Fidelis & Co.






Columbus & Co. prides ourselves on discovering new brands, stores, craftsmen, etc. so we jumped at the chance to meet up with Tim O’Neil the founder of Fidelis & Co. to get a more in depth look at their product offerings. We were also super lucky to have Basics of Man in town to assist in the styling and modeling of the photo shoot. Fidelis & Co. picked us up 0900 Sunday morning and we headed straight to Starbucks for some pre shoot energy. Coffee’s in hand we then proceeded to Fort Snelling to setup the shoot. Tim is currently serving in the United States Marine Core so we were granted special clearance in a classified zone. Playing, but seriously Tim had to show credentials and was saluted on our way in. Pretty fun for a Sunday morning. Fidelis & Co. offers products that Tim thinks he could use in tough conditions. Products that won’t fail in a time of need. Read more on our Q&A with Tim O’Neil.

Q&A with Fidelis & Co.
Q: When did you get the idea that you wanted to open an online store?
A: To say there was an epiphany for the creation of Fidelis Co would be over stating its beginnings.   I think it was a slow evolution of an idea or thought.  It began with me first taking an interest in things that are well built, tough and rugged, regardless of whether or not I was using them in my personal or professional life–I really liked the idea of buying one well built product to fulfill a need with the knowledge that it would last a lifetime.  That though process matured in my mind as I saw this whole community spring up that was focused on the same thing.  Being around all these people that thought the same way at events like NorthernGrade or shops like BlackBlue or blogs like yours talking about what is out there it was all quite inspiring, then I started to notice more and more, things that I had used in the Service transitioning into these shops and stores–I suppose if anywhere that was when the seed was planted.  Then, early last year, I, with the encouragement of my wife started to pursue the idea of Fidelis Co and we have been off and running ever since and I couldn’t be happier how things are shaping up.

Q: What inspires the design and product choices of items you carry?
A: My inspiration comes from my experiences…I suppose that goes for all of us.  My experiences, at least for the past six or seven years have and do center around my family and my life as a Marine.  Let’s take a recent product we launched–it was just put up on the site this week, the Fidelis Field Notebook.  That notebook is similar to the one I have had virtually stitched to the inside of my right cargo pocket of my uniform since I entered the service.  There are some notable differences though–we chose to use a much more vibrant set of colors, we made it slightly thinner so that it was not quite as bulky and I am really excited about this, we added a zipper pocket to the rear of the cover to securely hold your preferred mobile device.  To round off the answer my inspiration comes from the things I have used and experiences I have lived through.

Q: What can we expect next from Fidelis & Co. as far as product offerings?
A: In the future we have all sorts of great ideas in development that I am really excited about.  Right now we are working on an insulated messenger bag made to partner with the Minnesota Market Bag.  It  can hold your cold storage items acting like an over the shoulder cooler almost and a compliment on your trips to the farmer’s market.  We are working with a talented group of craftsman in Portland to bring that together.  Without being overly specific, there are some other products peeping around the corner like a Rigger’s Belt (this is a really heavy duty nylon belt that will blow you away wih its ability to take a beating and never fail), a tool roll and a boot bag amongst others.  I am really excited for the future.

Q: Of the products you sell, which one have you used most in your service life? Which one in your personal life?
A: Well that is easy–at least for the things we have up right now, as I said earlier I literally have the notebook on my person at all times.  It is indefensible to be caught somewhere without something to write with and on in my line of work.  As for personal life I really do use them all just about everyday but if I had to come down on one I always have a couple of the Minnesota Market Bags in the cab of the truck.  They are jut so handy to have around–fail to mention two of those bags reduces a ten plastic bag shopping trip into just two Minnesota Market Bags and that was a really big deal when we were living in St Paul and a trip to the car meant going up and down six floors and across two parking lots.

Q: Now I’ve felt and played with the Pen Type A, which is my favorite product of yours. Man that thing is built to last. How much does that thing weigh?
A: You bet the Pen Type A is really amazing–it is milled of a single block of stainless steel and it feels like it.  You certainly do not have to worry about taking it easy on that pen.  As for my favorite–that is a tough call, I really enjoy using them all and in any given day likely do find myself using them each at least once but again if I had to pick, right now I would say the Fidelis Canoe Paddle.

