Nature. Skateboards. Beers. Joints. Bikers. Confederates.
How a young man fits these aesthetics into one accessories brand is intriguing, but it works. Helm Street's (helmstreet.com) lookbook scrolls through tatted and rugged dudes and chicks partying on the shore and in the woods mixed with clean images of hand-forged and heavy-duty jewelry and leather goods. It's earthy and punk in the same instance, and it's a reality we want to jump right into.
“Strictly, no lie, it's how I live my life,” says Addison Austgen, the founder of Helm Street. The 24-year-old designs and crafts every piece in the garage of his childhood home in Mission Viejo and takes his inspiration from the beaches, hill bombs and backyard ramps in South County. His rugged pieces are appealing to skaters and bikers, but Austgen says he hopes it also makes us nostalgic for the old, American trades with hides and metal.
Helm Street is mostly chunky rings, ranging from simple brass bands to seafaring motifs to some tongue-in-cheek designs such as the Stars and Bars, featuring pot leaves instead of stars. Austgen shines with his more kitschy designs, though; we love the ring adorned by a teeny-tiny six-pack and the two-in-one, white bronze, travel utensil. A few pieces in the line are for ladies; Austgen crafted the dainty sea-urchin necklace with the help of his girlfriend; it alludes to his ability to have a lighter hand.
Each piece is made to order and can be purchased online, but you can view Helm Street products in person at Stade Co. in South Coast Plaza, Handplant Skate Shop in Laguna Beach, the Fort & the Clubhouse in Laguna Niguel, and many more places. “I really think [Helm Street] is for anyone who can appreciate something different-looking, handmade, raw and, most important, one of a kind,” Austgen says of his audience. Well, we definitely can!