Meet Parkman Brothers
New Jersey brothers, Christopher and Andrew Shalhoub have a lot in common. During a trip to Maine in 2014, they were inspired by the region’s rustic natural beauty as well as the abundance of local creative enterprises and a thriving maker economy. During the trip they decided to apply their training in engineering and design to the creation of wooden sunglasses. Although initially the goal was to make sunglasses for their personal use, the brother’s quickly saw the potential to expand their vision. Best of all, they decided to base their business in their home state of New Jersey.
Their studio workshop, located on Andrew’s property in Clinton, New Jersey is well-equipped with a combination of industrial woodworking equipment and timeless hand tools. The pair scours lumberyards and select mills throughout the region to source their premium rough cut lumber in walnut and cherry. They have now expanded from raw wood to other materials such as cellulose acetate (a plant-based plastic made from cotton and wood fiber) to exotic wood materials left over from the construction of guitars and drums.
The construction process includes milling, veneering, cutting, engraving, sanding and finishing in their workshop. From start to finish, dialed precision is blended with the touch and feel of a seasoned craftsman. The final sunglasses are sleek, stylish and high quality. Only the best materials are used to finish the final products, such as polarized lenses, stainless steel spring hinges, and aircraft-grade birch core.
Over the years, Parkman Brothers have moved beyond their namesake product to produce a series of products for Just Jersey and other retailers. The partnership started with bamboo cutting boards for the board but now include cufflinks, phone cases, key chains, ornaments, flash-drives, coasters and bottle openers. They now work in a wide variety of woods, as well as slate, and leather.
The New Jersey brothers now have the callused hands, dusty clothes and sawdust-covered floors to match any maker enterprise. With their skills in design and small-batch manufacturing, we can’t wait to see what they will make next!
- Tina Bologna