Heritage: Jon Contino

Forget about getting a driver’s license or graduating from high school; in my family, getting your own tape measure is the true rite of passage. When my father gave it to me he didn’t sit me down by a fire and tell me how special it is to have your own tape, instead it was more of the “throw a sweaty jersey at a fan on the way into the locker room” moment. “You can have this one, I bought a new one.” Simple enough for my dad, but to me, it was like the passing of the torch. This was the first tool to call my own and with that came responsibility and reliance. I can mark it as the day I truly became a man. I stopped working with my dad after about six years when I went onto design full time, but the tape measure has traveled with me everywhere since. Through all the studios, apartments, and now in my home where I live with my wife and daughter, this trusty, beat-up old tape measure is the only tool that sits outside of the toolbox, right on my desk next to me at all times.