How to Split Wood, Shuck Oysters, and Master Other Simple Pleasures

How to Split Wood, Shuck Oysters, and Master Other Simple Pleasures

Regular price $24.95
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A trusty companion for the slow and thoughtful home and the inner utilitarian in us all, The Kaufmann Mercantile Guide: How to Split Wood, Shuck an Oyster and Master Other Simple Pleasures allows you to experience the singular satisfaction of doing it yourself. Each project, whether caring for cast iron or planting with the seasons, is supplemented with expert tips to inspire and empower. Organized into five sections—Kitchen, Outdoors, Home, Gardening, and Grooming—the comprehensive guide features detailed instructions and original artwork for tasks both simple, such as brewing the perfect cup of coffee, and exploratory, such as fording a stream and reading the sky. Accompanying the how-tos are tried-and-true products selected from the Kaufmann Mercantile store that not only help one get the job done but are also a joy to use. 

As editors Alexandra Redgrave and Jessica Hundley describe in the introduction, "This book began out of a curiosity for how we grow, build, and craft the world around us. We discovered that there's an art to a simple task done well - it calls for consideration and creativity, the rolling up of sleeves, and the digging into of details. It means getting messy, and, perhaps, messing up. In our world of modern convenience, doing it yourself is immensely rewarding. And so, consider the book in your hands as a starting point. We hope you, like us, find inspiration in these pages to experiment, to investigate, to create, and to enlighten your everyday."

Learn more about our story & goods

handcrafted and curated right here in Upstate NY

All of our leather goods are handmade by The Local Branch out of our Upstate NY homestead workshop, which is just 7 miles from our brick + mortar shop in the charming Finger Lakes village of Skaneateles NY.

We started our leather working journey as transplants to Northern CA from Upstate NY in our early twenties. It was 2009, and hunting for a creative job seemed near impossible during the recession - so we started our own thing, and called it The Local Branch. With very little resources at first, we dabbled in leather working using scrap pieces of hides and a found-on-the-side-of-the-road sewing machine. The very first piece Blaine created was a leather holster, made for his phone and wallet. From there our leather working journey began.

At the same time we began printing apparel with a focus on nature, travel and American history. We stretched our own screens, painting each design by hand and lovingly printed every piece ourselves - a process which is very true to form today. We source all of our blank apparel items in the USA, which has always been our beacon for our brand.

We eventually decided to take this hobby brand into our full time venture. We renovated an Airstream trailer and turned it into our mobile workshop, touring America full time for over two years. We sold our goods at festivals, craft shows and online, as well as wholesale to many shops throughout the USA, Canada and Japan. After landing some of our goods in a few major retailers, we decided to slow down and keep the ethos and vision for the brand to small, local and handcrafted.

Still today Blaine and Mackenzie steer the ship - keeping everything small + handcrafted.

Handcrafted Leather Goods

Shop our assortment of leather goods, made by us in our Upstate NY workshop

Screenprinted Apparel

Each design is handpainted and printed by us on USA made apparel