Jason Jammallo is not here for the throw-away culture we’re a part of in 2016.
“Most of the things we own have become disposable, and I want to change that, at least in a small way,” Jammallo muses. “I’ve always been one to repair instead of replace and find objects that have been well worn with patina more desirable than something new and shiny.”
That’s part of the reason the Somerville resident first began working with leather, eventually founding the perfectly punny imprint “Wilhelm Seam,” which he’ll debut at Memory Hole Vintage in Union Square this Saturday.
An engineer by trade, Jammallo has always loved working with leather, making wallets and watch straps for friends and reupholstering the odd piece of furniture. He accumulated tricks and tips along the way, incorporating suggestions from friends, prototyping—then redesigning and re-prototyping—each potential product. And as he garnered more positive feedback and began to design some pieces he was truly happy with, he decided the wares might just be ready to make a public debut.
“Maybe I obsess over getting things right and doing things well because of my engineering background,” Jammallo explains. Perhaps surprisingly, that’s that not the only way in which his engineering skills have been a boon. He designs each new item in CADD software; he uses laser cutters and printers to make templates. But it’s there that the technological aspect ends. Every Wilhelm Seam piece is hand-cut, -punched and -stitched by Jammallo in his Somerville apartment, meaning that every piece is unique.
It was just a few months ago that Jammallo decided to commit himself to Wilhelm Seam, and since then he’s been making (“and making and making and making”) a collection of wallets, coaster sets, keychains and “cord tacos,” as well as a few handbags and some jewelry. And while he has plans to eventually move the leather working operation to a slightly larger studio space—his current workshop is an admittedly cramped kitchen—Jammallo jokes that he doesn’t plan to quit his day job anytime soon. And really, that’s just fine with him. His process is as rugged and traditional as the pieces he creates.
“I want to make things that break in to a person in their own unique way—like a pair of leather work boots or a thick pair of denim jeans,” Jammallo says. “In that way, the object becomes more personal, and it is my hope that it becomes truly an extension of the owner and their lifestyle.”
Wilhelm Seam’s first pop-up shop will be held at Memory Hole Vintage (8 Walnut St.) this Saturday, 10/1 from 12-4 p.m.
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A photo posted by Wilhelm Seam Leather Goods (@wilhelmseam) on