J.W. Hulme Co. | Leather Bags & Luggage

Meet Kate Arends of Wit & Delight

Kate Arends
Kate Arends wears many hats: blogger, product developer, branding consultant, designer. In 2009, she founded Wit & Delight, a lifestyle blog that has garnered a tight-knit following with an edited yet approachable point of view on decor, fashion, and entertaining. The website has since broadened its focus to include mental health and wellness topics. In 2014, she introduced a limited-edition line of products with Target Corporation. Kate is a proud resident of St. Paul, where she resides with her husband, Joe Peters, and their sweet English labrador, Winnie.

Tell us about Wit & Delight.
Wit & Delight is a blog I started in 2009. I was a new designer and wanted a place where I could begin to collect all the things that I was trying out, what inspired me, and find some like-minded people that were interested in the same things. People came and followed, and it’s been a conversation we’ve been having ever since.

What inspires you?
I think people inspire me the most. I like to have conversations with different people, getting outside of my comfort zone in terms of location. I like to travel – really finding, and looking at things that worked for artists in different decades and learn from what inspired them and reinterpret it into a modern way.

Tell us your take on what’s going on in the Twin Cities creative community.
I’m from the Chicago area, and when I first visited Minnesota, I was so surprised what a creative town it was. I think it’s always been embedded in our culture from the 1970s when punk rock came about. Now people all over the world find these Minnesota brands that have been around for centuries and realize how important that craftsmanship and legacy is. I think it’s something that’s been happening for a while, and it’s due time Minnesota gets credit for it.

What is important to you about supporting small business?
Supporting small businesses is important because it’s supporting the makers that make this community possible – right in your own back yard. By doing so, you allow this prosperity in Minnesota to continue to happen, and you allow for more opportunities for new creatives to get you’re a part of.

What’s your favorite J.W. Hulme bag?
The Gladstone Bag is my absolute favorite. I use it for travel everywhere I’m going. It’s beautiful. It’s a forever piece.

Describe your style.
I gravitate towards classic pieces that build on a lifetime. I’m not one to try out trends. Good button-downs, great blazers, a good driving loafer, great quality leather bags – I think it allows your personality to be front and center. I really like the idea of keeping pieces as they live on with you.

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Meet Brock Davis

Brock Davis
Brock Davis is an award-winning, multi-disciplinary artist and 17-year veteran of the advertising/design industry, where he has collected every notable industry award including the prestigious Cannes Lion. He is a regular contributing artist to the New York Times, Wired, Esquire, Fast Company, Time magazine, and The New Republic. His work has been viewed and shared millions of times over (via 171,000 Instagram followers and counting) and has been featured on NPR, USA Today, ABC, Comedy Central, G4, and was recently named one of Wired Magazine’s 18 influential design leaders. Follow him on Instagram @brockdavis.

What inspires you?
I’m always inspired by being surrounded by other creatives. It doesn’t matter what the discipline is. I get inspired when I eat at a restaurant, and I look at the food in front of me and think about how much time and composition goes into that; when I look at how people express themselves through fashion or through music. Minneapolis, of course, a lot of creative people in all of those disciplines, that’s very inspiring for me to be in that community.

When it comes to making my own work, I really try and draw inspiration from just basic, ordinary things that we see in life that we forget about. My most inspiring times of the day is probably when I’m doing something mundane and mindless: sitting in traffic, cutting the grass, washing dishes. My best ideas always come during these kind of times where I’m scrubbing a pan, and “Oh!” and something hits me. Sometimes it’s something cool and sometimes it isn’t, but there’s always a curiosity there.

How would you describe what’s going on in the Twin Cities right now?
It’s definitely a really good time to be a person who makes things. The maker mentality over the last couple of years, is really strong. There’s such a great, creative culture here, musically, lots of just really talented designers and artists. It’s really easy to be inspired, and I think that it helps make the work better in anyone’s creative discipline.

How would you describe your personal style?
I like minimalism. I like kind of the less is more mindset. I love the process of having an idea and executing that idea so that it resonates as clearly as possible. I like to go back and strip things away until it’s precise and clean. Also, I like to capture things that feel everyday and normal to people, but keep that composed so that it just looks very pristine and clean when I take my images.

What’s your favorite J.W. Hulme Bag?
I love the Editor Brief: lots of compartments for my camera, phone, laptop, change of clothes if I need it, whatever. I also love the esthetic of it, the simplicity. It’s very nice.

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Meet Dahlia Brue of Idun

Dahlia Brue
Dahlia Brue is the proprietor of Idun, an impeccably curated women’s clothing store that would be a draw in any city, but just happens to be located on Selby Avenue in St. Paul. The shop’s interior, minimalistic and stunning, serves as the perfect backdrop to a collection of brands and labels that feel effortless, sophisticated, and timeless.

Tell us about Idun.
Idun is a women’s clothing store in St. Paul. The purpose of Idun was to bring designers who were doing progressive work and bring it to people to show them that there were interesting things going on in St. Paul specifically.

What is important to you about supporting small business?
I think that supporting small business and even specifically American made is important because you know where product is coming from. You know that the business is really taking care to make sure that they’re bringing you the best product that they can. You know that they are really believe in it, so you know you’re getting quality.

