Wristporn: Who are the people behind Original Grain?
Ryan: Original Grain was started by two brothers, Ryan and Andrew Beltran, and their lifelong friend, Jasem Dulany. After graduating from the University of Oregon in 2011, I (Ryan) left for southern china and developed the concept. A year later, I approached my brother Andrew, and then Jasem, with a basic prototype. We immediately saw the potential and knew we had something special…the rest is history.
Wristporn: How did you get the design idea to use such unique materials?
Ryan: Born and raised in the state of Oregon, we were inspired from our experiences growing up in the the Northwest region of the United States and the influence of the outdoors. Being surrounded by large forests and wooden products all of our life it was a natural fit for us to incorporate wood into the design. We’d seen wooden watches, but nothing that combined wood and steel into a hybrid design like ours.
Wristporn: What is the most challenging part of working with such different materials?
Ryan: Wood is one of the most unique materials to work with in terms of the various looks you’ll get from one piece to the other. However, cutting it to such precise dimensions and shaping it can be challenging. We worked for a solid year to develop the watch we sell today, and feel confident with it’s quality.
Wristporn: Do you design and manufacture the watches yourself or did you partner up with someone?
Ryan: When I originally came up with the idea to create this watch, the first place I started was to find a competent manufacturing partner. This was by far more important that the actual design and we now have a manufacturer that we’re very comfortable working with and who can deliver a very solid product. The design, I developed that myself!
Wristporn: Who is your target audience?
Ryan: Our tagline is, “Stay Original”. We want our watches to be a reflection of a person’s originality and style. Someone who cares about the way they look when they enter the room. We want men and women who are fashion forward, enjoy quality products with a unique design, and LOVE watches!
Wristporn: What is the essence of your watches?
Ryan: Original Grain watches are inspired from one of earth’s greatest natural resources, wood. For centuries, we’ve seen wood used as a fundamental material in building structures/objects we cherish most. It’s a point of pride for us to have combined wood with steel and to have created a product that keeps the most valued asset in everyone’s life – time.
Wristporn: What is the plan for the future in terms of design and where you want to take the company?
Ryan: We have many plans in place for taking the OG brand to the next level in 2014! Maintaing the quality of our current line is our first priority, however without saying too much, we’ll be introducing a one-of-a-kind watch this spring that uses re-claimed wood and puts an even more sustainable touch on our watches. We’re partnering with a large American company to co-brand a limited edition run of 500 pieces! This will of course be followed up by another Original Grain collection in the summer of 2014.