The Fidelis Canoe Paddle is not only made by some terrific guys, with a great story–Sanborn Canoe but the design on it is very meaningful to me.  It is a constant reminder of all the hard work and sacrifice so many men and women have put serving their Country–add to that a portion of the sale of each paddle goes to the Wounded Warriors via the Semper Fi Fund then that really tips the scales.  The design is the representation of the Global War on Terrorism Medal–Expeditionary and is a unit award given to those that in a broad sense have deployed in support of that fight.

Actually, I just spoke with the guys over at Sanborn today and they are going to have a couple of the Fidelis Canoe Paddles up at their booth at NorthernGrade so if your readers are attending then they can see them in person there.

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Limited Edition U-Boat U-51 Watch – by Guest Blogger Leo Parker

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Limited edition watches are always liable to cause fever pitch amongst fans of luxury timepiece aficionados and for those who are fans of Italian watchmaker, U-Boat, the recently released Limited Edition U-Boat U-51 watch is definitely a good reason to get excited. U-Boat watches were originally designed to be worn by the Italian Navy during WWII and this rugged nature still pervades all the timepieces that they produce today.

The U-Boat U-51 Limited Edition watch is, without question, one of the brand’s most striking and impressive luxury watches and it has a whole host of eye-catching features that set it apart from the competition including:

  • Black PVD and Bronze Case
  • Luxury Vintage Brown Leather Strap
  • 47mm Case Diameter
  • Distinctive U-Boat Crown
  • 100m Water Resistance

Italian style exudes from this timepiece and, at a cost of around £5,500 ($8,500), it is a mid to high range luxury watch and one that will be a distinctive and luxurious addition to your wrist in 2013.

Find out more at The Watch Gallery.

This article was written by Columbus & Co. guest blogger Leo Parker. Leo Parker will be featured on Columbus & Co. from time to time writing about men’s luxury watches.

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New Years Eve Outfit 2012 – Justin’s Picks

New Years Eve - Justin copy
Justin’s New Years Eve outfit picks are a mix of comfort and classic styles that represent things he’s worn throughout 2012, which include indigo, denim shirts and camouflage prints. The shirt is a Tellason Denim work shirt, crafted for durability and excellence. The Golden Bear Blazer is made in San Francisco specially for Union Made out of ring spun indigo canvas. The Ball and Buck camo bow tie is a perfect accent of fun and style to compliment the biggest fashion trend of 2012. Justin also picked a Left Field NYC Japanese tailored chino, but in Tweed. We did our picks separately and both came to choosing these pants, which tells you these things are legit. Justin went with the PF Flyer Center Hi Tan/Canvas sneakers over dress shoes because he’ll be cutting up a rug all night and the flyers help to look fly while doing that.

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New Years Eve Outfit 2012 – Marcus’s Picks

New Years Eve - Marcus
Justin and I are putting together our individual New Year’s Eve outfits of some of our favorite brands and styles. I always like to dress up a little bit on New Year’s Eve to end the year with a bang even if I’m heading to a more casual party. I feel this look I put together can be both dressy and casual. Obviously you wouldn’t wear this to a black tie event, but shit I don’t frequent those much. To start I have a Dolce & Gabbana Martini Velvet Blazer in Navy. This one is a little spendy and I know you can find cheaper alternatives if you are thinking why buy something I won’t wear a ton. The shirt is a Gitman Vintage & The Hill Side Button Down in Multicolor Polka Dots. A pretty fun shirt to wear out on New Years,  you’ll definitely get a lot of looks. The pants are Left Field NYC Gray Japanese Wool Flannel Tailored Chinos. These pants are constructed for durability and fit great. The Evans Hat in Heather Burgundy is Coal brand. This hat will definitely accent the shirt and match great. I tend to wear a lot of hats and New Years Eve is an occasion to wear something a little more fashion forward. The socks are Happy Socks Big Dots and add a little flavor to any outfit. I had to end the outfit with some American Made shoes by Rancourt & Co. These Weltline Penny Loafers in Black Suede are truly classic. I don’t own these shoes, but I definitely will someday. Rancourt & Co. hand crafts each pair of shoes with excellence, so you know these things will be winners.

