Stumped again by Father’s Day? With just a few days till the main event, BizPhilly is here to help with some last-minute ideas that’ll make dad happy. While he’ll be proud to know that you’re in touch with his tastes, he’ll be especially pleased that you supported a small business in Philadelphia. Every product, service or experience on this list has some connection to a Philadelphia business, proving it’s possible to get everything you need made right here in Philly.
For the City-Savvy Dad
Fishtown’s Firth & Wilson Transport Cycles is known for selling bikes that are hip and practical. For a stylish and utilitarian ride, check out Firth & Wilson’s compact made-in-store Shorty cargo bike ($2,850). While most of the shop’s items can be purchased online at transportcycle.com, co-owner Simon Firth also builds completely custom tailor-fitted bikes that start at $1,800. All custom bikes, as well as the Shorty, are made in-store at 1105 Frankford Avenue.
For the Dad Who Likes to Be on Time
Years after fixing up a watch inherited from his great grandfather, Philadelphia native Nick Harris launched Orion Watches last summer to help pay for watchmaking school. Although he’s since designed various special edition watches (including a dive watch), Harris’ original Orion: 1 design remains the prize among his creations. The standard Orion watch ($450-$495) varies in price based on some of the materials used, but each iteration of the style has a face covered in a domed sapphire crystal with protective blue AR coating. Orion watches can be purchased on Harris’ website, orionwatches.org.
For the Minimalist Dad
If Orion’s sleek shape isn’t your father’s style, get him a minimalist piece – a unique wooden watch ($150) from the Carpenter collection at Analog Watch CO. Analog’s small Philly-based team has seen a lot of success since releasing their first simple and sleek design, and has previously partnered with brands like Project Runway, GQ, and Mercedes Benz. The best part? For each watch purchased, depending on its material, Analog makes a donation to the conservation organization Earthworks, a donation to the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, or plants a tree with Trees for the Future. Buy watches online at analogwatchco.com or stop by their company showroom at 1737 E. Passyunk.
For the Ungroomed Dad
Soften him up with some beard oil ($10) from The Urban Cabin Soap Co. Each variety made by owner Evan Dormont contains a distinct blend of essential oils, from the frankincense in Urban Cabin’s Timber Beard Oil to the bergamot in their Copperhead variety. Urban Cabin Soap Co.’s products are available at urbancabinsoapco.com, on Etsy, and in a few local storefronts listed here. And you can pick up a few of Dormont’s marbled soaps while you’re at it.
For the Dad in Love With Summer
Throw out Dad’s rubber flip flops and replace them with a pair of expertly handmade sandals from Waltzing Matilda. Owner and craftsman Mike Balitsaris first began making sandals out of scraps from an Ardmore shoe store while he was an undergrad at Villanova. Even today, many of the creations dreamed up by Balitsaris and his team are made from repurposed materials. Waltzing Matilda’s website (waltzingmatildausa.com) and Wayne storefront at 21 West Avenue now carry dozens of bags and accessories as well, but the sandals are the Philly-made product that started it all. For a dad-friendly style, consider the tanned leather Ace sandals ($85), or the more rugged Al sandals ($68).
For the Hands-On Dad
For a gift as practical and durable as it is sustainable, get dad a customizable utility belt from Fabric Horse. Check out the Halfbelt Rugged Utility Belt ($120) for a higher capacity, waterproofed option, or the Sidekick Utility Belt ($98) for a more classic, waxed canvas starter belt. Fabric Horse sells an entire lineup of belt accessories and add-ons as well, including key rings, phone pockets, pouches, and a genius U-lock holster for bikers. The retailer, which began as founder Carrie Collins’ senior thesis project in 2008, closed their storefront in October, but their new online store at fabrichorse.com still offers the same high-quality products. To top it off, all of Fabric Horse’s products are 100 percent vegan and made by a team of women in Philadelphia.
For the Dad With a Sharp Palate
For true foodies, a subscription box is the perfect gift. Sign dad up for the monthly Eat Like A Cheesemonger Club ($209.99 for a three-month subscription) from Di Bruno Bros. Philly’s meat-and-cheese champions offer subscriptions of up to one year of seasonally-themed cheese selections, which is the closest you’ll get to bringing the Italian Market into your home. Each month’s box is designed by Di Bruno Bros. VP of culinary pioneering Emilio Mignucci himself. Use the code DADSDAY20 until June 14th to get a 20 percent discount on Father’s Day gifts at dibruno.com.
