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Best ever grocery hauler: Carbon Fiber backpackable Coolsack made by RAGGEDedge Gear

Aug 17, 2017 : How does it work? The Coolsack

We discovered the coolest material ever to use in our cooler bags. First off, you know we source all our materials in the US right? Well, the search for material for a cooler bag was tough one because typical insulating materials are made overseas, are bulky, and absorb water. Enter Innovative Insulation, a Texas company that invented reflective insulation fabric. Really cool stuff, the reflective fabric works by reflecting temperature in or out depending on usage. We used Temptrol® to line the inside of our coolsak, it reflects 95% of the radiant heat or in our case "chillness" inside the bag thereby keeping what is in the bag cool. And yes, the Coolsack can be used to keep stuff warm too.

Aug 1, 2017 : Rucksack and Coolsack at play

Adventure bags: Rucksack and Coolsack, carbon fiber backpackable gear bag made by RAGGEDedge Gear

The new Rucksacks and Coolsacks seem to be great for everything we need a bag for. Here you see Mud and Hank packed up and walking to the pond for an afternoon float on a hot day. Coolsack's got cold beverages for three, Rucksack's got the floats, pump, and a towel or three.

Logic would tell you that, of course, we have a lot of bags to use. Our tote bags have long been a favorite for all kinds of shopping and resupply runs, daily carry across the property hauling shit, and adventures. The youngest of our tote bags have been in use 10 yrs, the oldest is 16.... Things have changed, tho. The Rucksack and Cooksack have totally usurped all tote bags in our usage, it's not just the roomy accepting stowage capability, the hands free easy backpack carry is the ticket and much more comfortable than a shoulder strap carry.

Feb 4, 2017 : Hawkmo Reef Rescue

Reef

Feb 1, 2017: Introducing Project Hawkmo Reef Rescue

Inside the workshop we've been busy prepping for the 3rd Annual Design Your Own Bag month and sewing to replenish & refresh stock after the holidays. Normal gig right?

Outside the workshop, as always, there is a lot going on beyond the gear... but today, this is where we introduce the Hawkmo Reef Rescue Project. Three years ago, Hank, craigslist ninja that he is, brought home a 34 gal salt water cube. It wasn't his first reef tank, but it was the first piece of ocean here at Hawkmo. Now we have a 120 gal tank in the Lab (replacing the 34 gal cube), a 90 gal tank in Suze's house and a 60 gal tank at Mud & Hank's house. All craigslist scores from people who were ready to pull the plug, literally, and let their coral, livestock & liverock die. The tanks have matured, our corals are overgrown, clownfish pairs lay eggs like clockwork, and the rest of the livestock is healthy. Next week, we're headed to our first reef show with Hawkmo Hardy Homegrown Corals presenting a choice to purchase corals that have not been pillaged off remote ocean reefs. For the full story, read out “Hawkmo Reef Rescue Project page.”.

Jan 8, 2017: February Snowbirding? Not yet…

But I’m going to consider it next year because Miss Lulu and I spent 10 days ringing in the New Year camping here…

Genie the RAGGEDedge Gear adventure van at Indian Pass Campground, Port St Joe, Florida

I could totally see us I settling in for bit, at least long enough to leave the winter cold of February in Virginia where it belongs.

The beach at Indian Pass, Pensacola, Florida

Indian Pass is tucked away in Pensacola kinda like we are tucked in here at Hawkmo; not much around for miles ‘cept beach and ocean. In chatting it up BurningMan style, I discovered there is a very friendly seasonal community of returnees that flow thru November to March each year; it was clear from the lengthy “fishing” consults, beach encounters and rowdy discussions at Ray’s fire ring, that folks have gotten to know each other pretty darn well over the years. So yeah, I’d like to build me a sail trike for that long stretch of beach so I can land sail and play in the sand next February.

Sept 18, 2016

Product Testing. Hatteras Island, NC. The only question in my mind is, do we call them Bad Ass Burgees or Freak Flags?

