Peter Buchanan-Smith, the founder of Best Made Co. describes the brand as, “a window into the wilderness.” To Buchanan-Smith and COO Ben Lavely, the axes, first aid kits, prints, jackets, and countless other items that make up the BMC collection are meant to transport the customer from their office or apartment into the great outdoors, if only for a moment.
This notion of carrying shoppers away into the wilderness is what defines the brand’s White Street flagship. As one of downtown New York’s wealthiest neighborhoods TriBeCa is hardly the first place you’d assume a utilitarian outdoor brand would set up shop, but for Best Made, the location fulfills their ultimate goal. Once inside the shop, which opened just about a year ago, the urbanscape that lies on the other side of the door seems to slip away, and you’re transported, at least mentally, into the wild.
Practicality prevails at Best Made and everything, including the posters, guidebooks, and even the clothes are described as “tools.” Whether they’re meant to make your life easier, educate you on the outdoors, or protect you from the elements, each piece that’s on display at Best Made has been either crafted or selected with function in mind. The space even functions as a workshop where educators teach courses on everything from cast-iron cooking to treating wounds in the field. The lines between art and instrument are blurred constantly as you walk the floor, as each resting product looks like it could be a sculpture, until you pick it up and realize that’s it a multi-function tool that’s been meticulously designed for an outdoor excursion.
On the steel board by the door hangs a series of maps and images that embody the brand’s aesthetic, alongside a small collection of thank you notes that BMC has collected over the years. Ben points to one in particular, a handwritten letter by the staff of True Value hardware store praising BMC for their dedication to high-quality products with a real purpose. What that purpose is different to each person, but that’s the secret behind BMC’s success. Best Made is quite literally just giving their customers the tools to guide their own adventures.