Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years you’ve seen or heard the name, Failsafe Goods. Owned and operated by Ryan Kibbee out of New Hampshire, with unique and intuitive designs that stand the test of time are only growing better with age. From the quality of different leathers, to the plethora of thread colors, you will not be disappointed with any piece you grab from this guy.
Weekly, Ryan grinds out many different wallets for end of the week drops and if you’re not paying attention or have your notifications on, you’ll surely miss out. Recently I picked up one of his newest wallets, the SnapJack. I couldn’t tell you the leather he used on it because he uses all different types and colors, but this one is a beautiful dark brown leather with Kelly green stitching. He has two versions of this wallet, I went with the one that also had a coin slot. There’s enough room in here to hold at least 8 cards and has room for half folded cash all while snapping closed to hold it all in.
The SnapJack is as rugged as it comes. I’ve had it in the pocket for about 2 weeks and it’s already started to get a beautiful patina to it, with no signs of wear anywhere else.
I also picked up a custom organizer wallet to hold my Victorinox Tinker and a small flashlight without sacrificing pocket space, it also holds a mini notebook and a few cards. It’s a great piece to carry when you can’t really carry a big knife, or if you’re going to an event where a regular folding knife would just be silly, but you need something to cut your cheesecake with. This is made of the same leather and thread as my SnapJack and I must say the build quality on this is damn near flawless, I honestly have no complaints about anything I’ve purchased from Ryan.
FailSafe Goods got its start sometime around 2012 when the logo was born. Ryan explained it so well, so here is the explanation in his words;
“Logo artwork I originally created in 2012 or so during a period where my father was ill and dying. The design is a nod to him and each part of it represents a place of strong significance from times we shared there as well as the absolute more positive/happy memories of my childhood
I think of it as a kind of memory totem and tribute to family. The anchor represents a campground in Maine we used to go every summer. There is a massive anchor of this style atop a hill there. It’s large enough that one can climb it and swing from it.
This is where I drew the name “failsafe” from, as this style of anchor is a kedge anchor which I understand to be a sort of secondary or back up anchor for large ships should the primary break. The anchor becomes a fail-safe anchor I guess you could say. The symbolism and metaphor of an anchor as being dependable and sturdy and steadfast I felt really suited what I wanted my work to convey.
Below the anchor are a pair of skis crossing a canoe paddle. The skis represent my family cabin where I go as often as possible. This place has a lot to do with what and who I am. Above the door when you enter the cabin are a pair of wooden skis that belonged to my grandfather who built the cabin - he skied for the US during WW2 in the 10th Mt. Division in the Alps.
Lastly the paddle represents a friends lake cottage where I spend many summers fishing and swimming and exploring the woods. This location is full of wonderful memories from my childhood and is also quite significant as a location and ties into the logo as it was the last place I spent with my dad before he became sick… when he was still just my dad. Once he became ill it’s like he was kind of a different person in a way.
I put the images together in a sort of skull and crossbones arrangement… cause it’s fun and I just thought it would look good. I’ve been really pleased with how others have found connections to it in one way or another. It’s a happy accident that it became my logo and that it resonates with people so well.”
So it’s not just a cool logo stamped into a piece of leather. It’s a part of Ryan and his family. That’s what you get with each piece he creates. Sure they may look similar, but each and every piece that he makes has its own character, it’s own little piece of Ryan. That’s what makes them such amazing pieces.
If you’ve followed my instagram journey at all you’ll know my love of the brand. It’s almost daily that I have some kind of FailSafe Goods piece in my pocket, whether it’s a beautifully crafted wallet, a coin slip, or that beautiful custom journal cover he made for me. I believe I currently own about 12 or 13 different FailSafe Goods pieces. I’m not addicted, you’re addicted…
The quality of craftsmanship he puts into every piece is astounding and he is always looking for new ways to design pieces. The leather he uses is top notch and his designs are some of the best I’ve seen out there. Do yourself a favor, and if you don’t have one yet, be sure to get in on one of his drops. Get yourself a wallet or coin slip from FailSafe Goods, you won’t be disappointed!