Hello! We are making leather bags now!!
(you can click right through now to see them all, or read on below for all of the wordy details) (i am always wordy) (and I talk with my hands)
I have been experimenting with leather for the last few years and have spent the better part of the last year making this new micro collection happen. I had to make some hardline decisions about how we would do this, opting to seek out the very best in the industry to draw on their knowledge and expertise. I visited a lot of people, asked a million questions, iterated designs over and over and over and ultimately, settled on two Los Angeles based family owned businesses. The tannery we are working with was able to help us design exactly to our specifications the leather hides, color and finishes so we had complete control over what the end product would look like. And, they are who I looked to for advice on a manufacturer. It was important to me that we find someone operating much like we operate at our home base in Pittsburgh. I wanted the same quality we produce here at Moop, but the equipment and skill set that we do not currently have. What I found was a small batch manufacturer based in east LA, working with a small team about the same size as ours, producing super high quality products. His legacy is doing production work for heritage brands like Red Wing and Ralph Lauren…two companies I think we all could agree know quality. His craft made it possible for me to design in a way that we would not be able to produce in house and his business practice made me feel comfortable with adding a new arm to our production team.
I feel like I have a big responsibility to operate, always, with a hyper local sensibility. This does not mean I have to do everything myself, in Pittsburgh, and operate as the martyr I have for the last ten years, which, in truth, has limited my growth as a business and stressed a lot of personal relationships around me. This is a business and personal well being lesson that has hit home hard this year as I saw so many things falling apart for myself due to the work schedule I have lived by for the last decade. It’s not healthy and does not lead to better business. So, I’ve been putting a lot of energy into restructuring and re-understanding how I can best run and grow this business into something that continues to support a solid network of highly skilled humans who make things. It has opened up my desire to design more, made me willing to be more involved in business communities, open to more collaborative projects and all around just put me in a better place to imagine the next ten years of my career as I grow and expand Moop to its full potential. All of that is rolled up in these new bags. All of those lessons and energies and histories and desires and excitements. I think you all will be as excited about them as I am. I had a lot of fun photographing them, too. I pulled together some amazing people and styled and photographed everything with the kind of creative energy that I’ve been craving. It felt good. And, was a lot of fun. And then we partied.
Oh! I also wanted to mention that I had all of you who are more interested in leather free products in mind with this collection, too. We took the same design and made it in an entirely leather free version, made of waxed canvas and cordura. I’m working to make that possible on future designs as we move forward.
I hope you love them! This first run is in pretty limited quantities and we’ll start shipping them out next week so, get one while you can! Here’s the link.
As we are all here in the US headed into Thanksgiving week, I am, for the first time in a decade, not hosting Thanksgiving dinner! And, it's giving me a new perspective on my favorite holiday. I'm planning a quiet dinner at home with just my lovely daughter and a few friends for a night cap after all of our respective meals. I'm looking forward to it! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of the support you have given to us, the kind words, the encouraging reminders, the carrying of our bags, the recommendations, the everything. You’ve helped me build something that supports myself, my little family and a handful of people who dedicate their days to making bags with me. And now a growing network of people around the country helping us build the very best bags.