From Emeryville Studio to Startup Success

A former advertising professional, Laurale Wunsch was working on a project involving reclaimed wood when the notion of working with recycled fire hoses came on her radar.

After receiving a trunk-load of the decommissioned fire equipment, Laurale realized she could be an intermediary between designers and fabricators – providing them a unique new material to inspire new products, while also mitigating landfill waste.

Oxgut Hose Co., named for the material originally used to create fire hoses, was born. Starting from a studio in Emeryville, Oxgut has grown into a cutting-edge design workshop selling exclusive upscale products. From fire-hose mats to hammocks, chairs and bags, Oxgut has inspired an entire workshop of artisan goods.

Laurale explains, “Once we were introduced to this rugged, resilient material, its many forms… we couldn’t put it down. We now know more about fire hose than we ever imagined.”

In addition to helping keep waste out of landfills, Oxgut also supports fire prevention and safety, giving back to organizations such as the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation.

Asked how she acquires the hoses and puts the word out there, Laurale laughs and points us to a blog she recently did titled “Getting to Know Our Fire Departments.” A chronicle of her trips to various fire departments up and down the state, it’s a fascinating window in to the heroic work that firefighters perform, particularly during “fire season.”

Laurale agrees, “It’s why our tagline is ‘Exclusive designs with a heroic past.’ Their work is really about heroism and I’m glad we can support our firefighters in some way.”

View Oxgut’s line of products at their website and sign up for their email list to get updates on festivals where the Oxgut booth will appear.