Skip to main content

Worn Out Wednesday – Benjamin Klebba

The recession was a great kick off to many careers. Take Benjamin Klebba for instance. He was working for a cabinet maker in Portland and got laid off and he thought, “Well, it is now or never!”. It was a struggle but after a year his company, Phloem Studios was getting more and more traction working with top notch interior designers and architects. He recently got a job designing nearly the entire home of one family and just sent two of his chairs to Berlin and Brooklyn. It doesn’t hurt that he has good people around him and gets his studio partner Matt Pierce to do any of the leather work that comes his way.

Desk by Studio Phloem (chair by Ben's dad)
Desk by Studio Phloem (chair by Ben’s dad) Image used with permission by copyright holder

Klebba has been surrounded by building and design since he was a kid. His father taught construction at an industrial arts center in Michigan, and he also built the house Ben grew up in, the furniture in it as well as a sail boat that they would sail on Lake Huron. “He was always working on something!” Ben laughed.

After graduating from college with a communications degree he ended up working in a record shop and then moved on to making guitars. But working for a luthier ended up being monotonous  and there isn’t much room for creativity, so he found himself a job with Lagomorph Designs in Chicago and really sunk his teeth into the furniture world. He learned not only about building but owning a company.

Today Ben’s business is fan-furniture-tastic and he will be exhibiting at the prestigious ICFF show in New York this May. This month Phloem is rolling out its’ first bed which will have a spindle headboard. They will also be launching their popular Nadine chair with leather straps. “Usually we make that chair with seat belt straps in various colors but a client asked if we could do it in leather and that got us excited. It changes the feel of the chair and makes it more grown up,” he told us.

Work from Studio Phloem
Work from Studio Phloem Image used with permission by copyright holder

Below Ben talks to us about his personal style.

Pants: I am a huge fan of Levis 501‘s. That is pretty much all I wear since I am in the wood shop all the time. They also look great after wear.

Shirts: I wear a lot of American Apparel tees. I go to J.Crew a lot for meeting with clients     because you can still get dust all over them and they’re not damaged. For fancy shirts I have some nice Gants, and I shop a lot at Communion and Machus that carry awesome brands that I like to support.

Knitwear: Sweaters get covered in dust so I can’t wear ‘em! But I wear American Apparel hoodies!

Shoes: I just can’t wear work boots! I’m not into them. I stick to Vans slip-ons, New Balance and stuff without a high arch. Also I love Adidas Sambas, classic easy tennis shoes.

Outerwear: I have two old-school Pendleton plaid wool jackets, and I have a new really awesome Filson Mackinaw jacket that is wool that I love. It has four front pockets and side flaps on the back.

Accessories: I have a black canvas Filson briefcase that is perfect. I wear a beenie in the winter time but I’m not a big hat person. I do rock a Kershaw pocket knife because it is useful and a beautiful thing.

What is your favorite app? I love Instagram! I can show people what I am doing.

What is your favorite piece of tech? I love my wide belt sander by Sand Master. It makes things really flat.

What is your next tech purchase? I’m going to geek out on tools. I need a Laguna bandsaw. I am really excited about that!

Topics
Cator Sparks
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Cator Sparks was the Editor-in-Chief of The Manual from its launch in 2012 until 2018. Previously, Cator was covering…
This man fell overboard, and wearing a watch helped save his life
This may be the main reason you should be wearing a watch
watch saves man who fell overboard islands surrounded by boats

We talk a lot about the importance of wearing a watch. It is an elegant way to show class and sophistication. Since World War II, they have been the go-to men's accessories. While women wear everything from bracelets to rings, necklaces to earrings, men keep it simple, and many of us opt for a watch. But a watch can be more than just an elegant piece of jewelry; it can be a tool, something you can use to get the job done. And in one very interesting instance, something that can save your life.

Cambridge 61-year-old Will Fransen embarked on a fishing trip off the coast near the Alderman Islands, and it turned into a nightmare. After snagging what he expected was a marlin, Fransen fell overboard. As they do, the boat starts to drift away from him, and he soon realizes that he isn't going to be able to catch it. Finding he was thirty nautical miles away from the shore and without his forty-foot boat, Fransen found himself in the middle of a real-life horror movie.

Read more
Tissot introduces 4 incredible new chronograph watches to its lineup
Tissot revives the PR 516 with a lineup of 4 new chronographs
Tissot PR516 on model in red car

Originating in 1965, the Tissot PR 516 is a testament to the brand's enduring legacy. Originally labeled as "Particularly Robust," this Tissot watch initially nestled into the Seastar lineup, boasting water-resistant capabilities and a versatile design.

Fast forward to the present day, and Tissot pays homage to this legendary heritage with the unveiling of four captivating renditions inspired by the original PR 516. Embracing the spirit of the past while embracing the technology of today, Tissot presents three quartz versions and one hand-wound execution of the PR516 chronograph. Each variation exudes its own unique charm, offering fans a diverse range of options to suit their individual preferences and lifestyles.

Read more
Don’t miss this sale on Omega watches — up to 56% off
The OMEGA Seamaster Diver 300 Co Axial on a man's wrist.

Jomashop's 'Big Winter Sale' that coincides with the ending of winter later this month is going on now. Within, we're finding hundreds and hundreds of Omega watches on sale, with typical offering around 30% to 40% off, making the sale nearly impossible to parse. While the sale goes on until Friday, giving you time to peruse all of the deals if you truly wanted to, we're providing a short overview of watches that we think will pull your interest below. But, if you're willing to look at the hundreds of dazzling watches from Omega — one of the best watch brands — by yourself, be our guest and tap the button below to find them all. See if you can find the higher savings than we found on a men's watch, at 56% off.

Watches we like in the Omega sale
There's a ton to shop for in the Jomashop Omega Big Winter sale, but you have to start somewhere. We recommend these watches to take a look at first:

Read more