Bold, refined, adventurous. The three words Pig & Hen uses to describe itself hint at the naval spirit that inspired the business. The name of the brand is a nod to a Dutch tradition from the 1600s when sailors would tattoo a pig and a hen on their feet before sailing into unknown waters – the animals were considered a symbol of good luck because, being transported in wooden crates, they were often the only creatures to survive a shipwreck.
The brand’s signature bracelets are handmade in Amsterdam using real nautical rope and naval-strength steel. This authenticity and craftsmanship have made them popular with people all over the world, yet Pig & Hen’s existence as a fashion accessories brand happened almost by accident, evolving from a hobby.
“It all began with my business partner Dominic” explains Stefan Textor, Pig & Hen’s Co-owner and e-commerce Director. “He was a sailor and started making handmade bracelets with nautical rope in his spare time. Friends began asking Dominic to make bracelets for them too. His friend Rutger had a commercial background so encouraged Dominic to turn his hobby into a fashion accessories business. They went to a fashion fair and promoted some of Dominic’s designs. After the first day, they had over 35 deals with retailers.”
The team realized that they had tapped into something special and created a unique product. From there, things moved quickly – they came back from that event on Monday, had acquired premises by Thursday, hired two members of staff by Friday, and went into production on Saturday.
The brand now has a flagship store in Amsterdam, which is also home to its headquarters and workshop where each of the bracelets is lovingly handmade by a dedicated team. Currently, with eighteen designs in several colors, a new collection is released twice a year and a special edition collection twice a year.