Meet the Maker – Pig & Hen
The Amsterdam based bracelet company Pig & Hen, was established in 2013 by the two friends Dominic Bakker and Rutger Versluis. All bracelets are handmade in Amsterdam and made of authentic ship ropes. They are built to last a lifetime and, according to the founders, stronger than steel.
Within a few years, Pig & Hen grew from just a cool idea from two friends to a very popular bracelet company. During their first trade show, the ‘Modefabriek’ in Amsterdam, they instantly got 40 stores who wanted to sell their bracelets. Ever since, they kept growing and nowadays they ship their items all over the world. When we visited the Pig & Hen headquarters and atelier, we got impressed by the atmosphere and the story behind the brand.
The name of the brand as well as the logo seems just random and cool but the story behind Pig & Hen goes back to the early 1600’s. At that time, the Netherlands had the biggest navy fleet in the world and were the leading nation sailing out to unknown parts of the world. Those rough sailors discovered new countries, different ways of life and made money by trading spices all over the world. To protect themselves against bad luck, those bearded sailors tattooed a pig and a hen on their feet. They believed that it gave them the ability to survive when they had to abandon the ship. This myth in combination with high-quality materials are the foundation for Pig & Hen.
Made from ship ropes and hardened steel, the materials might easily outlive their owners. The ropes are made to secure ship masts which should withstand the storm at sea, so they are durable at least. These strong materials don’t need any special treatments and when they get smelly, you can remove the shackle and throw them in the washing machine.
The ship ropes arrive on large rolls at the Pig & Hen atelier in Amsterdam. Before they are braided into the strong bracelets, they are cut into pieces. The bracelets are made with the outmost care and handled with great attention. Since every step is done by hand it is a time-consuming process to create just one bracelet.
Pig & Hen is a storytelling brand that will continue the sailor’s heritage. The collection is divided in several styles, with each there own story. Through these different styles Pig & Hen revived the sailors from the early 1600’s and let them resurrect from history. By reading the descriptions, it almost feels like you are on the ship yourself to meet all those different sailors.
Take the ‘Salty Steve for example. With a rope thickness of 7mm and a small shackle, Salty Steve is one of the smallest bracelets in Pig & Hen’s collection. The description of Salty Steve goes like this;
No rum for Salty Steve: his favorite drink is sea water and he drinks it by the gallon. Thanks to this disturbing ability, he has survived the sinking of a myriad of ships and has been sailing the seas longer than anybody knows. He is a quiet man with a salt crusted beard who will just silently stare at you when you ask him his age.
Fat Fred is, just as the name suggests, the thickest bracelet in the current collection. The rope has a thickness of 14mm and is perfect for guys with a bigger wrist. Pig & Hen introduced Fat Fred as follows;
Fat Fred is the ship’s cook: a tough guy who doesn’t know his own strength. There is absolutely no question where he got his name from once you see him. Intimidating at first sight, Fred has got a big heart. He’s got your back whenever you need him – whether what you need is a comforting meal, or a strong pair of arms to toss your enemies over-board.
Somewhere between Salty Steve and Fat Fred you will find the Rum Ron. With a rope thickness of 10mm, the Rum Ron bracelet is available in four colors varying from black to pink.
Rum Ron might not know how to sail a ship. He might not know how to read a map, handle a gun, or how to catch a fish with his bare hands. He does not know his way around the seas and his repertoire of dirty jokes is fairly limited. – But Rum Ron provides the rum, it’s as simple as that.
Pig & Hen filled the gap between cheap and high-end brands and designed bracelets which will fit in every occasion. All the bracelets are made of high-quality material and made with the outmost care, truly built to outlive the owner. The collection varies from subtle and small to outspoken colored and thick bracelets.
What makes these bracelets even cooler is that they are handmade in Pig & Hen’s atelier in Amsterdam. On top of that, the story behind the brand, is a story we can read over and over again. Finally, with Pig & Hen On Tour, they travel throughout Europe to show the production process in stores. Because all bracelets are made by hand, Pig & Hen On Tour is worth paying a visit.
Head over to Pig & Hen’s website to see the collection for yourself or just to check out the hilarious descriptions of the different bracelets.