When we first started our business we wanted to produce domestically as both a means to employ workers at home and make our operations more efficient. Hence, we scoured the web and contacted over 20 US leather goods manufacturers to see if they could craft our wallets. To our dismay, we quickly realized that only manufacturers abroad could produce our goods given the techniques and machinery needed to craft our wallets. At that point we were in a dilemma, and had to ask ourselves- "Do we produce abroad or scratch this whole recess idea?"

Our fear at the time was that producing abroad would be a metaphorical "Scarlett Letter" on our business, since overseas manufacturing has become nearly synonymous with being anti-American. Therefore, you can imagine our hesitation with manufacturing abroad. But, we couldn’t give up the idea of recess because we believed deep within our bones that we had a great product, and we could make a difference.

So we decided with trepidation, that if we were going to start recess and rely on overseas production, we were going to do it the right way. But, “what is the right way?” we asked ourselves. To us, it meant finding partners who buy into our dream of raising the standard of living for all workers who come into contact with our goods. It meant, personally staying at the factory during production to ensure that workers are treated ethically. It meant, becoming friends with the people crafting our goods, and seeing them as people and not machines. It meant, developing a long-term vision to one day produce domestically, and own our own factory abroad once we have enough working capital. These are just a few examples in what we consider doing things the right way, and we’re still working to become even better global citizens.

Ultimately, we take great pride in ensuring that our products are ethically and responsibly produced. And through the process of building recess, we've come to realize that the notion of all production abroad = bad, and all production in the US = good is overly simplistic and naive. From our perspective there is no "Red Country or Blue Country, but a United World", and it’s our responsibility to help others where we can.

Love,
Team Recess

p.s. This is a great TED talk on this topic.

https://www.ted.com/talks/leslie_t_chang_the_voices_of_china_s_workers

One of our favorite shows of all time is Seinfeld. I'm sure you remember George's exploding wallet. While this was a hilarious episode and it was fun to laugh at the ridiculous size of George's wallet, it is sadly a truth for many people walking among us today - friends, colleagues, boyfriends, girlfriends, etc. There is scientific proof (if you count Seinfeld) that large, stuffed wallets are bad for your health. They can cause back pain, a feeling of unbalance, as well as stress from not being able to find random items from the deep caverns of your wallet like that receipt for the warranty on your old block Nokia phone from 1997. The recess team thinks its time to take the leap and downsize. There's no good reason to carry around all of that extra weight. This could happen to you, but it doesn't have to. Check out our Kickstarter campaign to battle the bulge.

<3,

team recess

Inspiration

June 21, 2014

1 comment

There's recently been a backlash against "geniuses" and their innate ability to reach the top of their crafts based on pure talent. Malcolm Gladwell popularized the now proverbial 10,000 hours rule, which claims you need at least 10,000 hours to master a skill. Additionally, he pointed out that confidence derived from repetition and opportunity play an integral part in the development of successful "geniuses". i.e. His example on hockey players... While it may be true that development of successful "geniuses" requires a great deal of work, practice, and training, popular thought based on this cultural meme is now beginning to discount the value of innate talent.

Sometimes it's hard to swallow the fact that others are simply more talented than the rest of us. Take Lebron James. Love him or hate him, no matter how much blood, sweat, and tears the average man puts in they are not going to be Lebron James. Sometimes, there are people who walk the Earth that are simply naturals at what they do; Babe Ruth with the bat, Michael Jackson with his otherworldly body control, and Bobby Fischer on the chessboard.

These geniuses inspire us at recess to be the best versions of ourselves, and to maximize what very little talent we do possess. So look out for new upcoming pieces inspired by geniuses, and remember that sometimes there are people who are just freaks of nature. With that, here's a little excerpt from "Amadeus", who's music still stands at the pinnacle of musical achievement, despite what the lovers of Avicii claim.

Denim & Wallets

June 16, 2014

0 comments

So many people easily spend upwards of $200+ on a pair of jeans these days. Raw, selvedge, skinny, straight, heavy... the list goes on and on. We all have a particular fit that works with our body type, and we know that it's an amazing feeling when we find a pair of jeans that fits jussst right. A problem we've noticed (particularly in men) is that carrying around such large and obnoxious wallets can alter the look and fit of the jeans you've spent so much of your hard-earned money on. 

Having a bulky wallet causes your denim to stress and bulge (not the good kind) in ways that alter the fit your jeans were made for. There are a couple of things one can do to reduce Wallet Bulge Syndrome (WBS):

1. Carry the essentials. So many people like to fit their lives in their wallets. No. Nope. No, don't do it. You don't need it! When was the last time you used that froyo card that only has 2 stamps? Exactly. You really only need a bit of cash, your ID, a couple of credit cards and one random (maybe a key card for work). Everything else is superfluous.

2. Thin it out. Now, if you are the type of person who likes to carry around hordes of coins in case you come across your favorite gum-ball machine and decide to go crazy, this won't apply. For everyone else, a thinner wallet is a great alternative to a thick one. For starters, it looks sleeker and cleaner. It looks much, much better in your pocket. Additionally, it won't take you 3 minutes of bumbling to get your wallet out when you're out and about (say, buying a round of drinks). Save yourself the time and embarrassment.

3. Buy the right denim. So many people buy jeans that they shouldn't be wearing. We all have strengths - work with yours. Having the right cut denim can be a big factor in how your wallet fits. Check out guides like this or this  to make the right decision when buying your next pair of jeans.

Good luck and look good in them jeans!

-team recess

Hey recess community!

We're super excited to be featured by the awesome blog JonnyMetBird! We're honored to be on their site alongside great brands like Nike, Oliver Peoples, and Generic Man (to name a few).

Stay tuned as we'll be launching on Kickstarter on June 17th at 9AM PDT! Click here to receive updates!

To read the article in its entirety click here.

team recess

re·cess
ˈrēˌses,riˈses/

Noun 
   
1.  the junction where work and play, responsibility and passion, productivity and enjoyment meet blurring boundaries whereby it becomes impossible to distinguish where one ceases and the other begins. (according to takerecess.com)




Welcome to the recess blog, which we have named r², where recess is no longer an abstract concept but a substantive daily experience. This platform will recognize a variety of recess experiences from within our community. But also, it will serve as a forum to discuss how to incorporate the philosophy of recess into our daily lives.  These essential matters are the foundation of our company culture and brand.

Back in grade school recess wasn't just a break from studying or learning, it was an essential part of the educational process. Along with relief from the monotony of textbooks, recess gave our minds a chance to process, refuel, and refresh. And it was at recess that we first began to hone the social skills we use today.

Recess was in fact an indispensible part of school.  If you enjoyed recess, you (by definition) enjoyed school. We feel recess should have followed us through grade school, high school and college, and into adulthood. This philosophy underlies the principle of our brand: as we take recess and nurture the key components of our everyday lives in which we find passion, enjoyment and solace, the benefits of recess will spill over into our lives. As a whole we will be happier, more productive, and more keen in observing the sweetness of life.   Please reply to this blog and let us know how you take recess.

 <3,

Team Recess