Meet Tastemakers Todd Randall & Zak Fellman of Sandborn Canoe
Todd Randall and Zak Fellman are two of the Co-Founders of Sanborn Canoe, a hand-crafted wooden canoe and kayak paddle company. Their hand painted products are preserving and cultivating the North Star State’s heritage of paddling.
Tell us about Sanborn Canoe’s beginning.
Sanborn Canoe Co. began as a bunch of guys who went to the BWCA together every year, year after year. Then, one winter our grandpa was telling Zak and me about how he built several canoes with some friends in the 60s with the goal of taking Boy Scouts from the Twin Cities out to enjoy the outdoors. We were inspired and set to work building our own boat. After much trial and error, we had a cedar strip canoe and several paddles to power it. It was during this time we discovered a knack for woodworking and a love of the process.
What is important to you about buying local and supporting American Made?
Learning to make our own camping gear has led to an appreciation of well made, quality goods. Local and American made products typically come with a promise of quality. You have an opportunity to know the maker and know the pride they take in their work. Being proud of what you do leads you to take ownership and refuse to settle for something second rate.
What inspires you?
Our inspiration at Sanborn comes from many sources. One of the major inspirations is a connection to the past. Our beginnings as a company are a testament to that fact. We are who we are because of the people who came before us. We canoe because our parents and grandparents spent their free time on the water. We hope our love of the outdoors and our passion for creating beautiful, quality products inspires the same in others.
What are your favorite J.W. Hulme products?
My favorite J.W. Hulme products are the duffel bags that combine leather and waxed canvas. They have the feel of the road and an eagerness to travel.
Tell us a bit about how being a part of the maker movement inspires you.
Being a part of the maker movement is humbling and inspiring all at once. It’s really inspiring to see others putting their talents to work creating things of real worth. It’s also humbling knowing that for as proud as we are of our work, we are only a tiny part of something much larger.