by Maddy Zollo Rusbosin | July 22, 2019

Made in FLA: An Orlando Designer Makes Stylish, Functional Bags and Furniture

Orlando-based Jason Gregory melds quality craftsmanship with creativity, one design idea at a time.

Jason Gregory learned an appreciation for great design from his father. He started Makr to design beautiful products, like tote bags, stools and even a small wall-mounted valet, to solve problems; Photography courtesy of Makr

“Just the little details and little complications is what I’m most into,” says Jason Gregory, the founder of Makr, a product design firm based in Winter Park. Whether you’re looking at a leather good, a piece of furniture or a canvas bag, every single design element—down to the seams—is made with intention. Take the fold weekender tote: It’s constructed with precision so the material does not bunch up when you crease or close it.

“Attention to detail sounds like something small or specific, but for me, it’s about the poetry of the entire object,” he continues.

Fold Weekener canvas tote in black; Photography courtesy of Makr

Born in Miami and raised in Orlando, Gregory got his appreciation for well-constructed objects from his father, who was a contractor and builder. After graduating in 2003 from Ringling College of Art and Design, he took a design job at a Central Florida branding agency.

“I always leaned more toward product,” recalls Gregory. “Makr started because I wanted to do that as a living.” The company began as his side project—that is, until 2009, when GQ featured one of his wallets, skyrocketing business tenfold.

Beyond product design, Gregory’s keen eye for constructing beautiful things has led to collaborations with local businesses on numerous interior projects, including Cuban cafe Black Bean Deli and The Guesthouse, a craft cocktail bar.

Wall-mounted valet; Photography courtesy of Makr

“We designed then built the fixtures. It’s always from a product design standpoint,” he explains of his collaborations. “I’m not doing interior design proper. We’re printing objects, and those objects create the space itself.” Despite his continuing success over the past decade, Makr’s ethos remains true to the brand’s original mission: “We care about creating, solving problems and making things as beautiful as we can.”