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Geoffrey and Valerie Franklin's Profile

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Hi, I'm Geoffrey Franklin. I'm an 8th generation Oregonian, born and raised in Beaverton and Weston, Oregon. I graduated from the University of Oregon Architecture School.

I run Walnut Studiolo with my wife, Valerie. I design and craft all the products, and Valerie runs the business side, with the help of our small but growing team.

I started Walnut Studiolo in October 2009 because I wanted leather accessories for my bikes (a custom Renovo original wood frame: www.renovobikes.com and my dad's old Bianchi that went on the Seattle-to-Portland (STP) that I had powder-coated in classic cream and brown) but I couldn't find anything like I wanted. So I decided to make my own, and Valerie decided to post them on Etsy to see what would happen.

We had a few sales, and then we held a table in…

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  • Born on October 17
  • Joined October 10, 2009

Favorite materials

Leather, wood, bicycle, and love

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About

Hi, I'm Geoffrey Franklin. I'm an 8th generation Oregonian, born and raised in Beaverton and Weston, Oregon. I graduated from the University of Oregon Architecture School.

I run Walnut Studiolo with my wife, Valerie. I design and craft all the products, and Valerie runs the business side, with the help of our small but growing team.

I started Walnut Studiolo in October 2009 because I wanted leather accessories for my bikes (a custom Renovo original wood frame: www.renovobikes.com and my dad's old Bianchi that went on the Seattle-to-Portland (STP) that I had powder-coated in classic cream and brown) but I couldn't find anything like I wanted. So I decided to make my own, and Valerie decided to post them on Etsy to see what would happen.

We had a few sales, and then we held a table in December 2009 at BikePortland.org's BikeCraft Fair. The favorable press we received from BikePortland.org and the subsequent roastings we received fom BikeSnobNYC put us on the bicycling community's radar, and our business started growing from there.

I designed several more bicycle products in 2010, working one-on-one with several customers to design functional new products. I worked with Tim in Seattle for a long time developing leather polo mallet holders, which we listed on Etsy for several months, until one day, inspiration struck, and I realized I could use the polo mallet holder to hold a six-pack to the top tube. Necessity is the mother of invention! I changed the listing from polo mallet holder to six-pack frame cinch, and word spread like wildfire! We were appreciative and amazed at the response after several big write-ups on the six-pack frame cinch, including Uncrate.com and Gizmodo.com! The six-pack frame cinch is one of our most popular items now.

Later, inspiration struck again and I started designing a few other products. First, the cribbage belt: a cribbage board and a belt in one. Then I worked with a friend to design a leather blueprint tube. And at a "beer science night" at the local children's science museum, demonstrating my design for a leather six-pack to go with the frame cinch, I worked with brewers to design the 4-pack, one of the few carriers out there for homebrewers and 22oz bottles.

Bicycle accessories are my core focus but I love good design, as an architecture student, and I loved learning how to work leather as a new medium. Eventually I also started enjoying the juxtaposition of leather and wood. In these products, I'm expressing my love for good design, architectural concepts, and natural materials in products that I would want to use myself...and I do use myself. I field-test all my products until I'm comfortable with them before listing them on our shop.

My goal is to make high-quality, beautiful, durable, and most of all functional solutions to everyday problems. Thank you for buying local and handmade. I put my heart in everything I make.

For more about us, check out these write-ups and interviews:
- Etsy Featured Seller http://www.etsy.com/featured_seller.php?featured_user_id=8236526
- Portland Bazaar Featured Vendor http://portlandbazaar.com/vendor-spotlights-walnut/
- BikePortland's BikeCraft Fair Featured Vendor http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZ0CT82_sFU
- Interview with NEVERMIND http://www.nevermindau.com/?p=504

My other venture:
Originally trained as an architect, I also practice architecture with my partner, Doug Ouderkirk. Check out our work at www.walnutarchitecture.com.

ALSO:

Check out our latest news and pictures on our Facebook page

Follow us on Twitter (@walnutstudiolo)

Follow me (/walnutstudiolo) or Valerie (/vsfranklin) on Pinterest

Check out more photography on our Flickr page: www.flickr.com/photos/47514124@N02/sets/

WALNUT is a registered trademark.

Etsy compliance disclosure: Our personal accounts on Etsy are franklindesign and vschaferfranklin.

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