Every piece that comes from Son of a Sailor is hand-crafted in our Austin, Texas Studio. William and Jessica design each item with a specific function and meaning in mind, and often times the products have a unique story. Our talented team works together to produce each piece with a keen attention to detail, and we take pride in our process. We’d love to give folks a little bit of insight into how we do things, why we give our items their names, and what the process looks like!

The Zulu Bottle Opener is a raw brass bottle opener with a keychain functionality. Recently introduced in Fall, 2015, the Zulu combines functionality with beautiful design. The Zulu design features long-standing supply elements reimagined. Jessica and Billy to dive into the Zulu.

What inspired the design?
“We strive to carry design elements from one collection to the next to maintain a sense of flow. We drew the Zulu design from the classic Victor shave kits. We took the geometric color block design and reimagined it for the Zulu. We knew we wanted to juxtapose the Tangos, so we brought in a much richer material and designed a weighty piece that manages to lay flat with your keys.

We designed both Zulu bottle opener and Zulu leather keychain at the same time. We love how they play off of each other yet remain completely autonomous.

The design of the Zulu Bottle Opener came first and then we realized the functionality. The first test pieces we did were small and thin and designed only to be a keychain. But the moment we got one in hand, we realized its potential. So, we expanded the thickness of the brass and beveled the point gorgeously designed, functional bottle opener.”

What is the meaning behind the name?
“All supply goods are named from the naval phonetic alphabet. After we went through almost the whole US naval alphabet, we started pulling from the United Kingdom’s RAF navel alphabet and will probably continue to work our way around the globe as the line grows. So you’ll see the familiar phonetics of your childhood such as Alpha, Delta, and Charlie. You’ll also see some that are unique, like London, Baker, and Oscar. While you won’t see Son of a Sailor with anything outright aquatic, we love incorporating subtle, nuanced, nautical inspirations. We try to pair up each piece with a name we think is fitting - and we often put a lot of thought into it!

We chose Zulu for a couple of reasons. Zulu is such a simple understatement. It’s short, effective, and impactful, which we thought was fitting for the clean lines and useful design behind the Zulu. A hidden nuance, though, the shapes of the Zulu letters look like the shapes in the bottle opener."

How is it made?
"Every piece of jewelry produced by Son of a Sailor is hand-crafted in our Austin studio. The Zulu takes its shape through this process:
  • First, we draw the
  • The images are then transferred to a digital vector image.
  • We then send the art to a local company where the pieces are cut.
  • Then, we hand bevel the edge that serves as the opener.
  • Finally, we clean and polish the brass for a finished sheen."

How do you use the Zulu?
"Topo chico."

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