We've followed the work of PNW-based Dan Ewing for a while as fans of his distinct style that goes into every detail. Having made very uniquely beautiful accessories for some time now, Dan has forged his own path showcasing a unique approach that is clearly influenced by his surroundings. We reached out to Dan to work together on something interesting that would show both spectrums of the West Coast that we love and live on, in totally different ways. This collective capsule specifically aimed to marry the PNW feel of Dan's work with Lone Flag's signature Southern CA feel. Each piece is extremely limited in number, and an a blackout story carries across each for a more contemporary feel that allows all pieces to be worn / held for all occasions. The best of both worlds, distinctively West Coast, North + South.
It was completely influential. When I first started out I was making pieces out of found bones and things and working with Alaskan native artists to make more north coast inspired pieces.
Talk about how you got started and what the main catalyst was to start your own brand?
We started in 2012 when I couldn't find leather items that I wanted to carry or use (no disrespect to the handful of leather brands that were around then). I had these ideas in my head and needed to get them out. Not too long after that my wife told me that working a full time job and staying up till midnight or 2am everyday fulfilling orders wasn't working out and that I needed to pick one. The rest is history
(Editors Note): Marry well. Usually your wife knows best.
Favorite current brands?
Rogue Territory always (Karl's my boy), Stevenson Overall Co., Iron Heart, John Lofgren, Good Art Hollywood and Lone Flag T-shirts (the only T's I wear), So many great brands out there, this is just what popped in my head. I love brands that are original and stay true to their roots without chasing every fast fashion trend out there.
(Editor's note): This wasn't a leading question, I promise. Dan actually wears LF shirts.
How would you describe your personal style?
Heritage meets street style meets dirty Alaskan hippy
Where do you get inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from just about everywhere, every great artist that is true to themselves inspires me. Cultures inspire me, music inspires me, creation and nature inspires me and my family inspires me. I try no to look to fashion for inspiration or other artists in my genre, it's just too easy to blur the line between inspiration and imitation.
How does your creative process work for new pieces?
Pretty much I try to think of things that people absolutely need and mix that with elegance and nature.
What are the pros and cons of small business in your context?
Taxes are a con, every small business owner feels me on this one, about 1/3 of what we make goes to taxes. There are so many pros; being in charge of my schedule, my creativity, my stress are huge. Being able to spend time with my family is priceless.
Any words of wisdom for someone looking at what you do and wanting to start their own business?
First impressions are everything, get good before you drop it on the world. I believe that we were created by the most creative bing in the universe and He created us in His likeness, that means He created us to be creative. This being said, don't start a business because you think you can do what someone else is doing, start a business because the world needs your business.
What does a day in the life of Dan Ewing look like?
Wake up at 8ish (because I can), take my daughters to school with my wife and then go on a walk or just spend quality time with my wife. After that I come to the shop (basement apt turned shop beneath my home) and begin to prepare myself for the day. I work until 3:30 and then unless I'm in the middle of a project or way behind I pick my daughters up from school. After that I work until about 5 and than stop for family time. Once I put my daughters to bed I then go back downstairs and that is pretty much my creative time to work on new things until about 9:30/10 in which I binge on Netflix with my wife until bed time. Pretty much that Monday - Friday
Is Seattle ever going to get another NBA team or was Shawn Kemp the peak of PNW basketball?
I'm a Blazers fan, and in case you missed the opening game where they beat the Lakers, you know that the Blazers are the best thing to come out of the PNW! ;)
(Editor's note): I hate the Lakers, glad they lost Dan. What's more painful though, is I'm a Clippers fan. It's hard to admit in public.
Best distinctly Alaskan food?
King crab, I pretty much won't eat any other crab anymore; it's too much work for little payoff. King crab though have so much tasty meat!
Best movie that portrays Alaska how it should be seen?
A hidden gem called 'Alone in the Wilderness' which was filmed in the late 60's but released in 2004. Super inspirational for anyone interested in living off the land and or making things with their bare hands.
(Editor's note): Thanks for not saying 'Out Cold'...even though I sort of secretly love that movie. Is that ok?
How does being a dad affect running a brand and where do you find your balance?
My kids are always around except during school which makes it beautiful and frustrating all at the same time. Balance for any business owner with a family, that understands the proper order; Wife, Children, business, will spend the rest of their life trying to figure this out and still never get it right. Lots of face to face time is key.
Preferences for the best PNW town? Which one is amazing that nobody knows about?
Being from Alaska but living in Portland, I really miss the ocean. There are so many great little ocean cities on the Oregon and Washington coast: Canon Beach, Seaside, Long Beach and even places like Astoria Oregon are amazing little spots. If you've never checked out Portland Oregon, you need to add that to your bucket list.
Future goals for Ewing Dry Goods?
We're doing lots of great collabs this year and into next. Keep your eyes out for a few boots and a work shirt. We just want to continue to progress and be able to live and love people all the while.
Any last words?