by Jane Bianchi | April 9, 2017

Made in FLA: Alligrove Gator Studs

Heady cufflinks and tie clips from Tampa add a bite of Florida finery to menswear 

Gold-plated gator cufflinks from Alligrove; Photography by Alligrove

Gold-plated gator cufflinks from Alligrove; Photography by Alligrove

As an architect in New York, Cuyler Hendricks used 3D printing at the office to generate plastic, scaled-down versions of projects to show clients. When a former colleague told him about a company called Shapeways—which lets designers upload their own drafts, 3D print them in various materials and sell them through the site—he geeked out.

Hendricks dipped his toe into the fashion pond, making fish-shaped belt buckles in bronze and steel. He was fascinated by the idea of printing in silver and gold, but his printer had a size limit, so he had to think of something small. Meanwhile, Hendricks, a Tarpon Springs native and a University of Florida graduate, was yearning to move back home to fish and enjoy the outdoors year-round. With his heart and head stuck in The Swamp, the idea for gator cufflinks was born.

A short time later, he and his wife Katy, also a Florida native and UF alum, returned to the Sunshine State. Katy helped him launch Alligrove in October 2016. These days, the couple spends most weekends fishing and stone crabbing in Ozona on their vintage Angler boat named BY U TOO and hoping the weather forecast calls for dapper design brainstorms.