Genie the RAGGEDedge Gear adventure van with wind burgee

Aug 31, 2016: Everyone should have birthday adventures

Watching torchwork: Ann Sherm Baldwin aka

For the past 10 years or so, we’ve celebrated entire birthday months in lieu of a single special (sometimes stressful) day. Whatever gifting there is (sometimes there isn’t any), is always handmade goodness: eat it, drink it, see it , burn it and/or wear it. Truthfully, experiences are where it’s at. August this year rocked the charts. It’s almost over, today’s the last day and i'm tuned into BMIR, checking in on the live streaming from center camp, digging into our Burning Man box o’ goodies for glittery dusty goods to wear and it’s another great day. I wish we were there but I’m happy we’re not. Attitude is every where, you manifest what is before you….*

I dubbed my birthday adventure “bead’s ‘n beaching”.

Fire, alive with color and action, is fascinating to watch; I can watch one for hours.
I love color (no surprise) and have a long ongoing fascination with all things fiber.
Joining fire and fiber? You betcha.

Pickling for a while in the back of my brain was the idea of learning how to work with glass. I hung out at a glass blowing class at Penland a year ago and realized that wasn’t my jam: too little color, too much infrastructure. If I was going to begin to learn this craft,, I needed to be able to eventually create a studio space here at Hawkmo. Persistent reading led me to lampwork; glasswork on a much smaller scale with a lot of opportunity for color and, I could envision a path to making a Hawkmo glass studio.

For my birthday adventure this year, I enjoyed three ridiculously fabulous days with “Schermo” and then headed to the beach for salty water and sand between my toes.

Schermo” you ask? Not big on classes, after all this time, I know I’m a hands on apprentice type learner, an avid diyer, and certainly considered a weird duck by some (aren’t all artists?). Not sure what I really googled to find someone to learn from… whatever, I believe karma led me to “Schermo”.

She’s an amazing artist, generous, human, accepting and funny as all shit. I kid you not. In my wildest dreams, I could not have dreamed up a better teacher and experience. Seriously. From her website, I figured we'd be in her garage studio space; I was totally good with that, I don’t need fancy pants. However, after 17 years of lampworking in a studio space in their “garagey” one and half car garage, surprise, this past year she turned the entire garage into a stunning professional lampworking studio. The floor is beyond cool and lends a whimsical playful air to the space. (I think the whole studio spoke to me because of that floor.) She doesn’t teach often; in a year, I am the second student she’s nurtured in that space, but she as hell as has a gift for teaching.. Karma’s a beautiful thing. I was definitely in the right place.

Ann Sherm Baldwin hot glass on mandrel worked by Schermo Oh, btw, I love working with glass. Forget sewing.

From there, Lulu (I always take Lulu traveling) and I headed to a little backyard campground on the sound in Rodanthe. Mike’s is a low key and friendly and unpretentiously awesome campground with all the amenities one could need or want (including kiteboarding mancandy). Good mannered pups are welcome so Miss Lu enjoyed playing on the sound as much as she could. She's old ya know so she has to pace herself. Once I park Genie and set up camp, we could easily stay for weeks. With the sound right front of me and the beach a 5 min walk across the island, what more does two ladies need?

Birthday adventures are way better than stuff.

*from "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein

Aug 20, 2016

RAGGEDedge Gear Tshirts and Stickers

Later then anticipated. This was a project that couldn't be hurried. RAGGEDedge stickers and t-shirts have arrived.

Plans are only wrecking balls, and then life get's on it's way.
- Mat McHugh

I thought I would be sending this zine edition in June! Silly me. This is one of those projects that simply refused to be rushed. At every step, things beyond my control suggested that I needed to be patient, so I did my best to be so. Two weeks ago, when my laptop up & quit on me as I was working on this very thing, I managed not to panic by digging deep on my trust of the process. A week later, with my completely repaired laptop back from Apple and all systems good to go, I definitely see some bizarre humor in how all of this demanded to happen in it's own time. So I keep trusting & being patient, through every mishap & delay all the way to today, Sunday, August 21, 2016, which was apparently chosen to be the launch day of this project, by the project. Maybe this matters? Maybe it doesn't. Either way, here we are, 19 years in business, and still learning the processes and seasons - inside the workshop and out - still evolving how we work. This Summer has been so full with side projects & travel opportunities that all of our sewing seshes as of late have been dedicated to making DYO wallets & a few special orders.

If you notice some stock items are low on color options and you're waiting on new ones, we will definitely be restocking this Fall. And if you can't wait, that's what DYO is for. Right now our turn around time on those is about 1 week.

