Who are the men in your life? What words would you use to describe them, or the things they like? We ask because on visiting Concrete Matter it might be words like timelessness, quality and style which spring to mind. If that also describes your favourite guy-folk, then they’re in for a treat here.
Concrete Matter began its life online in 2012 with a mission to be the go-to place for men’s gifting. Established by three Amsterdam creatives, the web store flourished and the founders quickly decided to open another, this time with four walls. In the autumn of 2013, Concrete Matter opened its painstakingly refurbished front door on the flourishing Haarlemmerdijk and it’s from here that the team continue to showcase its smartly-curated kit to the inquisitive, passing public.
Like a few of its neighbours, Concrete Matter specialises in gifts for others and treats for yourself. Their kitlist includes grooming products, stationery, books, ‘mantiques’… even stuff for the tool shed and definitely it’s somewhere to indulge your gentlemanly aspirations. Allow yourself to fall for its charms.
That isn’t difficult. The store might be small but as the expression goes, it’s also perfectly formed and presents a selection of products which offer desirability, functionality or a combination of both, all with a romantic notion of tradition and quality in mind.
This means that its clientele might sometimes be described as hipster. But those associations are loaded with as many negative connotations as positive ones and we don’t want that. Instead, we’d like to buy in to the romantic ideal too, so we opt to describe Concrete Matter as the kind of place that Mole from The Wind in the Willows might go to buy his whisker comb or replace his pocket watch.
We can’t speak for all men, but the guys at Team Kompas get a kick from Concrete Matter’s skill at eradicating the need for choice. It’s satisfying to be presented with one (maybe two) versions of a product when it’s been so carefully sourced from a brand that carries all the visual, tactile or perceived authenticity you could ask for.
So whether you browse the antique shelves for a badger brush, wood saw or a taxidermy beetle, you’ll feel like it’s the loveliest version of it you’ll ever find.