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MidNorth Mercantile










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Justin and I stopped by a new Men’s specialty store that recently opened up in the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis called MidNorth Mercantile. MidNorth Mercantile specializes in finding unique, quality, American Made vintage clothing from all over United States to resell in their store. They really have an incredible array of items for sale and their vintage pickers have an eye for those timeless pieces of history that are still very relevant in today’s fashion scene. We had a good time trying on Pendleton flannel shirts, WWII jackets, Navy chambray shirts, maverick jackets, wool sweaters and the list goes on. I literally had to pull Justin out of the store in order to make it home at a decent time.

MidNorth is definitely as unique as they come, but what was very fascinating is they have a full service barber shop as part of the store. Come in get a trim, a hair cut or even a shave and as an added bonus you can look through all of the vintage merchandise. Beats the hell out of outdated magazines on some coffee table at your typical barber shop. These guys have big aspirations and Columbus & Co. is excited to see where these guys take their passions next.

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Columbus & Co. Christmas List – Item #5

UNIONMADE Harris Tweed Golden Bear Barracuda in Charcoal Herringbone

Marcus’s Pick: The Golden Bear Harris Tweed Barracuda jacket in Charcoal Herringbone sold through Union Made Goods. This 100% wool jacket is simply amazing looking with leather details on the pockets, burnt Corozo nut buttons on the collar and cuffs and a corduroy collar and cuff lining. I think this will definitely be my next jacket purchase. I really like the mock collar because I like to wear my collars up.
UNIONMADE Harris Tweed Golden Bear Varsity in Blue Donnegal

Justin’s Pick: The Golden Bear Harris Tweed Varsity jacket in Blue Donnegal sold through Union Made Goods. Varsity jackets have been making a strong push back onto the scene in the last year or so and this one tops the majority of the ones we’ve seen. The jacket has leather detailing, ribbed collar, cuffs and hem and burnt Corozo nut buttons on the front placket. Doesn’t matter what sport you play wearing this thing you will definitely attract the attention of an all star.

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A little guest post I did for MustariBrand to educate his readers on Selvedge Denim


Selvedge Denim Cuff JeansMy brother over at Columbus & Co did us a solid and wrote up this guest blog on quality clothing fit for chopping blocks and bikes. Style is everything and his site is dedicated to it so check it out. And commence….

MustariBrand asked me to give his readers who love to ride and work in their jeans more insight into the rising American Made selvedge denim jeans. Selvedge denim is a type of denim constructed continuously on a old style shuttle loom, which was historically how jeans were made up until the 1950’s when mass production took over to produce higher quantity and lower quality jeans.

Selvedge refers to the edge of the denim that is finished to prevent any type of unraveling. The denim is sewn to complete the closure at the seam, which gives it a clean natural edge as shown below in the first picture. There…

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Columbus & Co. Christmas List – Item #4

Chup Socks
Our next Christmas wishlist items go foot and foot together, first we have the Grenson Fred V boot out of England and the Chup Knit socks out of Japan. Both items are of the highest quality and look amazing. The Fred V is Grenson’s idea of the British and American work wear boot combined. The big white sole adds the comfort boots should have for everyday wear. The Chup socks are slowly crafted and are inspired by nature from Northern Japan. Did we mention both these items look rad as hell!

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Columbus & Co. Christmas List – Item #3
Our next item happens to be Made in the USA by Civilianaire. It is a light weight crew neck sweatshirt that comes in multiple colors and is very affordable. You can tell the sweatshirt is trim fit and is long enough to fit a taller guy. The sweatshirt on the display in the photo is a size small. We totally dig the tri-blend and the dark contrast of the cuffs, collar and waistband.

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Columbus & Co. Christmas List – Item #2

UNIONMADE Harris Tweed Filson Tote in Dark Olive
The second item we think is a noteworthy share for a Christmas gift is the Filson Harris Tweed Tote in dark olive. This Filson tote is Made in the USA and is 100% wool and lined with canvas on the inside. This tote was exclusively made for Union Made and would be great for use as a carry on bag while traveling or an overnight bag to your favorite ladies house. The quality and construction of this bag is made to last generations.

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