Circles meets FairEnds

Text & Photo by Toyoshige Ikeyama

Good thing comes all of the sudden.
Even though you live in different countries each other, sometimes you don’t feel any distance between, especially in the world of bicycle we live in.

Our family company Circles & Co. had 10th year anniversary last year in December and our fellows from all of the world celebrated our birthday and contributed their work of art collaborating with our ideas. Now we are on the project that we always wanted to do. Yes, we are simply going to make a cap. Cycling cap? Nope, it is a baseball cap. We want to wear a cap when we are off the bicycle as well. While we are thinking how to make and what design we should go with… then Garrett, Strawfoot, introduced me to someone he is very close to.

Their name is “FairEnds”.
They base in Missoula, Montana and make caps.

I absolutely know their name for sure, and I bet that most of you may know that The Athletics and Ringtail also make caps with them. Thanks to Garrett of Strawfoot, I started talking ourselves who we are and what we want to do toward them. Without any hesitation, FairEnds accepted our offer and we started collaborating our ideas immediately.

It was a good timing that I started staying in the U.S. for a while. One of the reasons why I was in the U.S. was to meet Adam Sklar again in Bozeman, Montana also decided to meet FairEnds in Missoula.

9 hours driving from Portland and arrived at this coffee shop which shared their backyard office with FairEnds.

Various caps which have different textures, materials and styles were everywhere.

The owner, Ben, who used to work at a design farm in Brooklyn started FairEnds in 2011 with his mutual friend, Martin, who still lives in Brooklyn. When they started their company, they put their manufacture in Los Angeles, California and base their office and studio in Missoula. The reason why they chose Missoula is that he used to live there when he was a student and also met his wife here, but also the most important thing is that once you get yourself out there, you will see extraordinary nature in front of you.

And yes, he is also a cyclist.

After 20 minutes from his office riding out, we were able to reach the trail head and saw numerous single tracks everywhere. We rode and talked together about the people he’ve met since his last job, his favorite bike builder, and our common friends we both know each other. We wondered why we didn’t meet before. However, we felt the fate that we were going to meet each other sooner or later.

Currently, he runs his own farm with his wife out of Missoula city. They grew various kinds of vegetables and grains so that they also sell their original hot sauce made in the farm at FairEnds.

Their speciality is not only making caps and selling them, but also imagine how the caps and the nature around will fit each other. Ben lives in Montana, which has vast nature spreading all over the places, on the other hand, Martin lives in New York surrounded by buildings and cars everywhere. Because of the two different types of situation they live, they make various kinds of caps which fit people who live in any places in this world. Their production concept is to make something simple and putting affordable price on it.

They use cotton, wool, flannel, twill, nylon and etc. We can also order the custom-made cap only for cotton basic body type with felt letter on the front. All these things are made and pressed one by one in their studio, Missoula.

What we ordered them at this time is a limited quantity cap that made from hickory denim fabric which FairEnds don’t usually make and we put the refined patch which was designed at our 3 year anniversary party. The truth is, what you see on the first image, the cap Ben’s lovely daughter wears, is the same fabric we use.

Cap : FairEnds / Circles 10th Annie Cap
Materail : Cotton
Color : Hickory
Price: $52.00 (USD)

The process we had in order to make this happen and the fabric we use, they are the only thing in this world, but it never be rare like the concept FairEnds has. It is a usual thing that you wear cap in your daily life and it will last for long time until you get really old.

It is the same thing what we thought of our bicycle life style.

Why don’t you decide this cap as your daily partner from now on.