We’ve been big fans of what our friends at Finn Utility have been doing for years now. The rustic look of their goods is a subtle blend innovation and fly fishing heritage, harkening back to the early days of modern fly fishing. The brand hails from the mountains of Vermont and their designs are steeped in New England style, perfect for anyone looking to stand out from the tech-material clad crowd. Their gear is bulletproof, well-designed and hand-made in the USA out of waxed cotton, leather, and other heritage materials. We sat down with their founders, Ryan and Jake, to talk more about their design process and what sets Finn apart!
Shop our entire Finn collection here
Postfly: Tell us a little bit about where Finn is from and the inception of the company?
Finn: At first we were like a two-headed snake spitting flesh-eating bacteria out of one head and heart loving energy from the other, we couldn’t get a balance between the two. It was time to pick a side and stick with it. Letting go of the corporate job and creating a brand around a sport we enjoy was a game-changer. It’s been 6 years, and we love what we do in our little Vermont design-build studio.
Postfly: What draws you to the heritage look of your gear?
Finn: We don’t have the machinery to produce Peak Design or Osprey bags. Here in the USA construction can be a limiting factor. You can achieve simpler designs like Topo or Vedavoo, and we do this with Finn. the heritage thing is a catch-22 – no one wants to be old and dusty, but at the same time we believe our choice in materials has a way of slowing you down and helping you relax.
Postfly: What is your design process like for new products?
Finn: Making a new product is awesome – it’s why we do what we do. Our process is not always a linear path. Sometimes it’s inside out and upside down. Trial and error with a twist and some testing, maybe even a blood knot?
Postfly: Sustainability is definitely a buzzword in the outdoor industry, what is Finn’s approach to this?
Finn: There are two ways to look at sustainability. Make something that lasts forever so you never need another one (our model) or make something that melts back into the earth. Both are good, and we prefer the former.
Postfly: You have been in the fly fishing market for the past 5 years, have you branched out into other product lines?
Finn: Jake and I both have a deep family history of hunting and fishing in NE – so yeah, that market is a no brainer. Being in Vermont there is a huge foodie thing going on. We both forage for mushrooms and wild edibles in the spring and summer, selling part of what we harvest to local restaurants. Inevitably we end up rubbing elbows with amazing cooks and meeting awesome people, plus we love cooking ourselves. So why not make some aprons or a knife roll?
Postfly: What is next for Finn Utility in 2020?
Finn: Finn is still a wicked niche brand. We still want to grow our market and also branch out to new ones i.e. cooking and upland game hunting. Sales and developing a rep team that believes in, and can show, our line to more fly shops would be awesome.
Shop our entire Finn collection here.
Dan Zazworsky’s passion is sharing his love of fly fishing with anyone that will listen, read or watch. You can find him exploring new waters every day while chasing any fish that will eat a fly!
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