Welcome to the first installment of Paraphernalia, a profile of the men and the gear behind some of our favorite brands. Each month, we’re taking you behind the curtain to get a glimpse into what made these brands what they are today – and the essentials that helped them get there. First up is Bart Kyzar of boutique bag and apparel manufacturer Mission Workshop.
Mission Workshop is not a new brand to loyal Cool Material readers. In fact, we’ve featured their high quality, artistically engineered products more than once. We took some time to sit down with Bart Kyzar, the proverbial captain of the ship, to see what makes Mission tick.
After over a decade of turning Chrome into the brand most commonly seen on traffic dodging bike messengers, Bart decided it was time to change things up – so he left. The creative forces eventually got the better of him, and the one time fireman had a new mission other than surfing tropical waters – Mission Workshop.
Along with a group of friends and colleagues – and armed with nothing more than a desire to explore new ideas and directions (and the freedom to finally do it) and a handful of power tools – he set about creating the functionally beautiful bags with the mechanical aspects he loves. Building a home away from home where you can bring your creations to life requires a few simple things – namely great bars and Mexican food. Eventually this led them to a decrepit structure in the Mission district of San Francisco. After spending several months gutting and rebuilding, the brand that would drink crisp, extra hoppy IPAs – Mission Workshop – was born.
On the road to an expanding market in Europe (including a summer showroom in Brussels), Mission – and the man behind it – has acquired quite an impressive collection of gear. The man from Mission – who’s on a mission – only needs a few essentials to get him through the day… but Mission Workshop itself needs a collection of its own to keep it running. Here are the things (other than the beers they crack while working 5-7) that keep the well oiled machine – and the man behind it – running:
I got these for a winter trip to the Netherlands and now wear them nearly every day. They are waterproof, super comfortable and stylish enough to wear out if need be. ~ wolverine.com
If you could only have one surfboard this is it. The Dominator made by Firewire will work in any surf except the really big days. ~ Firewire Dominator
Dune Buggy Cologne
Very difficult to find and only for special occasions.
Mission Workshop Vandal Backpack: The Vandal is my daily companion. I use it for work, travel, grocery shopping and everything in between. Its expansion capability has gotten me out of many difficult situations. ~ Mission Workshop Vandal
The Seiko SKX173 automatic dive watch. I bought this when I was fourteen years old. It’s the oldest possession I own, has taken countless abuse and keeps running perfectly. ~ Seiko SKX173
1923 Glass Globe
1923 Glass globe with an internal light. This is an integral tool whenever we’re planning the next location for one of our events or stores.
This is the Polaroid we break out for special events. The film is getting very difficult to find.
One of the sewing machines from the collection. This is a 1918 Singer.
A miniature Vulcan child’s sewing machine. Works perfectly. These were popular in the 50s.
This is an ink drawing I bought at a local art show. The phrase “and the expanse refused to end” seemed appropriate.
Another machine from the collection. This is a White Rotary from the 50s and sews like a dream.
Thanks to Bart, Rob and everyone else at Mission Workshop that helped put this together. Check out Mission Workshop to stay up to date on the newest bags and apparel from the company that designs like Apple and engineers like NASA.