started with antler and wood and people kind of like the idea of re-using natural materials. Now, we’ve expanded to the point where we will take on just about anything that someone brings us, and incorporate that into a ring. It could be something from their profession, like a part from a motor if they’re mechanic or a pilot, or even a part of a ship if they go boating as a hobby. We really want to take whatever it is that is important to a person and try to incorporate that. We want make something so that when the person wearing it looks down, they’ll see something that really represents either their relationship or who they are as a person.
There are two things. One is that I enjoy what we create and I love sharing that with others. I like to share things that I think are worthwhile and I get excited about things that I think are unique. What we do is really unique and exciting. In the end, it makes my job easy because people want to talk about it, and people are excited when they see what we make for them.
We had a zookeeper’s wife send us a bunch of whiskers from their big cat display and we made a ring out of tiger whiskers. We had somebody send a mold of a tooth, and we had that cast and set as if it were a center stone, kind of like how a diamond would be set. It was interesting. We’ve also used fun things like horse hair, skateboards, whiskey barrels, surfboards, and a lot of recreational stuff. We’ve done several things out of plane engine parts for pilots and mechanics.
There is a form on our website that customers can fill out and write in their ideas and include any pictures they have. Then, we respond to them and tell them how we could integrate it and how we’ve done it in the past. We make sure that they like the way it looks, while imagining their piece of material in place of this or that. A lot of people fall in love with designs because they’re hunters but they don’t realize that they can send their own antler in and we’ll use it to make an antler ring. People will come to us saying, “I know this is pretty weird, but could you use a branch from the tree that was in my grandma’s backyard?” Our answer is, “absolutely!” We’d just send them a form and they’ll send us in a hunk of that tree and we’d put it on the ring.
The biggest markets for Staghead Designs are New York, San Francisco, Houston, and the bigger cities in the southern US. It’s spread out throughout the country and the world, but about 90-95% of business is in the United States.
Staghead started with a focus on men’s rings because we felt there was a lot lacking there, but we found that most of our clients are women buying rings for their husbands, fiances, or boyfriends. We started getting requests for women’s engagement rings, and we are now embracing that. We’ll use diamonds and traditional stones, but we sell a lot of non-traditional stones as well such as garnet, rose quartz, turquoise, and opals. We’ve also recently started using damascus steel and some accume products and tamascus. Basically these are metals that are forged, twisted and forged again to give them patterns and variety within the metal. Damascus steel has layers of different steel that are twisted and hammered together repeatedly until they have a unique pattern. You can’t see the pattern until it is etched, but then you can see all the details. A lot of knife makers request and use damascus and tamascus in their work and that speaks to them.
I’m making a ring for myself that has a logo that I’ve designed that represents my wife and I. I’d like to see signet rings become more popular. We just want to find ideas that speak to people and continue to create those. We spend very little time designing our own stuff because we have so many custom requests. So as fun as it is to design, it’s kind of fun to just see where it goes. A lot of the products that we have now, we didn’t even know there would be a demand for. We’ve just allowed the clients to tell us what speaks to them and our inventory has expanded from that. So to me, it isn’t a ring I’d like to design, it’s being interested in seeing what the new trend will be, and what people will request. It’s the things people come up with that we had no idea people even thought was cool! It’s the hope of being asked to make something we’ve never thought of before, something that means something to the customer or to the people they care about.