Using shed antlers for home décor is interesting, certainly. But using this ornamentation for something utilitarian? Resourceful.
Greg Hennes of antler&co is the mastermind behind this company that creates these antlered housewares. However, he didn’t set out with a business in mind; instead, it was born out of a personal need. “antler&co was inspired by the cabin vernacular common to where I grew up,” says Greg. “Many people decorate their cabins with antlers and taxidermy, and I wanted something for the cabin I was building but couldn’t find it anywhere. Thus, antler&co was born.”
The simple, rustic products that antler&co offers boast three uncommon creations. The Dewey Decimal is, as Greg describes, “an antler among antlers.” Designed to gracefully hold literary heirlooms, the antlers required for this particular piece are difficult to find, with an uncommon growth pattern that lies in a way suitable for displaying your treasured books. Due to the limited availability of this particular antler growth pattern, the Dewey Decimal has extended lead times. The brand uses this interval to search for the perfect set of antlers.
Another of the company’s elegant-yet-rustic products is the Medium Hanger Holder. Not only is it designed to hang anything from kitchenware to outdoor apparel, it also possesses a stylish way to get the job done. The Modern Mobile, antler&co’s third creation, is perhaps the most artistically inclined, intended to showcase artwork, and comes with three handpicked curiosities. Made in the USA, each antler&co product arrives with the necessary hardware to hang from a wood stud or hollow sheetrock wall.
The process of building each individual ware is challenging. Greg points out, “That every antler is unique makes the build process challenging; hardness and thickness vary, so precision is really important at every step.” The fact that each antler is exclusive is certainly more demanding than mass-produced products, but the end result – an individual piece of art – is worth the task. It’s apparent that antler&co prides itself in creating an aesthetic of minimal simplicity that lets each antler shine on its own.
Since all antlers began their life living atop a wild animal, the products are subtly rustic, with natural nicks and scrapes. These recycled materials are not born of any cruelty, which is another highlight of antler&co. “It just makes sense; there’s no reason to get antlers from killed deer when so many shed antlers are available,” says Greg. “It’s unique that they drop every year, which makes for a better story, too.”
When the wild is brought indoors and used resourcefully, it can produce a beautiful, simplistic aesthetic. It is, in a sense, a pure quality of antler&co. It’s a holistic element – using something discarded and needless, and giving it new life.