M. Crow is a side project of artist, sculpture, designer and DIY evangelist Tyler Hays, a man best known for his furniture and conceptual homewares label BDDW. Though now based in Philadelphia, Hays is originally from Joseph, Oregon a tiny town in the northeastern corner of the northwestern state. Hays’ great great grandparents homesteaded in the beautifully rugged Wallowa Valley in the late 1800s, a fact that no doubt informed his upbringing.
As a child Hays fell in love with making. At five he learned to sew, making pants, stuffed animals, and things of the like. By 10 he’d taught himself to trap, tan animal hides, build go karts, and even convert his bb gun into a 12 gauge shotgun. The obsession with making led him to wonder if he could make every thing he used on the daily—shirts, shoes, tools, furniture, etc—and began to dabble in everything from architecture and music making to ceramics, carpentry, and even beekeeping. Though he found selling paintings and making furniture to be the most reasonable way of supporting himself. In 1995 he launched BDDW.
Back in Oregon, a handful of years or so ago, the opportunity to reconnect with his dream of making literally everything came in the form of a general store. A few miles outside of Joseph sits Lostine, an even smaller town (population 200). And in Lostine sits M. Crow & Co, a 107 year old general store that had sadly lost the means to keep on keeping on. Hays saved the operation from shuttering by buying the business, and M. Crow as a label was born.
Hays writes, “I am basically making from scratch the things I want or need, and making extras and trying to sell them—It’s an awkward collision of all my hobbies and interests and an outlet for fulfilling that childhood fantasy.”
In addition to the usual general store wares Hays stocks handmade jeans, shirts, knives, puzzles, record players, chairs, and other things of the like. Like hiking boots. They’re as good as it gets. And if you think they’re too expensive, then make your own.