Dopp It Like It’s Hot: Handcrafted Dopp Kits For Your Next Adventure

You might not know where an exciting experience will take you, but you can at least make sure you packed your deodorant.

Grooming kits, also known as the “Dopp kit”, were originally designed by leatherworker Charles Doppelt in the early 20th century. Traditionally these kits were given as rite-of-passage gifts to boys transitioning from boyhood to manhood, but became popularized during World War II when they were issued to masses of soldiers. Now they are used universally by both guys & gals to store anything from tools to bathroom sundries in style.

We demonstrated how to organize your goods in four different handcrafted kits from some of our favorite makers. Next time you’re getting ready to hit the road, ditch the quart-sized plastic bag and grab one of these packs instead. Your tiny shampoos will thank you.

Citizen Staff Feature: Sally

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Don’t be fooled: Sally Caple-Diguette may be tiny, but she is the muscle that helps keep the gears turning at Citizen Supply. Inventory Manager, student, and creative entrepreneur herself (she and her wife run their own small business together- Highland Lab!), she is the jane-of-all-trades. We asked her some questions so you can get to know her better, but if you’re lucky enough to catch a rare glimpse of her outside of the inventory closet you can stop by the shop to give her a highfive yourself.

What is your role at Citizen Supply?

I am the Operations Manager and Inventory Director for the company. I have been here since we opened in 2015 and have moved through many different areas throughout my time here. As the inventory director side of my job, I currently handle scheduling shipments, processing, tracking, monthly reporting, and move-out of merchandise from our 120 (give or take) vendors in the store. I ship all the e-commerce packages (if you've ordered something from our website, hey! and thank you!) and work closely with the store manager Ashlan to send off special orders that our customers seek out. Pairing that with the operations side of my job, where I handle various administrative functions such as contract copy, staff scheduling, and assist in our vendor relationship management. I work closely with both our owners*, Mattie and Phil, to keep the day-to-day of our store running smoothly! 

*this also includes receiving memes via Slack from my boss almost daily.


How many items do you think you've counted into inventory since you've worked here?

We're a large store (coming in at about 12,000 square feet). I receive an average of 10,000 items a month to try to keep that space full! I've been here since November 2015, which puts me right around 15 months, so about 150,000 items during that time. That number sounds kind of small to me compared to the piles of boxes that sometimes live in my office, but I'll trust my math. Although I am not the only one physically counting and handling the merchandise anymore (thank goodness for my helper, Samar!), it's still a whole lot of stuff

What is the culture in a start-up retail environment like?

From day one, I walked into this place feeling enthralled by the message and purpose of the store, which I think you must feel for the start-up you're working within or it just won't pan out. Start-ups are HARD WORK, to put it nicely. There have been many days, weeks, and months when I have worked well beyond what the "appropriate" working hours are for most Americans, but I did so by my own free will. In order to thrive in a start-up like ours, you have to be a problem solver, a self starter, and a very empathetic human.

Our culture is tight knit, chaotic, exciting, and exhausting all rolled up into one. We have a small team where everyone pulls more than their own weight, and bosses that will ask a lot of you, but simultaneously want to respect your time and personal space.

If I had to choose whether or not to sign on to help start this start-up again, I'd say yes every time.


Who are some of your favorite makers & why?

This almost feels like a bit of a trick question! Ha! I work really closely will all of our vendors, from before their product even hits our floor, so I feel connected to each and every one of them.

If I had to choose my top five, this is who they are and why:

1. MINNA GOODS - I've been a long time lover of Minna Goods, run by Sara Berks. She is a textile artist, as I am myself, which drew my initial interest to her brand. I found her on Instagram one day about 2 years ago and immediately fell in love with her style. She's also a pretty sweet human, so that helps too!

2. BE GOOD - Bryanna makes super simple, dainty jewels, which are the only kind I like. She is at Atlanta lady, and we actually used to work together, so I know her pretty well. She does a great job producing really beautiful, really simple jewelry. We carry a line of her earrings and bun pins in the store, but she has a bunch of other goodies as well.

3. COMMUNITY SERVICE - Based in Athens, Community Service brings us reworked clothing. I love this concept, since throwing away clothes is never a good use of items you don't want to wear anymore. Sanni reimagines basics she sources and turns them into clothing the Atlanta Hipsters of today love (think denim cut-offs and velvet mini skirts).

4. MICUSH - This is one of our newer vendors, but I fell in love with her items when I first opened the box. I snagged a print to hang above my desk for some pink + plant inspiration when I'm working from home. Michal is not only one of our newer vendors, she is also one of our farthest, shipping to us from Israel!