The big news I have for you is the project we've all been waiting for since June, is here!! Our RAGGEDedge Gear Ambassador Stickers & T-shirts have finally arrived! Including something I'm very proud of: the first ever Sprinter Van Fan T-Shirt. {Seriously. I really think it’s the first one. I googled it. Vdub van shirts, everywhere. Sprinter van shirts, nowhere but here.}

May 1, 2016

RAGGEDedge Gear Tshirts & stickers

You guys have been asking for years and I’ve honestly appreciated the gentle nudging. Thanks to you, I’ve been thinking and sketching designs and marinating on them for months now. I wanted much more then just our name on a t-shirt (or sticker). What I’ve come up with are playful designs that I hope will speak to the RAGGEDedge in all of us, for years to come.

The RADness is imminent and I’m stoked to be sharing more of our art with you in a new way.

March 31, 2016

We've always loved our totes, and use them for years to haul everything from groceries, to garden veggies, to beer & building supplies. Recently, Hank has gotten us back into fishing (we live near a big mountain lake) and he discovered that our large totes happen to fit five 14"x9" Plano plastic tackle boxes! We have a dedicated tote bag that's a lure & tackle hauler, how cool is that?

RAGGEDedge Gear: Lure Hauler Tote Bag

February 3, 2016

Hey there! It’s Mud. One of the many hats I love to wear is that of photo documenter extraordinaire. Whether we’re sewing or growing (we have a pretty big food, flower & herb garden), playing or porch sitting, every part of what we do everyday is who we are, and therefore the foundation of RAGGEDedge. This year, I was inspired by a fellow maker to share this photo synapse of our 2015. I hope you enjoy!










December 5, 2015: Reading that might change your perspective and your life:

If you are curious...

1. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver
This was really the start for us. The search for better food. The why, the how, the deliciousness!

2. The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World by Chris Guillebeau
A book we keep coming back to as we find ourselves continuing to make choices that are sometimes met with resistance. Also the book we’ve given away the most copies of.

3. Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin
Our first ever business book. Which basically means it was the beginning of our business education. We’re entirely self taught!

4. Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future by Bill McKibben
This is the book that first taught me infinite growth is what the world of business thinks it wants, but it’s not what I want.

5. Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman by Yvon Chouinard
Patagonia is a role model company for us. While we never desire to be big like them, their environmental efforts are monumental and we too want to use our business as a source of good.

6. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
Very long and distinguished. Sometimes excruciatingly detailed, but Jobs was a details kinda guy. This man was deep on vision and the ART of it all mattered.

7. Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future by Peter M. Senge, C. Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski, Betty Sue Flowers
I would call this one sort of advanced reading. I fell in love with how much I can change the way I think about everything. My most lasting message from this one is, “It’s never too late to change the future.”

8. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
If you’re not familiar with Brene’s work already, check out her TedX talks first. Of the three books of hers that I’ve read, this one is my favorite.

9. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
This one just arrived and is still being read. So far, it’s a brilliant pep talk for those of us in search of something more.

And for fun... meet one of our cats, he likes books too.

December 3, 2015: With TIme, Comes Refinement

And it might surprise you.

I've always pretty much hated Winter. I am one of those people that believes I need more light to function properly. This year though, I've decided to psych myself up for the season by loading up my bookshelf with books I can't wait to read and stocking my little art loft with supplies for the serious studio time ahead of me. I'm choosing to celebrate the things about Winter that I love - and it's working!

So let's chat holidays for a moment. Yes, they're here. So the question is, can we choose to celebrate them differently as well?

When you're in the business of making things that people give as gifts, it feels a little strange to propose an alternative, but sharing is valuable, powerful and worth doing. My idea is to gift information in the form of books & documentaries. We are here today, pursuing an alternative and radical approach to life and business, because of sparks. Those sparks are books, articles, movies and people we've met that showed us a different way of thinking. Most of these people don't know that they've changed our trajectory, but they most certainly have.

So there you go. That's my radical suggestion. Give someone something that could change their life.

Now, that said, maybe an introduction to the RAGGEDedge is exactly that. If so, it would be an honor.

September 2, 2015

Bee Sanctuary on the Hawkmo Comet

We like to think of RAGGEDedge Gear as more then just a company. We are what we do. We are how we think. We are what we stand for. We are what we support with our dollars and our time.