For the Dad Who’s Got Some Prep in His Step
If dad’s gearing up to break out the summer pastels, beef up his collection with a button-down shirt ($98) from Collared Greens. The online retailer is based in Virginia, but their button-down shirts are manufactured locally at Jade Apparel on Race Street. This colorful classic comes in a pink/blue pattern and a green/blue pattern, but the collaredgreens.com site offers dozens more button-downs in an array of other patterns and colors.
For the Carnivorous Dad
Tell dad it’s time to stop pounding the same old truck stop beef jerky. For a more refined taste, Side Project Jerky offers the funkiest flavors of dried beef on the market. Started by construction manager Marcos Espinoza and his colleague, Mark Novasack, this local brand has created insane “luxury” jerky flavors like Mongolian Jerky, Southwestern Jerky, and even Pho Jerky. All flavors are $7.50 for a two-ounce package. Side Project Jerky also frequently collaborates with local restaurateurs to create original limited release flavors, like their upcoming Rusty Cowboy Jerky, inspired by the flavors of Rival Bros. coffee. Check out sideprojectjerky.com to order online or check the list of seven local retailers carrying the stuff.
For the Dad Who Likes to Drink
What could be better than a little boozy history? Take Dad on a tour of Philadelphia Distilling, the historic craft distillery that just moved into its gorgeous Fishtown location in February. A facility tour, starting at $15/person, will take you through the 15,000 square foot complex, where you can learn about the history of the distillery (the first to open in Pennsylvania post-Prohibition) and see how the liquor, including the famous Bluecoat gins and Vieux Carre absinthe, is made. Bookings can be made online at philadelphiadistilling.com.
For the Dad Who Wants to Escape the City
Peg and Awl, a one-of-a-kind business run out of the Atlas Casket Factory in Philadelphia by creators Margaux and Walter Kent, offers dozens of unique gifts sure to be a hit with any fashion-conscious father. Their Weekender bag ($320), inspired by an antique air force bag, is available in seven neutral waxed canvas colors, perfect for any trip. If dad’s more into jewelry, take a look at the Valène ring (starting at $94), which is made from repurposed brass photo frames from the 1800s. All of Peg and Awl’s items are available online at pegandawlbuilt.com, as is a list of local stockists.
For the Dad Who’s Always Losing His Glasses
Buy him more glasses. Sneak a peek at your dad’s prescription, and head to Warby Parker to pick up one or two pairs of hip, modern frames. The e-commerce eyewear startup, founded at Wharton, sells glasses starting at $95 including lenses, but you can have five pairs shipped to dad first for him to try on for free. Check out their classic Percey ($95 and up) style for a younger plastic-rimmed look, or the Ames ($145 and up) for a half-framed more serious silhouette. If you’re not into purchasing eyeglasses online at warbyparker.com, stop by Warby Parker’s brick-and-mortar at 1523 Walnut St.
For the Foodie Dad
In the heart of Reading Terminal Market, City Kitchen offers cleverly designed cooking classes for any occasion. This year’s Father’s Day Feast ($65/person), is the perfect chance to spend a little quality time with a dad who appreciates the tasty things in life. This year’s menu is three courses deep, and features Southern fried chicken wings, pulled pork, “pickle” fried potatoes, and fresh fruit kabobs. You can buy tickets at city-kitchen.ticketleap.com for this excellent chance to give the gift of grub.
For the Organized Dad
When in doubt, a classic wallet always makes the perfect Father’s Day gift. Waskerd, which operates out of a Manayunk workshop run by founder Derek Shaw, makes 100 percent handstiched vegan leather wallets. The Madison 3-pocket cash wallet ($85) is the perfect mid-sized selection, although Waskerd offers 11 distinct styles and shapes. Each wallet can be made from any combination of the company’s four leather shades and ten thread colors, with the option of adding a monogram for an additional $10. Order a custom wallet online at waskerd.com, or pop into Meadowstreet Mercantile on 47 North 2nd Street to pick out a wallet in person.
For the Adventurous Dad
Send dad on his next excursion with a headlamp from Streamlight. The flashlight company, based in Eagleville, makes all kinds of practical lights for the modern outdoorsman. The Enduro impact-resistant headlamp ($14) is available on Amazon, as is the super-sleek Bandit ($21).
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