When I landed in Portland I was greated by a staple, the carpet. Something reminiscent of my grade school portraits of the early 90s. It’s the most iconic part of PDX by far.
Outside awaiting was Akbar Chisti, Co-Founder of Seamus, in the great white Seamus express. We’d get familiar with the confines of the SUV as we would traverse from one corner of Oregon to the other and back in a sprint to document something special. But more on that for another time ...
Our first stop was a breakfast served all day spot. The location Akbar and his wife, Meghan, would meet weekly while they day dreamed up what would evolve into Seamus. Over countless cups of coffee and perhaps a plate or two of smoked corned beef brisket (amazing). A fitting start to our journey and oddly enough one of our grander ideas also set its roots in here.
After lunch we made a run out to Oregon Leather Company. From the first day and until now Akbar makes weekly trips to pick hides and find inspiration. Family owned and operated since 1908 the place harkens back to another era. We worked our way deep into the belly where you can find an entrance to some historically significant tunnels... they blocked them off.
Next stop was to see Lyle. He works out of an old oil change and car shop turned into the metal fab shop and forgery that has turned out some of the most badass (eloquent terminology) golf products in the business. Lyle is a quiet guy with a mind that just seems to understand how to convert Akbar’s mind into three dimensional metal designs. If you've seen the recent Master's bottle opener then you understand. I don't even drink and I want one!
We then swung past the same store that Akbar and Team have visited for years to find material to inspire their iconic headcovers - Pendleton. I may have found the same pattern my Vans X Pendleton COLLAB footwear was made from and pondered the idea of an entire outfit. HMMM? Rows and rows of fabric seem to pull out the creative juices and it wasn't more than five minutes before Akbar spotted a pattern that could potentially become one of their coolest pieces when paired with some other influences picked up along Akbar's travels.
Last stop was to the Seamus HQ to meet the team and see the process. Even towards the end of the day the place was buzzing. Sewing, cutting, embroidery, and embossing all happening as I whisk around snapping photos and looking here and there. The vibrant space goes non stop churning out orders and creating one offs right and left. The team was friendly as you'd imagine and super tolerate as I just started firing off photos. As soon as you open the doors you can feel the creativty pouring out.
When Seamus says hand crafted in Oregon, they mean it. They make everything by hand to order. Something lost in this day in age especially in golf. When you grab a headcover or pouch they hand make it for you . Something worth supporting! It’s interesting to see where they source their material and how that has not change much at all since the inception of the company. Despite rapid growth and the logistical hurdles that come with it they’ve stayed true to themselves. Far and Sure.