Since relocating our business to Virginia, we’ve made food a huge priority in our life. We grow a portion of our own food, and with the help of local farmer friends that grow the rest, we put up all the veggies we eat through the off season, and stock our freezers with local grass-fed meats.

Paying attention to food has made us pay attention to a lot of other things that are connected to our food supply, one of which is bees. The more I learn about bees, the more I know that the honey bee crisis is very real. A crisis, according to the Japanese, is considered to be a crossroads of danger and opportunity. The danger is in letting it go on without doing anything, the opportunity is in figuring out how to change.

Our first step was figuring out how to keep bees ourselves. In the Spring of 2014 we bought 2 nuc packages of honey bees from a local beekeeper and began our adventure in becoming beekeepers. This Spring we were delighted to find that both of our hives had survived the Winter, and we had successfully guessed our way through our first year of beekeeping.

Knowing we were lucky, we wanted to know how to be better, so we took an Introduction to Biodynamic Beekeeping class at the world renowned Spikenard Bee Sanctuary that’s just right up the road from us in Floyd, VA. It was truly an incredible class, far more then just information about bee keeping, connecting many levels of life itself. We went home refreshed with hope and the knowledge that the honey bee is an amazing creature and the world is an amazing place.

We are still very much newbies, but every time we check in with them, I think we all get a little more comfortable then the last time. Mostly we’re observing, just trying to learn how they work, what they do, what they need from us, if anything. They’re slow growing, but I’m happy to say that from our original 2 hives, we now have 4 hives. We’ve noticed that each one definitely has her own personality, so we named them: Stella, Celia, Antonia and Haylia.

As part of our bee project, I planted more flowers in the garden, and we experimented with selectively letting the grass grow long in our meadows so the weeds and wildflowers bloom, providing more bee forage. Despite our efforts, it is important that we wait to harvest our honey until next year, when what’s left will truly be excess, instead of necessary food to get them through this Winter.

July 30, 2015

RAGGEDedge Gear Downhill riding at Snowshoe

Am-BADASS-adors

We are our own ambassadors, living life on the ragged edge...

Here we are with Genie our adventure van, rubbing shoulders with the Specialized demo crew at Snowshoe for three days of downhill mountain biking.

The short story is that we raged it. 21 runs in 3 days on our old school cool bikes. My crankset fell off the first day after our run down Skyline, but Mark at the repair shop saved our trip with a miracle bolt from his home bike pantry the next morning!!! The people were rad, the place was rad, the trails were beyond rad. Downhill is where it's at.

Pedaling is cancelled.

July 20, 2015

RAGGEDedge Box of Awesome (REBA) Traveling Pelican Case

I'm making a traveling display Box-O-Awesome (Hank named her R.E.B.A.) to bring with us to the USA Cycling Pro Gravity Tour stop at Snowshoe next weekend. We're not official vendors, we're actually going to ride the non-race trails ourselves, and do a little spectating on the side. But now that we drive a bad ass adventure van with RAGGEDedge Gear on the side, people ask us what we make all the time, so now we can show them. Bonus points if you recognize the box ;) Triple bonus points if you happen to be going, you happen to see us, and you come say hi. ((That would simply be crazy))

November 7, 2014

As 2014 comes to a close, we look back on an amazing year... We're a small business that actually wants to stay small, so our goals are not so much about growth, and more about improvement - in products, service, materials, experience and environmental impact. We released our new website in April. That launch allowed us to debut our Design Your Own Wallets in June, as well as an affiliate program. Projects we've had the wheels spinning on for nearly 2 years.

We built a pedal art car and took it to Burning Man (another 2 year project), and then came home and moved our workroom into a repurposed 256 square foot cabin that is soon to have solar power, which will cross our dream of having a dedicated eco-friendly work space off our list. I guess there's a trend here of long term projects coming into fruition with slow but steady progress.

Countless new colorways were made, double ID wallets came to our lineup, as well as many more stock models available with RFID blocking protection. Just added to the lineup last month is the Slimster - a slim bifold with a velcro closure, full bill pocket, 2 card pockets, and an exterior ID sleeve.

Stay tuned for the release of our belts! Many of you of requested these, and we want you to know that we're working on it. We're still in the research and development phase, fine tuning a few details, but we're close and we're stoked. It's like nothing you've ever seen before.

Coming February 2015: Design Your Own Bags. One month only.