The Kaufmann-Mercantile website looks like a world I’d love to live in. It’s rustic. It’s country inspired. If it were a product, it looks like it would be made out of wood and metal, rather than cheap plastic.
Kaufmann-Mercantile strives to provide a broad swath of products at good value by being curators of best products possible, in one place. “I’m interested to find the best product for myself, whether it’s a coffee maker, a garden pruner, a towel or a drinking glass, says founder Sebastian Kaufmann, “But it’s impossible for each individual to do this research. So voila— we do that heavy lifting for you.” How exactly does Kaufmann-Mercantile do the heavy lifting for you? They thoroughly research everything they sell, they share their research with you, and they only sell the most durable, and highest quality products.
The categories of products you can buy range from office and grooming, to kitchen and garden. It looks like a site for the camper, the traveler, or the owner of a cabin in the woods. It looks like a site for someone who gets their shoes repaired rather than throwing them out. It looks like a site for someone who would have their garden sheers sharpened, so that they may pass it down to the next generation in their family. In fact, you can order a pair of Japanese made garden clippers that are meant for just that.
“Most retail shops just throw massive products at you and have you do the choosing,” says Sebastian.
Tajika Haruo ironworks is one brand featured on Kaufmann-Mercantile site. The father son team at Tajika Haruo are continuing the tradition started in the early 20th century. Each pair of clippers is hand forged, tempered, shaped, and sharpened by either Takeo or Daisuke. The raw Japanese steel is unpolished, with a leather sheath and strap for a simple, sturdy look. How do I know this? I know this because Kaufmann-Mercantile does the research and puts the story on their site. With each product you know what you are buying, and you know it will last. You can read about the history of the product, learn about the use and care, as well as the production and design.
Kaufmann-Mercantile takes all this research they do, and they compile it into a library of references. Around this library, users are able to comment or start conversations. The site also has a unique section called “Field Notes.” Field Notes aren’t products at all, but rather a collection of essays ranging from city guides, to recipes, to tips on how to do urban composting. Each product has related Field Notes attached to it. So if you order that canvas bag, you can read a Field Note on canvas production. If you order that charcoal pencil set, you can read a Field note on handwriting or papermaking.
Through the careful research, selection and testing of products, Kaufmann-Mercantile is able to offer a small quantity of quality products. Products like handmade garden clippers from Japan come with a history of the product as well as related Field Notes so you can feel good about the product you buy and learn something new in the process. You really should browse the beauty on the website or get lost in the Field Notes of Kaufmann-Mercantile.