Living alone in Los Angeles and working from home, Gear Mat's founder spent many months toiling with a combination of artistic mediums to pass the time. Boiling wood in the kitchen, stirring concrete in the living room. It was the fusion of unlike materials that intrigued him - concrete with glass; liquids, magnets, wood, and more. Over time the juxtaposition of leather with contemporary industrial design became of most interest. A long time camera collector, he began fashioning rudimentary skins for his equipment seeking a way to seamlessly unite these two 'opposite art forms' as he saw them.
Leaving the lull of Los Angeles behind for the unknown of New York, the work was left unfinished. But as the idea resonated, the means to accomplish it diminished under the weight of the big apple. There was no more space, no more tools, and no more time. Ultimately he found a solution under these new constraints, one of simplicity and functionality shaped by the ethos of New York City itself.
He began to carry a dollar bill sized piece of scrap leather in his back pocket. Pairing it with his phones and cameras, it supplanted the need for bags and cases and preserved the beauty of his objects in their original form. Uniting the two while maintaining their independence had finally created the relationship between the mediums he sought.
He was surprised to see that relationship evolve, from the mat and the gear, to the gear and himself. With nothing between them, the interaction was true and unbound to all the senses. After using the first gear mat for over a year it was these experiences that would later shape the mission, vision, and values of the company.
After discovering that an old friend from art school had been spending his days handcrafting leather goods, the two began searching for a new form for the leather that would be on par with its function. Many prototypes and a few hundred emails later, Gear Mat™ was born.
- explorations of opposing mediums (2013 - 2015) that inspired Gear Mat -