A few months ago I started out on a mission that I thought would be an easy one. I was looking for a nice mens wood valet to hold all of my pens, watches, and glasses. Sounds simple enough, right? I’m here to tell you that it was not nearly as easy to find as I thought it would be. I spent weeks searching online, and emailing people and I was unable to find anything other than some really cheap looking options that looked like they were slapped together in some factory that mass-produced nothing but garbage. After becoming frustrated I took a different route and started looking for woodworkers that might be able to build me a custom mens wood valet for all of my pens, glasses, and watches. I knew I would have to pay a bit more with this option since it would be exactly what I wanted, and I’d be much more likely to get a high quality product. My search led me to the incredibly friendly and easy to work with folks at
Nastrovia Gifts. For my usual full disclosure as required by law, I do want to point out that as with some of the products I review, I did get a slight discount on this product. Sadly the folks from Nastrovia Gifts seem to have dropped off-line, so I cant point you to where you can find them or a nice mens wood valet like this any longer.
My main objective was that the custom mens wood valet had to have a compartment on the top with a glass lid for my watches, and two drawers, one for my pens, and one for my glasses and some other small accessories like my wallet and cell phone. The end result was what you see above which measures 9.5″ X 9.75″ X 13.75″ and has enough space for plenty of my pens, watches, glasses, and other items.
As you can see, the top compartment of this custom mens wood valet opens up to reveal a felt lined flat bed that currently holds my 4 watches, but has room for one or two more. For those watch folks out there, I’m sure you might have some issues with my choice of watches shown here, but they are what they are. Personally I like having my watches easily visible, so that is why I wanted the top compartment to have the glass lid, however I can see that other folks might prefer the pens or possibly even their glasses to be in the top compartment of the valet so they are easier to see.
The next drawer is fitted with a pen holder that can fit about 19 pens depending on how thick they all are. The cool part is that as I said before, I know some people might prefer their pens to be in the top glass part, so the pen holder insert easily slips out and can be dropped into the top compartment and you can move the watches to the middle drawer. The top compartment of the mens wood valet is slightly larger than the inside of the drawer, so there is a little extra space around the edges, but it still looks great either way. Under the pen compartment, the inside of the drawer has the same brown felt linking to make sure whatever you put in there wont get scratched up.
The bottom drawer as you can see has my glasses, my Blackberry, my wallet and my awesome Wurkin Stiffs Magnetic Collar Stays that have become one of my favorite accessories. Again, this drawer is felt lined and can also take the pen insert tray if I want to change things up a bit. Having all of my pens, watches, and glasses, along with my phone and wallet in one place like this wood valet has been a huge help with my sometimes disorganized habit of leaving those items in random places during the day.
I’m really enjoying this custom-made mens wood valet for many reasons. It is a perfect match for my needs, and helps me be much more organized, while eliminating the issue of having to remember where I may have left my watch, pen, or wallet. In addition to all of that, it was just nice to be able to spend money with a US based craftsman instead of blindly sending my money off to some overseas mass producer of stuff that probably pollutes like crazy. I can’t recommend finding a great woodworker like Nastrovia Gifts strongly enough if you are looking for that hard to find item that needs to be perfect. I wish I had been able to recommend this in time for father’s day because I think it would have made an amazing gift for such an occasion.
The other really cool things about buying my custom mens wood valet from the nice folks from Nastrovia is that I got to support an American business, and I also got to see the process from start to finish, so here are a few of those pictures to share with you. The first one shows the raw lumber used that was eventually made into my valet.
This next photo shows the mens wood valet being assembled with all of the pieces being glued together and held in place, and the final picture below shows the drawers being put in.
So I know this option might not be for everyone, but I really can’t recommend it enough, as long as you find a great vendor who does quality work like the folks at Nastrovia. I know that this mens wood valet is something that I’ll probably own and enjoy for a very long time. My only concern is that I’ll probably end up with more watches and pens than will ever fit in here, but that a good problem to have, and I know that if/when that day comes, my friends at Nastrovia Gifts will probably have a solution in store for me.