Pig & Hen is conquering the world

Bracelets for men, made of sailing rope and steel. That’s Pig & Hen. This young, enthusiastic Dutch fashion brand from Amsterdam is conquering the world with distinctive handmade bracelets.

Pig & Hen is the brand created by founders Dominic Bakker and Rutger Versluis and, like many other top brands, came into being by pure chance. “I have been participating in sailing competitions with my father and younger brother for most of my life”, says Dominic. “One day I made a bracelet with a piece of sailing rope and a shackle. My best friend Rutger noticed it immediately and asked whether I could make him one too.”

Cool bracelet

Rutger visited many fashion outlets as an agent for the Martinique fashion brand and the bracelet was always the topic of conversation. Comments like ‘Cool bracelet, are they available for sale somewhere?’ Dominic: “The orders started trickling in, via our Instagram account too. Rutger had the contacts and I simply made the bracelets at the kitchen table in the evenings. We exhibited at De Modefabriek in Amsterdam soon after this. We went home with no fewer than 35 shop orders. This is when we realised: ‘Okay, now it’s getting serious’! We came back from the expo on the Monday, we had acquired premises on the Thursday, two members of staff were hired on the Friday and we went into production on the Saturday.”

Seafarers

That was also the moment we needed to start thinking about branding. Dominic stumbled upon a great and relevant story from maritime history during a Google session: “The Netherlands has always been a country of seafarers and explorers. Sailors had tattoos of a pig or a chicken on their feet to protect them from harm. They believed the tattoos would give them the ability to survive if they became shipwrecked. They believed that – like the pigs and chickens stowed on board in wooden crates – they would float and that the tide would carry them ashore. So, Pig & Hen it was.”

Salty Steve

Each Pig & Hen bracelet is given an imaginative name. Salty Steve, Vicious Vik, or Sharp Simon; each with a connection to a cool sailing theme. What started with a piece of sailing rope and a standard shackle has now developed into a large collection of bracelets “We currently have eighteen unique designs. And new designs are added each season. We launch a new collection twice a year and a special edition collection twice a year too. That’s a total of around sixty unique designs every year. Whereas we previously used materials which were available to us, we now develop our own materials, colour combinations and fasteners. For example, we have metal bracelets in which the sailing rope has been incorporated in a unique way. We will be launching our leather range of bracelets next year.”

Pig & Hen is conquering the world

No longer the underdog

Pig & Hen has developed from an underdog into a serious contender in the realm of men’s bracelets over the past six years. More than forty enthusiastic Pig & Henners at the Amsterdam head office ensure hundreds of unique bracelets are shipped every day. Pig & Hen has almost four thousand Trustpilot reviews, with an average score of 4.9. What’s the secret of this success? Dominic: “A good quality product, strong branding and delivering on your promises. That is the key. We are a young and enthusiastic brand for globetrotting, adventurous men who appreciate craftsmanship. Our bracelets are authentic, distinctive and sophisticated at the same time, each boasting unique details. Every single bracelet is handmade in our studio in Amsterdam with love and attention. Each bracelet is quality checked before it leaves us. And everything is packaged and delivered with the greatest of care.”

Coolness

Pig & Hen is continuing to go full steam ahead. How does Dominic see the future? “Pig & Hen is still a big adventure for us. Every day is a new voyage of discovery and we would like to keep it that way. Six years ago, men’s bracelets were still uncharted territory. The jewellery segment featured a few designs and you would find some simple bracelets at the market. But there was nothing in between in terms of coolness and brand experience. We managed to fill that void and look at us now: we are leaders where both brand awareness and product are concerned. Men all over the world wear our bracelets, from America to Asia and from Africa to Australia. Incredible when you think about it. Our market is big, very big. We certainly have enough to keep us busy for the time being.”

Purchase Pig & Hen as a retailer? Explore the collection on the FashionUnited B2B Marketplace

 

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