The process matters. Creating each product by hand allows us to quickly make improvements to the process. Some improvements take months to implement, like changing the 3D tools with print. Other improvements, like moving the layout around to decrease the length of transportation, is achieved in a matter of minutes. The better we get at what we do, the better we can serve our community.
The origin of any great brand starts with a great story and a great product. Think of the Volkswagen Beetle, or the Bic Crystal, or Kraft Mac & Cheese dinners. These were unpretentious products that made cars, ballpoint pens, and fast dinners accessible to everyone. The first 100 bracelets Luke stamped out in the garage sold like hotcakes, cementing our line of Original bracelets as the way to encourage anyone. All bracelets are made by our team of artisans in the Dominican Republic!
Remember Play-Doh factories? We push logs of clay through an extruder to create long coils of clay just like your kids do. These are dried to a specific hardness before they are ready to cut to size.
2. STAMP & PUNCH
The team takes these coils and uses our custom jigs to create the bracelet shape. The jig stamps the word and cuts the bracelet to size, all in one motion. Then they clean the edges and punch two holes into the bracelet.
3. FIRST FIRING
Unfired bracelets are dried until they are “bone dry.” They are then placed in the kiln and fired overnight to 1,800 degrees.
In 2009, when Luke first opened the garage, he had two materials: a box of clay and a stamp set. Passed down from Luke’s grandmother, this stamp set (far left) is more valuable to us than gold. This specific font is the basis for all of our inspirational bracelets and our logo. We use 3D printing technology to create several sizes of our stamp set font (near left) to accommodate as many customizations as possible!
The fired bracelets, now in a “bisque” form, are washed in a brown underglaze. The team glazes them quickly so they turn the correct shade of brown.
Once the glaze is dry, the bracelets are lined up in a glaze wipe jig. The window of the jig allows only the glaze on the face of the bracelet to be wiped off.
6. SECOND FIRING
Finally, the bracelets are fired a second time to about 2,167 degrees. Once they cool they are ready for the Halyard team.
Originally conceived as part of our Makers Kit: Friendships Beads project in 2018, the Viona took on a vibrant life of its own. The Viona bracelet is an homage to Mrs. Viona Brown, an elementary art teacher in Indiana. This simple project inspired Luke to live his life as an artist and a maker, eventually leading to the creation of MudLOVE! When we discontinued the Makers Kit, the Viona stayed and is the perfect addition to any arm party. Vionas are woven exclusively in the Dominican Republic