Our 5 Favorite Micro-businesses of 2022
As 2022 draws to a close, we'd like to shout out some of our fellow micro-brands and manufacturers that have inspired us the most this year. Not only with stellar product design, but with innovative thinking, entertaining social media, and cool ideas. Give them a look but be warned, they all sell out of their products very fast!
Kaventsmann Watches is a Germany based, one man shop created by Michael Fernandez specializing in ultra high pressure rated watches (some of these watches were tested with, and can survive, a C4 explosion!). I personally fell in love with their Triggerfish line, with the off-angled crown and sleek "sandwich" design. Unfortunately Michael has recently announced that he will no longer be making watches, so we wish him the best in his future ventures.
Instagram: Kaventsmann Watch Co.
I've followed Canada based Curt Van Filipowski since his "concrete lathe" days (YouTube that) and it has been fun following along over the years as he's turned Confounded Machine into a pen biz. His attention to the most minuscule detail is astronomical and the quality of his pen's shows it, achieving amazing quality in even tough materials like titanium. He also shares a lot of behind the scenes work that goes into making everything, which is very fun. I was fortunate enough to snag one for myself this year, and it is by far the most satisfying bolt action pen I've used.
Anicorn is the Hong Kong based brain child of Joe Kwan and Chris Chan, specializing in unique design, typography, and partnering with other great designers. While Anicorn is the biggest business on this list (maybe even too big to be called a "micro-business," but we're not picky) the amount of inspiration and influence that they have had on us this year is proportional to and beyond their size. Their product drop of the Anicorn x Kojima Productions x NASA watch and mask collection truly impressed us, inspiring me not only with it's phenomenal design choices, but business-wise as well.
Instagram: Anicorn Watches
Michael Roger and Mattia Caramel, two creators co-working from opposite sides of the Atlantic (Canada and Italy, respectively), create very cool customizable keyboards. Their keyboards are designed to create macros, custom controls, and other things to speed up your applications and creative processes. With modular design and creative essence at their core, they are a must see for digital creators. Oh, and we can't forget to mention that they look absolutely beautiful!
Iron Forest Knives
Iron Forest Knife and Tool is a one man band shop based in Edmund, Oklahoma. While I'm a sucker for prybar type knives like their Jack Multi Tool, Iron Forest goes beyond that with versatile survival style utility and mounting configurations (hatchet, machete, saw, etc). But the thing we like the most of theirs is actually their packaging! Their laser cut Kraft sliders over wood carriers are so nice, simple, and beautiful. (Especially the cutout window on the Remex tools)
Thanks for reading! Companies are listed in no particular order. All images are pulled from their respective Instagram accounts.