The phrase grip and word alludes to certain elements Masonic ritual – but I have always thought it also alludes more broadly a person’s handshake (grip) and promise (word) as a pledge of fidelity in matters of business and life; there is something equally special about greeting a friend or colleague with a handshake, or concluding a bit of honest business with one.
Grip and Word was originally launched as a source for unique, silkscreened Masonic t-shirts and Moleskine journals; after becoming a Mason I quickly grew frustrated with the sameness of most Masonic memorabilia out there; there are a few clip art graphics that get used for absolutely everything from shirts to hats to keychains to mugs to golf towels to web sites and on and on, and it seems like everything is in those same shades of bright blue and yellow.
I wanted to offer something distinct and handmade for fellow Masons who are tired of all that cheap sameness, so I made a few things and listed them on Etsy. I picked the name because it was unique, relatively short, and I liked the integrity implied by it.
The bow ties came along later and gradually took over, and here we are, although recently we’ve been returning to our Masonic roots. (What’s with all this talk about Freemasonry? That’s a good question for another FAQ.)