I’m lucky to know so many makers. People who take a raw material and manipulate it to fit a specific use and aesthetic. Like frame builders, bag makers are able to look at a table full of parts and visualize the whole.
Garrett and Vince are Strawfoot Handmade. They’re two guys working out of a garage in Santa Cruz making everything from Dopp bags to totes for everyday use and kit bags, riding wallets or saddle bags for cycling. It seems like an obvious or easy job for someone who can sew but there’s a lot to the production process and that’s not even counting the development of new goods.
Most importantly however, Garrett and Vince enjoy what they’re doing. They’re tuned into what people want in handmade portage. If a friend has an idea, they’ll mock it up and if it fits their sensibilities, it’ll find itself in their catalog, which is constantly growing. While they’re loved by Santa Cruz locals, you’ll see their products all over the world. They’re even big in Japan.
I spent about a week in Santa Cruz watching them, documenting them, riding bikes with them, getting lunch or coffee with them and ultimately, getting a solid grasp on what it takes to make a run of bags for a company like Giro or their own stock.
There’s a huge disconnect in the world today, stemming from consumerism and a disjointed connection with what a product is, where it comes from and who makes it. Seeing a company like Strawfoot’s operation really makes you think about that. Personally, I feel more connected to a product when I know who made it and where.
If you like what you see here, poke on over at Strawfoot Handmade to see what’s in stock.
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