Welcome to the Urban EDC Showcase! Each week, we feature a member of the EDC community and the gear they rely on every day. Want to be featured? Submit your gear photo.
From Warsaw, Poland, Jan (@matterofgear) started out as – in his own words – a “french-fries-expert” before pivoting and pursuing his passion in photography, writing, and making waves in the creative industry. Read on for Jan’s full rig rundown and find out how his mother played a critical role in both his EDC journey and his love for making pictures.
What's your story:
Hi! My name is Jan and I am a freelance photographer and copywriter from Warsaw, Poland. I work mostly in Social Media and Digital. I make photos, write copy, make up new ideas and strategies for many different clients – from industrial ones, through automotive, ending with cosmetics.
It was quite a long road for me to be in this business – I started as a french-fries-expert in one of the fast-food companies, after that, I was working in a call center.
One day, I realized that I cannot do this anymore – I felt really bad with myself – and I’ve quit the job to pursue my photography passion which led me to the redaction of one of the biggest photography magazines in Poland.
After this, I’ve decided that I want to try myself in advertising – and I am very happy with this decision! But I also hope that the best still lay ahead!
My road to the EDC is also quite complex. In my family, each man always carried a Swiss Army Knife – my father, my uncle, my grandpa who I didn’t know. I was first given a SAK by my Mom when I was about 10 years old – she also gave me the book "The Art of Living and Survival” by Hans-Otto Meissner which is one of the most important books in my life and I’ve read it like a million times.
While I was a teenager, I was a Scout and I always had a SAK with me. Then, while surfing the Web, I’ve discovered EDCforums and I’ve realized that many more people carry a knife with them – and they also have some fancy flashlights, multitools etc – I was amazed! It was about 8-9 years ago.
From then on, I have expand my collection and always try to be prepared – which is proving to be useful every day! Besides using and collecting – I love talking and getting to know the people form the EDC community – I have never seen such a great community so far.
In my free time, I try to try (no pun intended) and do as many things as possible. I was a paramedic in Scouts, I’ve played guitar in a metal band, I was collecting stamps, I’ve played an awful lot of Magic the Gathering card game, but there is a hobby that was always with me – photography.
This is another thing that my Mother showed me – she was always taking photos while traveling with me around Poland when I was a kid. I started shooting photos with cheap Lomo camera, but when I turned eighteen, my Mom and godfather gave me my first camera – Canon 1000D. And then it started for real! About four years ago I bought a film camera – Canon A1 – and it became my passion.
Now I shoot with medium format Mamiya, but I have so much work to do, that I don’t have that much time to do this as much as I want.
Favorite EDC Tool:
Picking my favorite item is very, very hard. But I think it would be my Victorinox Compact. This is a perfect tool for an urban environment – it is also classic and doesn’t make people scared. I think I could do about 90% of everyday work with it!
What's On Your Gear Radar:
There are a few items on my wishlist - I really dream about a customized SAK. If my Compact had acid washed tools and titanium scales with a place for tweezers, pen, needle and a toothpick - I would be on a cloud nine!
I also want to buy another flashlight - preferably Titanium or Stainless Steel one. On the list, there are also some quality handmade leatherwork and knives, but there are too many of them to write about them in details - one of them is GiantMouse Ace Sonoma.
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Feminine but not girly. Quality over quantity. That's the ethos behind Victoria's (@sh_e.d.c) carry. A musician and photographer from Orange County, California, Victoria first got into EDC after gifting her friend with a blacked out ZT, and that led to her first Spyderco Para 3 – and as they say, the rest is history. Read on for Victoria's full rig rundown, and find out what other knives she has her eye on!