Quick Q&A with Benjamin Heath

As part of our upcoming Adventure Project series this summer, we will be working with several select collaborators to take This is Ground on the road with them as they travel the world.
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We’d been following the work of Benjamin Heath on Instagram for a while, marveling at all the dreamy landscapes and being inspired by his intimate portraits when suddenly, up on our feed popped a photo of our Cordito Cord Wrap. It’s always an honor to have your products appreciated by those who inspire you and so when we were thinking of who to include in our Adventure Project, Ben was a no-brainer; He epitomizes our modern day adventurer. We asked him a few quick questions while he was on the road in Scotland and we look forward to seeing where he goes next!

 

Hi Ben, I feel like every time I check Instagram you’re somewhere new. Where are you today? And where are you off to next?

Hi! Today I am in Glencoe Scotland. Next I’m headed to Isle of Skye for a few days and then Barcelona.

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What can’t you travel without?

I can’t travel without a camera. Big, small, film, digital – I have to have something to photo with.

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We were excited to be included in your travel bag for Nairobi. Can you tell me a little about your time in Kenya and your work for Water.org?

Yes! That was an incredibly fulfilling experience. I was fortunate to be asked by Water to help with a project telling stories about the impact of fresh water systems in rural Kenya to help raise awareness for World Water Day. I’m proud to have been part of the project and the new perspectives it brought me and, hopefully, others.

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Who are your favorite photographers? 

Alex Webb and Bruce Davidson have been my favorites for awhile. I also love Philip-Lorca diCorcia.

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ph: Philip-Lorca diCorcia

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ph: Bruce Davidson

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ph: Alex Webb

Film or digital?

Both! Whatever I’m in the mood for. I’ve been using film for a lot of my personal work lately.

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Portraiture or landscape?

Portraits. I love taking photos of people.

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Follow @benjaminheath on Instagram

The Mod, A Case for your Unique Life

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photo by @charlesriccardi

The Mod is a full design system – not a singular item. It’s a new space to stow and carry items that are in your life. The concept was inspired by those old vintage portfolios that allowed for tricking out the interior with phone books, pencils, notebooks and little things. The Mod takes that concept and updates it with respect to modern day gear and today’s adventurer. ‘Mod’ifiable means you’re covered for your day job, after hours, weekends, alter ego, and dreams.

The modern day adventurer is leading a seriously interesting life. They have a day job, they blog, they shoot photos from their mobile, they have a bunch of people waiting for their next Instagram and VSCO Grid shot, they draw, they invent, they take up less space, they’re trying to be more organized, they’re looking for that next destination or AirBnB to travel to to snap some great pics, they’re leading double and triple lives, they’re thrill seekers, they’re designers, they’re educators, they’re flying solo, they have kids and or pets, they make music, they make love, they drink a lot of cold brew, they get their news from Vice, they laugh their asses off, they have 5 jobs but outsource 3 of them, they’re homeless yet living in luxury, they’re artists, they’re connoisseurs, they’re lifestylers, they’re poets, they’re all of us and more.

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Mods from the 60′s were also interesting, but this isn’t all about them.

Our brainstorm & sketches led us to departing from the nostalgic yet not-so pretty three ring binder and instead we chose to include seamless magnets to hold different leather inserts based on the user’s needs. The vegetable tanned leather shell is designed to handle core universal items – phone, a tablet, cords, cards, stylus, and of course the Pencil by FiftyThree.

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Once Nisha started prototyping from sketches, we tested and tested which led to six iterations before we reached a final prototype.

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Our observations and refinements were about ergonomics, safety, gender, size, psychology, beauty, peace of mind and a whole bunch of other factors that we love to obsess and debate on. We reached a point where it was ready to share over social media to see the reaction and invite people to help us test it out. We were really excited when interest started to come through, not only from how many expressed interest but how interesting the people that were interested appeared to be.

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As far as my personal testing goes, I am excited to finally have a case that has all my stuff (big and small) that I can carry in one hand. While deliberately unisex, it is exciting that guys have another option in a world where their aren’t a lot of options for guys. That said, with a simple switch of how it’s carried, it becomes quite cute and feminine.

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jpeg-4jpeg-8 jpeg-7For me,  the most exciting part about the Mod (and the reason I called it a system earlier) is the modification the inserts possess. We’ll be launching with a bunch of inserts that are designed with specific people in mind. Kind of like Breakfast Club. There’s one for the musician, the artist, the writer, the prom queen, the photographer, the jock, the camper, and a few others.

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We’re still working out the pricing and a few other details but will be releasing the whole story soon.

For the latest on the Mod release date and availability, sign up here: http://bit.ly/mod-signup

And the challenge.. We have 4 Mods that we’re giving out to test. To enter, just make sure we have your email address which you should’ve entered on your way into this post (if not reload). Then simply publicly share this blog post (link: http://bitly.com/modstory) on your favorite social site (IG, Tumblr, Twitter, etc) and make sure you tag with #tigmod #thisisground. We will run until Sunday when we’ll pick our last batch of testers, announce it here on the blog post. Good luck!

@macadaan @thisisground

Store Visit with TENOVERSIX

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We stopped by one of our favorite LA boutiques, TENOVERSIX this week to drop off some shiny new products and check out their selection of summer goods. We love their beautifully curated space and forward-thinking selection of clothes, accessories and other goods– and not just because we’re stocked there! We’re in good company with womenswear from APC, Opening Ceremony and Jasmin Shokrian, ceramics by Jessica Hans and Ben Medansky and a fantastic selection of reading material.

The store feels part shop, part gallery space (especially with the beautiful paintings by Lola Rose Thompson up on the walls). If you haven’t been, stop in!

8425 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90069

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Our Knick Knack Nachos, Cord Tacos and Charles Pencil Case on display.

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Our New Studio / Ground Tour

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At the beginning of April, we moved to a new working studio space in the Marion R. Grey building in downtown Los Angeles. Originally in Unit 306 of this 1920′s building named after men’s shirting and necktie producer, Marion Grey, we quickly outgrew the space (as we did only a few months earlier from our founder, Mike Macadaan’s downtown loft) and now occupy Unit 300.

With twice the space, we’ve expanded our fulfillment team and work area, brought in a sewing machine and leather skiver to execute prototyping in house, set up a photo studio and created a small showroom space. Exciting times ahead for This is Ground (and not just because our building lies on the Puente Hills fault line…).

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As always, we have our trusty Goodyear blimp flying overhead.

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Our new space gives us a prime, bird’s eye view of Los Angeles Street in the heart of the Los Angeles fashion district and the rapidly revitalizing Downtown scene. We took a short tour of our surroundings to capture some of the iconic signage and check out fun new spots in the neighborhood.

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blog (9 of 23)The Orpheum Theater 

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Acne Studios & ilcaffé

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blog (5 of 23)Ace Hotel

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