HoldFast Gear

American Made Since 2011

Matthew Swaggart

Tulsa, Oklahoma
A Classic Americana aesthetic centering around style, durability and functionality. Carrying cameras should be easy & never hinder your style.

Tell us about your business.

My name is Matthew Swaggart. I founded HoldFast in the midst of a personal creative reinvention. During this time, I was inspired to holdfast to three very basic values. Taste: Things must look right. Logic: Things must make sense. Faith: Because logic takes us only so far... and then we must leap. I’ve traveled the world, capturing stories of humanity’s highs and lows. I always disliked the bulky and militaristic style of today’s photographer’s gear. And after years of creeping back pain, I became intolerant of its poor function. I determined to create a brand that blended the elegant styles of yesterday with unsurpassed modern functionality. HoldFast was born from a sense of adventure and the belief that history is waiting to be captured and made. I believe an image can tell a story. And a powerful story can make history--and change its course. My hope is that HoldFast equips my fellow image-capturers to better tell such stories.

What makes your business stand out?

Not settling. I work extremely hard to have all of my products made within my own local community. I branch out statewide when I have to, then out a little further but ALWAYS within the US borders. Everything I make is made locally, greatly benefitting local businesses and a small number of products are made in New York. Even the materials I source I strive to buy within the US. I believe that carrying cameras shouldn't hold your wardrobe hostage. You should look as good as the things you shoot, and blend in by not standing out like an militiaman with a camera.

What's the best business advice you've received?

Don't worry about companies that copy, they can't copy your brain so keep dreaming big. Stay out in front by innovating, not worrying about those that copy your innovation.

Mark Your Calendar

  • Nominations
    June 3–Aug. 29, 2014

    Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.

    Nominate yourself
  • Judging
    June 23–Sept. 8, 2014

    Judges will select finalists throughout this period.

    Meet the judges
  • Online Voting
    Sept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014

    Vote for your favorite American makers.

    See the finalists
  • Winners Announced
    Oct. 17, 2014

    2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.

    See past Award Winners
  • American Made Event
    Nov. 7–8, 2014

    Join us for our annual event in New York City.

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