What is informal?

We’re informal and hardware is our specialty. 

Whether you’ve come across a blog post of ours or stumbled upon our name somewhere on the internet, you’ve likely wondered what the heck informal is. Read on! We’ve got the lowdown for ya. 


informal is a freelance collective for the most talented independent professionals in hardware and hardtech. 

We’re here to help entrepreneurs and hardware founders get connected with professionals in the field so that together, they can turn ideas into businesses.

Whether you’re looking for a single contractor, a full-time employee, or an entire team of professionals, we’ll source the best talent possible for your goal.  

Preliminary Design

Whenever we talk about informal, we’re often asked how the collective came to be. The answer is pretty on-brand — it happened organically and well, informally. 

Back in 2018, co-founders Sam Holland and Nate Padgett connected when Sam applied to teach a course where Nate worked. Their initial meeting involved zero talk of the course, and a whole lot of talk about freelancing. 

By that evening, the duo had drafted an outline, bought the informal domain, and filed as an LLC. You could say they “defined the (working) relationship” pretty quickly. 

Four years later and there has been growth, changes, and challenges along the way, but the roots of informal have always stayed the same — create kick-ass hardware while working with the industry’s top independent talent.  


Still wondering what makes informal different from other hardware companies? 

Great question! We do things a little differently:

  • We make hardware approachable for the everyday entrepreneur, with the attention to detail needed for successful mass production.
  • We’ve got professionals in design, engineering, manufacturing, branding, operations, and sourcing — we’re a one-stop shop for all your hardware needs.
  • We can grow and scale with your business. You have the ability to press the gas or hit the brakes at any point — you only pay for the time that you need. 
  • We’re a collective, not an agency. Our freelancers have autonomy over how they want to work and what they want to work on.

Alrighty, that’s enough about us — tell us about you! We’re always looking for new freelancers and entrepreneurs to work with. Drop us a line — we’d love to chat.

Client Stories, Hardware Handbook
Lee Wilkins

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