It was spring of 1998, and Rustico CEO, Isaac Childs, was traveling the world and journaling about his experiences. After returning from Europe, he noticed one of his journals had started falling apart. He was disappointed at the low-quality workmanship and devastated how his treasured entries were getting destroyed.
This experience launched Isaac on a journey to craft his own journal, one that was maul proof, functional and stylish. After a few bookbinding courses and a few ‘Benjamins’ later, Isaac found himself hunched over a hide of top-grain leather and a full ream of cotton rag mill paper. Over the next few years, Isaac would go on to craft the original 7 Rustico products.
This month we wanted to commemorate the original 7 Rustico products in a blog post. We will also be putting a ‘Rustico Original’ badge by the original 7 products on our website, so be sure to look for that during your shopping journey.
#1 - Traveler Journal
The journal that started it all. Isaac crafted the first Traveler as his personal journal. He needed something travel ready — a journal tough enough to make any trek. The Traveler represents what Rustico is all about—exploring and creating.
One unique aspect of the Traveler is the page size: 6.5″ x 7.5″.When Isaac was making the original Traveler, this paper size was the perfect combination to maximize the usage of the paper with minimal waste. Turns out the size also fulfills the golden ratio in art, other wise known as the Fibonacci Sequence.
#2 – Good Book Journal
Sometimes leaving your mark means needing a little room to breathe. For committed writers, the Good Book supplies a generous page length and a sturdy hand-stitched binding. We crafted it to go the distance, so fill it with a journey.
The Good Book name comes from its weight and feel. It reminded Isaac of the perfect classic book or even a bible. It provides the perfect smaller alternative to the Traveler and is perfect for writing.
#3 – Epiphany Journal (now Traveler Journal Pocket)
The Epiphany is there to capture strokes of genius. Keep it nestled in your bag and use it to record the ideas that matter. You never know which thought will turn into a new creation.
The Epiphany was the first Rustico pocket notebook. Isaac’s brother, Kevin, actually gave it the name Epiphany because it was a book to store sudden realizations. While the name "Epiphany" was retired in early 2022, this pocket-sized journal has joined the Traveler Journal family as its smallest member.
#4 – Writers Log
The Writers Log is a tried-and-true product inspired by the works of American authors from the early 1900’s. Capture a story. Any story.
After a few years in business, Isaac took all the feedback from the Traveler and Good Book and used it as the inspiration behind the Writers Log. People could get intimidated by the blank pages of the previous books, so the Writers Log provided a good alternative with lined pages. It is a little more affordable and includes post-consumer recycled paper.
#5 – Journey Photo Album
One of our best-sellers for a reason, the Journey Photo Album is practical and beautiful and holds up to 100 4″ x 6″ photos. Go ahead. Take your journeys with you.
“You could say the Journey Album was the first Instagram,” Isaac said. Isaac created the journey album in an effort to better store all of the photos from his travels. It was the perfect way to get photos out of their shoe boxes and into a place where they could be better stored.
#6 – Money Clip Wallet
It took a little invention to create the most functional wallet in the Rustico arsenal. The Money Clip features a wire clip mechanism that would make Samuel B. Fay (inventor of the paper clip) proud. As one of Isaac’s Top 5 pieces, you’ll find him whipping this out of his pocket daily.
Isaac said the Money Clip was designed because he disliked large wallets, but that he also wanted a solution that could hold cash as well as cards. Something minimal and not bulky. He said the Money Clip is still one of the most loved products today.
#7 – Slide Bracelet (retired in 2021)
Trying out new leather, Isaac wrapped a strip around his wrist with two stopper knots. That day in 2002 was the birth of the first Slide Bracelet. For the next six years it stayed on his wrist learning how to be worn.
During the early days of Rustico, Isaac would wrap strips of leather around his wrist to test how they wore in over time. He would do so with a classic slip knot often used in rock climbing and fly fishing. People started asking to buy his bands, so eventually he decided to officially release the product.
The Slide Bracelet was retired in 2021, but the Highway is a great option for those looking for a double-wrap, classic leather bracelet.
The original 7 Rustico products are still some of our most popular products today. Remember to look for the original badge on our website to identify these classics.
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