A Bolt of Inspiration

All that Grateful Fred is today began with the combination of love for the Grateful Dead and electric cars. At the beginning of 2020, Fred’s founder (Stephen) started toying with the idea of trying to encapsulate both of those passions by rolling everything into one concise symbol... The 13-Point Bolt. The idea seemed simple enough, but the execution was yet to be determined. 

From the start he just wanted a chrome bolt for himself, so he started out the only way he knew how, with a lump of clay (literally). Clay led to a resin cast bolt, and some hard lessons about applying chrome to resin cast plastic. He decided to enlist professional help, but knew that doing so would require making a lot more than just one bolt. 

At the time he wasn’t entirely sure what he’d do with all those extra bolts, but when Covid-19 hit, his career as a freelance content creator took a turn and inspired him to take a chance on this idea. So, with that kernel of doubt and no clue how something like this could play out, he crossed his fingers and went for it, and Grateful Fred was born.


From our early days of the chrome bolt, to the requests for more bolts, more innovation, and more products, we’ve managed to learn something important about our people…

Deadheads have a strong desire to share their love for the Dead, and are looking for more stealthy, stylish and seamless ways to do so.

That’s where Grateful Fred’s chrome badges come in. Badges aren’t bumper stickers, magnets or vinyl clings. They are three dimensional, chrome plated, raised letters, numbers or symbols that have been thoughtfully designed to blend seamlessly with the current chrome badges that adorn most of the cars we see on the road today.

The Fred Studio The Final Tour Shakedown Team Grateful Fred on Shakedown Street 

Meet the Fred Team


Just a small team of Grateful Dead loving individuals that are passionate about creating new and innovative ways for Deadheads to express their love of the music and the band.

We care a great deal about the quality of the products they produce and the service we provide. We do our best to listen to our audience, and hope to create a next-level customer experience... That’s who we are and that’s what we’re all about.

Fred and Stephen, Founder of Grateful Fred

Is there an actual Fred?

Yes. Fred was in fact a very real dog. But not just any ol’ dog, he happened to be a damn good dog. So damn good that we thought our beloved Fred was deserving of having the company named after him. Aside from that, it’s just a nice way to keep those good Fred vibes alive.


The son and grandson of engineers, it’s no surprise Stephen is pre-wired for tinkering, designing, making and creating. He’s always had a passion for creative problem solving, which led him to a long career as an art director and creative director at some of the worlds most decorated advertising agencies.

But as it turns out, the advertising industry wasn’t where his heart was, so he left to explore his new creative outlet on Instagram. That outlet eventually turned into an audience of 475k+ followers. That audience resulted in brands like Apple and Instagram contracting Stephen to develop bespoke social and creative content on their behalf.

But when Covid-19 showed up, the freelance market took a huge hit. That sudden uncertainty challenged Stephen to explore new possibilities... possibilities, like Grateful Fred. Never in a million years did he think that his love of art and the Grateful Dead would lead to the words on this page, but here we are and he couldn’t be happier about it.