5. CAMPFIRE STUDIO - who doesn't love a good planter for their tiny plant babies? Kristen from Campfire Studio provides us with the cutest, tiniest marbled planters, along with some other really amazing marbled ceramics. Her mugs are beautiful, shape and all. There are definitely worth checking out.

STARR GAZING: AN INTERVIEW WITH METALSMITH STARR MILLER

If you are searching for the sort of jewelry that looks like you entered outer space, reached out, and grabbed something floating through the galaxy, then look no further. Starr Miller, the founder and maker behind Pieces of Starr, creates surreal, gorgeous pieces that will convert you into a trendy space babe in no time.

Residing as one of the in-house makers at Citizen Supply, Starr hammers, extrudes, and plays with fire to create slice rings, starburst earrings, and celestial chokers. We photographed her working in the studio and picked her brain on what it's like to be a maker in Atlanta, her passion for jewelry, and taking the leap into starting her own business.

At what point did metalsmithing stop becoming just a hobby and turned into a full-fledged gig?

I asked my mom for a metals 101 class for Christmas in 2013—2 months later I started building my studio piece by piece in the unfinished basement of my house at the time. I quit my job 6 months later and it became a reality that jewelry was my form of income—and my career.

What are some valuable lessons you learned while transitioning from the corporate world to a small business owner?

People are cooler, better, nicer, and more authentic.  The people I surround myself with are fulfilling and make me strive to work hard, be a good human, and we build off of each others creative power and skills. I don’t think I would ever have said that in the past working in a large company.

What about designing and creating jewelry is most important to you? Why did you choose this craft over any other?

Integrity and authentic design, hands down. I go with my gut motif and design. Too often people search outward and it's actually better to search within oneself for that last drop of inspiration. Also, true and just materials, appropriate price points for those materials, and my labor.

I chose this craft because it is the perfect combination of creativity and architecture / engineering / problem solving. I'm building tiny, beautiful structures that must be strong in design. Plus I mean come on—it's sparkly and pretty! I take pride in knowing the chemistry, geometry, physics, and the history of my craft. The amount of knowledge and new methods are endless. I have a lifetime of education ahead of me and I am so stoked about that.

How does Atlanta foster a creative working environment?

It has no ego—all of the creatives I've met are hard working, down to earth unicorns. They'll connect you, learn from you, teach you, and lift you up whenever they get the chance. Being a part of the Citizen Supply family has shown that to me 100%. I am so freaking happy to be in the epicenter of amazing people in this city.

If someone were to put on your jewelry and then be instantly transported, where would they end up?

Where I’d want to end up: in a small Spanish bar, contently and happily alone with tapas and sketch book, on a warm afternoon in the streets of Barcelona—with a Spanish guitar playing in the background.

bonus: starr's jewelry tips!

TIP NO. 1: If you're buying an expensive piece of jewelry (over $400), it needs to be a pure metal on the base with a hallmark stamp—otherwise you're overpaying for what is probably gold or silver plated brass & fake stones that are glued in (which is crap).

TIP NO. 2: Jewelry cleaner should be your LAST resort. It's so harsh on metals and fragile stones—it's like cleaning your skin with Clorox. Most good, mass produced jewelry gets an industrial strength clear coat for protection. Jewelry cleaning solution strips that coat away making the metal more likely to tarnish in a moist condition/life wear. Ever wondered why your sterling silver jewelry is turning dark? Sterling silver is not fine silver, hence it contains some copper which oxidizes in the presence of moisture and turns dark. BEST PRACTICE: get a polishing cloth, available in the same area as jewelry cleaner in the store (or here on Amazon—Sunshine is the best brand). These cloths have a compound and wax in the fabric that polish and protect. It also polishes away tarnish to bring back a shine/luster. If you have to use jewelry cleaner, follow up afterwards with the polishing cloth.

 


To meet Starr, check out her jewelry, and hear more about her story, come by the store to say hello! For more features of our favorite makers, DIY tips, & Atlanta culture - stay tuned!

Welcome to our new website!

Hi friends! We are so excited to share our new home on the web with you! Exactly one year ago today, we opened our store doors for the first time and your love and support since then has been so heartwarming. Thank you guys for believing in our mission to connect talented makers with the modern consumer. We've been working for the past few months to add an ecommerce platform to our brick and mortar shop and it's finally ready! Take a look around, make yourself at home, and enjoy free US shipping on all orders today! And, the first 50 customers will receive a $15 gift card in your order good for your next online shopping spree! 

Stay tuned for lots of fun new blog content as we continue telling the stories of the artists we work with!