TO MEET · 11/30/2012
Margaux and Walter of Peg and Awl
On an afternoon prior to our arrival in Philadelphia we discovered a feature on Peg and Awl on Streets and Stripes. This past spring, we had featured their chalkboard tablet on Zagg Pepper, loving the simple and functional design crafted with reclaimed wood. When we discovered that they’re based in Philadelphia, we knew we had to visit Margaux and Walter’s workspace to get a firsthand look at their work—it was a visit we haven’t forgotten since.
First of all, the couple was incredibly accommodating—we arrived at their home with just about twenty minutes notice, interrupting their packing as they prepared to move to a new workspace the following week. We knocked on the door and heard a little yell, followed by the sound of quick footsteps approaching. Their son Soren opened the door for us, followed closely by Margaux, who apologized for the boxes lining the hall.
Walter came around the corner to introduce himself, and the boys began climbing up the outside of the staircase like spider monkeys, where just below them on the entryway table sat two typewriters akin to those in our own showroom. The first room that we stepped into had a table stacked with a variety of chalkboards, wooden desk caddies and leather bags with three people working to package them for orders. An armoire to the side held more of their work and a collection of trinkets, and a couple of things that we recognized—bottles from Art in the Age and Best Made Axe mugs.
The couple started Peg and Awl in 2010, and Margaux acknowledged that if something happened to one of them, the company couldn’t go on—their skill sets perfectly compliment each other. When the two met at a bar (a surprisingly average story, considering how well they seem to work together), Margaux was working as an artist, doing book binding, making CDs and running a vintage clothing shop. Walter, prior to leaving to serve in the military, was painting and making cabinets. With their skillsets in mind, we suggest taking a second glance at their shop; it really becomes apparent how their work has come to be.
We realized we were no longer in the city when we saw the chicken coop in the middle of the yard and handcrafted wooden swing hanging from a tree off to the side. The workshop, contained within a small wooden-slated structure, was full of activity. Sawdust was flying from the edges of chalkboards and wooden caddies, and stacks of finished products were growing by the minute.
A bit pressed for time, we popped back into the house and made our way up the stairs to take a look at Margaux’s dimly lit workspace, where she crafts mini-book necklaces from reclaimed leather. We left with a couple of necklaces and chalkboards in hand, already thinking about the holiday gifts we’d be ordering from their shop. To say that we were inspired by the visit is an understatement.
(Margaux is wearing the Beckett in Matte Black, and Walter is wearing the Roosevelt in Striped Chestnut.) Photos by Collin Hughes