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Makers of the Magic City

Useful goods handmade by locals

Daniel Meadows, Founder and Owner
Meadows Knives

His background
Meadows attended Auburn, where he earned a degree in industrial product design. After college, he began designing tools. He remarks that any kind of product we buy — from a knife to an iPhone — has a product designer. Today, Meadows resides in Birmingham, works as remote creative director for a company in Charlotte and moonlights as a knife craftsman. His knives can be found all over the world. 

Why he chose knives
When asked why he chose such an unusual object, Meadows explains many of his close friends are chefs, and he embraced the challenge of crafting an elite tool for them to use. Self-taught in the skill, Meadows built his first knives in his home shop and then allowed them to be tested. “I started in 2018. Once my knives became known by chefs, I started turning my hobby more into an income stream. I have knives all over the world. I have primarily focused on kitchen knives, chef knives,” he says. 

His process 
Customers primarily find Meadows Knives through Instagram. After contacting Meadows, they are able to choose their preferred metal, color, handle and more. Each knife is custom and commissioned. “I give them options on metals and materials, and we sketch out what the knife will look like, maybe four or five sketches, and I ask if any speak to them,” he says. “Then I source the metal, wood, resin and build it in my shop. I cut a chunk of the metal and hammer it into the shape of the knife. Then it’s in the forge at 1,500 degrees, then it goes on an anvil to make its shape. It’s tedious — it’s about 20 to 30 hours per knife, all done by hand.”

Visit or @meadowsknives on Instagram. 

Alan Slattery
Leatherworker, Dreamers Supply Company 

His background
Slattery and his wife, Kaitlin, co-owners of Dreamers Supply Co., vacationed in the city of Savannah for their wedding anniversary and were inspired to attend SCAD. Though making simple leather pouches was already his hobby, Slattery says “he’d never put two and two together” to realize he could become a true leather designer. After graduating from SCAD, the couple moved to France for a residency and honed their skills: illustration for her, leatherwork for him. “It was life-changing being in France, and we received an honorarium to launch our store with other makers and artists,” he says. 

Why he chose leather
Slattery loves the idea of practical luxury – pieces that are high-quality and never go out of style. He says he admires and gleans inspiration from heritage brands such as Frank Clegg. “I like to create modern tailored pieces — not super flashy or with crazy patterns. I love the classics,” he notes. “I want to create timeless, daily luxuries that you can use and wear.”

His process 
Prior to Covid, Dreamers Supply had a storefront, and the couple worked onsite. Now that everything has moved online, Slattery and his wife share studio space inside their home. When he gets ready to create something new, Slattery is likely to “Frankenstein” ideas together from varied sources — a handle from here, a clasp from there. While the majority of pieces have been totes, handbags, and cross-bodies, Slattery hopes to include smaller leather goods like wallets online this year. All leather is sourced from a tannery in Tuscany. “They have very old world colors and processes,” he says. “The natural marks are part of the cow’s life, and we celebrate that — as well as how the piece later becomes part of your own life.”

Visit or @dreamerssupplyco on Instagram. 

Joel Lockridge, Owner and Craftsman
Bog Oak Pens

His background 
Joel Lockridge believes the pen is mighty. A graphic designer for 25 years and a woodworker, he considers himself an artist and says “a finely crafted pen will never go out of style.” “I’ve been a woodworker since I was a small child,” he says. “My dad taught me to make birdhouses with basic tools and a hammer. I went on to make jewelry boxes, picture frames, furniture and more.” 

Why he chose pens 
Lockridge got into the pen-making business “out of necessity” when the graphic design company he was working with closed its doors. He then became a full-time artist, peddling his wares at festivals and events when possible. 

His process 
Bog Oak Pens are made with a special kind of wood between 4,000 and 6,000 years old. Because the peat bogs absorb oxygen, the wood recovered does not decay. "There are peat bogs all over the world, but the wood I use came from the Fens of England,” Lockridge notes. “The acids and tannins in the water of the bog darken and harden the wood over centuries, so colors will range from a chocolate brown to nearly black.”

Lockridge’s creative process is different each time, but certain things remain constant: black coffee, an audiobook or podcast — “I’m a bibliophile,” he says — and ample time to perfect each pen. “I usually take two days or so to make one. I’ll do the glue and drilling process the night before I make it, and finish it the next day. Whether I work daytime or night depends on what I have to do during the week, but either one is not uncommon,” he says. 


  • Alan Slattery
  • Daniel Meadows
  • Joel Lockridge