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Bags! {Christmas Gift Guide}

CONTENT

Bags! {Christmas Gift Guide}

Ben Ashby

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I collect bags. I have my go to every day bag (the FOUNT bag), I have my utility bags for when I’m teaching classes (the Sturdy Brothers and the Artifact Tote), I have a travel tote (A JW Hulme), and I have ones for special occasions that I pull out when I’m going somewhere special. I also have a few that I believe in not only for their amazing quality but because I love the people making them. Today I wanted to share a list of my favorite bags for this Christmas season.

Each day is supposed to be nine goods, but for this one I had too many I loved…yet I know I still forgot a few. 18..and go….

1) FOUNT is my go to bag. Made in Cleveland with insanely good leather. They’re basically the Birkin of handmade.

2) I love Peg and Awl. They are one of the original makers to popularize waxed canvas. The PA based team is as genuine as they are creative.

3) J.W. Hulme is a classic American heritage brand. They’ve been creating luxury American made goods for decades. They still hold true with creating timeless pieces that last for decades.

4) Red House VT is a maker I’ve known for years. Watching them grow has been an honor. Their clean Vermont inspired designs are always a refreshing take using rugged materials.

5) Liz Riden is somewhat new to the scene. Specializing in women’s leather goods she is making top quality leather smalls the attic of her Lancaster, PA home.

6) I have had an Artifact tote for eight years. The thing looks as good today as it did nearly a decade ago. They bring midwest charm and midwest frontier level quality to each piece they make.

7) I have two Sturdy Bro. totes and they are indestructible. The waxed canvas is so sturdy I’m convinced it’d survive a hurricane. These are the totes you want if you know its going to get messy and needs to hold up.

8) J. Stark brings a timeless southern feel to their brand. Each piece reminds me of a throw back to earlier days of handmade. Their brand feels like it belong on Main Street in a cute southern town. The entire brand is so well tied together.

9) Forest Bound is one of the OG’s. Like Peg and Awl, Alice has been making top quality well built bags for nearly a decade outside Boston. Her Escape bag has become icon.

10) Farmhouse Frocks is entirely made by Amish makers in the heart of Ohio Amish country. Their designs are always inclusive of all body types and sizes. Their leather goods are festive reminders of their farming, rural, small town roots.

11) One of my favorite totes to carry in the city is a canvas tote by Lineage. Well lined, well structured, and well designed. They bring a bit of modernity to a classic style of bag making.

12) Bradley Mountain is one of the OG millennial makers. San Diego based but inspired by the rugged mountains each piece is a beautiful reminder of good design.

13) I’ve known General Knot for forever. Originally known for their ties and bow ties their well built zippered totes have certainly won my heart.

14) Millican backpacks are the kind you use when you know its going to be a journey. Perfect in airports or camping.

15) Tracey Tanner is a Brooklyn based bad ass who brings fun and bright colors and leathers to the game. Her simple yet very well built designs are perfect smalls to carry on their own or to throw inside a bigger bag.

16) Loyal Stricklin, like Bradley Mountain is one of the first millennial makers to hit it big on social media. Made by a husband and wife team in Nashville each piece is touched and created by them.

17) Artifact Goods is bringing slick modernity to the leather game. Made in central California these bags are they perfect city bags. Timeless yet modern.

18) Our vegan option by Sole Society is actually one of my favorites. I am stopped everywhere I go by folks telling me they love this bag. It pairs perfectly with the Fount bag if you don’t mind mixing vegan and leather.


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There will likely be a second bag list as I’ve already remembered several friends I’ve forgotten. Stay tuned.