We first stumbled across AMENT - founded by Aubrey Ament - on Instagram at the tail-end of 2017. It was a shot of Aubrey wearing her new-released Holler baseball hat, featuring a caramel-tinged font set against a stonewashed royal blue cotton. We needed to know more.

An hour or so later, we'd completed our trip down the rabbit hole of her work, which only left us with more questions. Sure, she clearly knows how to construct beautiful products, but what was the brand really about? And what do they have coming up?

Thankfully, Aubrey was kind enough to answer those questions for us, and a few more. Read on below.

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Hello Aubrey! Could you talk us through how you started out in product design?

I grew up with a lot of creative energy but never thought I could be an artist or a designer, which seems so funny to me now. I remember always collecting fabrics and objects, spending Saturdays searching antique stores for unique trinkets that had interesting colours or shapes. My interests often revolved around music, volunteering in the community and anything else I could fill my schedule with. Art and Design seemed to find me a little later in life, though it was kind of there all along.

When it came time to choose a path after high school I decided that I wanted to start my own socially conscious apparel and footwear company but knew that I needed a practical understanding of the manufacturing process first. FIDM's Product Development program seemed like a great fit, but the sunshine might've been the main reason I moved to Los Angeles. There I met all sorts of creative people and somehow stumbled into love with modern design and architecture. Next thing I knew, I was applying to the Product Design program at the University of Oregon and moved back home to Oregon the following summer where I found a love for making things. It opened up my world and taught me so much about how to thoughtfully consider objects and how to apply that to my design process.

AMENT

Photography by Aaron Levy

What made you start AMENT? And who/what would you say are your biggest influences?

AMENT was born out of my final senior studio project. As a group, we were tasked with renovating an Airstream into a mobile garden shed for the university. To accompany the Airstream we each designed a tool to aid in tasks that related to gardening. Sewing has always been a natural skill of mine so I decided to design a daypack that could be used to harvest vegetables as well as store them. The upper part of the body was canvas to let the vegetables breath and the bottom piece was designed to be waterproof so that you could set it down on the wet soil. I fell in love with the Daypack and continued to refine it into the design that it is today! After a few years of making Daypacks for friends, I decided to launch AMENT in December of 2015. Since the launch of AMENT, I've added three styles of zippered pouches in four different colours to round out the line.

My biggest design influences tend to be ordinary or utilitarian objects that I find in odd places such as gas stations, bodegas or army surplus stores. I'm a big fan of Japanese and California modern design, specifically for the colours, shape and graphic language.

What's the most difficult aspect of running your own business?

Having AMENT be my side hustle is probably the hardest part. I still have a 9-5 in the design industry and my social life just got crazier moving to New York!

I'm fairly organized and driven, but sometimes when you lose momentum it can be dangerous and can keep you from taking new big steps.

What's the best and worst thing about living and working in Brooklyn?

Brooklyn feels a lot like Portland's older brother, which makes it feel familiar but intimidating at the same time. I love that everyone here is hustling in a big way, whether it's just trying to make rent or do something big like break onto the design scene.

The worst thing is the lack of space. I'm so grateful that I have storage in my basement otherwise I'd be in big trouble [laughs].

AMENT

Photography by Aaron Levy

Could you talk us through the design process of the two samples you sent over?

The Grid Water Bottle is not an original design. It's an object that I sourced while shopping one day in the city and I fell in love with its grid pattern and utilitarian shape. It's actually designed to fit in the door of a fridge so that you can chill your water while saving space, but I thought it would work great as a desk water bottle. It seemed like the perfect complement to my AMENT line. Our online shop is not only meant to sell original designs but also any product that I find unique and well designed.

Our Holler Baseball Hat was designed in response to the recent interest in sayings or phrases on tees, hats and bags in the market. People like making statements, whether it's serious or not! I wanted to add a baseball hat to my shop because it not only felt like a great way to dimensionalize my product offering but also because it feels very New York - there are baseball hats everywhere! My interest in the word holler was inspired by my friend Madi who often greeted a happy situation with that phrase growing up. We're gonna go see a movie? Holler! Your mom is coming home from Costco with snacks? Holler!

Lastly, what do you have coming up that you think we should know about?

As far as soft goods, I'm very excited to say that I'm working on a large commuter tote bag as well as a fanny pack for summer. We plan on growing AMENT beyond bags and into the world of furniture and housewares in the near future. I'm very fortunate that my husband is a woodworker so we have a few fun projects up our sleeves!

You can visit AMENT by heading to amentshop.com.