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 in my workshop, and Valerie runs the business side.
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 from BikeSnobNYC put us on the bicycling community's radar, and our business started growing from there.
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 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 small and handmade. I put my heart in everything I make.
For more about us, check out these write-ups and interviews:
Portland Made Feature: Geoff Franklin, Walnut Studiolo http://www.portlandmade.com/geoff-franklin-walnut-studiolo/
Cyclr: A Conversation with Walnut Studiolo http://thecyclr.com/a-conversation-with-walnut-studiolo-design-at-its-best/
5 Questions for Those Who Make http://thosewhomake.com/post/34434638874/walnutstudiolo
MocoLoco: Love Your Way http://mocoloco.com/fresh2/2012/08/08/love-your-way-walnut-studiolo.php
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.
WALNUT is a registered trademark.