Tell us your take on what’s going on in the Twin Cities right now.
I’m so excited to be a part of the Twin Cities and kind of what’s going on here. We’re not in New York, and we’re great with that. We love that we are Minnesota and a little bit under the radar, but still doing really, really great things. I think that to live here and to call this place home, you have to be pushing forward and interested in doing cool things.

What inspires your personal style?
I’m inspired by all different mediums of art, music, fine arts, dance, and it’s cliché, but nature. I think that’s the original beauty, and so going back to those things is really inspiring. I would say my personal style is classic and timeless, but adding a bit of a risk-taking component to make things a little bit interesting and thoughtful and make you look twice.

What’s your favorite J.W. Hulme bag?
My favorite J.W. Hulme bag is the Washburn Tote. I think it’s the perfect size. I have two kids, so I have a lot of stuff, and that bag is perfect.

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Meet Kelly English of Cheeriup

Kelly English
Kelly’s desire to provide her spunky, citymouse daughter a natural and enchanting outdoor play space led her to create a giant hut made of willow branches called a “Thicket”. Weaving together her art, design, and education backgrounds the Thicket is an expertly hand-crafted objet d’art that’s sturdy enough for years of heavy use. Cheeriup’s success has garnered accolades from The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, and Apartment Therapy. Recently Kelly has added the smaller and portable “Fledgling” to her product line that fits yards with a reduced footprint that can be also be brought indoors.

Tell us about Cheeriup.
I make willow playhouses that I call thickets. I actually harvest all the willow from around the entire state. It’s all wild material. Then I hand weave each one into playhouses, primarily for kids, but it’s pretty uncanny how most adults tend to get inside them too.

What inspires you?
What really inspires me with this work is the natural world and the element of play. Early childhood is such a magical moment that we all experience, and it ends up being a touchstone for us for our entire lives. Part of the joy of building these thickets is meeting people and watching them get tunneled back to this time of play and magic that’s really fleeting for most of us in the high tech world that we live in now.

Tell us about being a part of the maker community in Minneapolis/St Paul.
I think we have been thrust back into a new arts and crafts movement. The idea of craft and people making objects by hand and being involved at every stage of that process is really important right now. It’s exciting to be a part of that, and I definitely feel a kinship with the community here in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Describe your personal style.
It’s a mix of handmade, practical and simple. I have a minimalist style, I think, but if I could pare my life down to owning only objects, wearing only objects, that are handmade, that would be my dream.

What’s your favorite J.W. Hulme bag?
I love the Legacy Backpack, and that [Seaside] blue is awesome. Color is life to me, and I love that color.

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Meet Tom Whisenand of Indeed Brewing Company

Tom Whisenand - Indeed Brewing Company
Tom Whisenand is a former globe-trotting photojournalist, cribbage player, and Twin Cities native. But it was his love for craft beer that inspired him to co-found the Indeed Brewing Company with friends Rachel Anderson and Nathan Berndt in 2011. The revered micro-brewery is located in the heart of “Nordeast” Minneapolis, and has amassed a legion of passionate drinkers who have helped raising the profile of the burgeoning local craft beer scene. Indeed’s lineup boasts 26 varieties, of which Tom has diligently sampled each and every one. For ‘quality control’ purposes of course.

Tell us about Indeed Brewing.
Indeed Brewing Company was started in 2012 and has grown quickly to become one of the largest craft breweries in the state. We employ about 40 awesome and dedicated people all focused on making and selling high quality and consistent beer. We love to use unique ingredients in our beer and take chances.

What inspires you?
People all around the world have been making and drinking beer for thousands of years but we are still finding ways to do things a little bit differently or improve upon an age old process. Beer is simple and universal but at the same time lends itself as a canvas for infinite levels of artistic expression.

How would you describe what’s going on in the Twin Cities right now?
People often describe Minnesotans as being a hearty bunch and I think this is true. More specifically I think people who choose to live here and build businesses here share a common characteristic of optimism.

Describe your personal style?
Being in the brewing industry I get to be pretty casual. Jeans, t-shirt, or button-up shirt.

What’s your favorite J.W. Hulme bag?
The duffle bags are pretty sweet.

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Meet Lisa Hackwith of Hackwith Design House

Lisa Hackwith
Lisa Hackwith immersed herself in the art of making clothing, and began selling clothing online in 2010 and four months later she decided to quit her job to devote herself full time to Hackwith Design House.

Was there been a pivotal moment where you decided to be a designer?
I taught myself to sew after I graduated from college with an art degree. I took a year off to research MFA programs when I discovered my medium – designing and making clothes.

What does handmade mean to you, and why is it important?
Like J.W. Hulme, we value quality, and it’s important to us that we make everything in our studio in Minneapolis where we know our workers are paid fairly and where we can monitor the quality of the products we are putting out. We want our pieces to be favorites of our customers, and items that they can pull from their closets for years to come.

What are your favorite J.W. Hulme products?
I love the Excursion Bag and the Weekend Bag.

What else inspires you?
I am inspired by those living authentic lives. People who want to buy local, to support their neighbors, to know that their money is being used toward something productive and not destructive while contributing to the local economy. Our clothing is made with these people in mind. It is also inspiring to be a part of a community of makers and small business owners that provides the conscientious consumer with beautiful and quality products. Our favorite meetings are the ones where we get to sit down with artists that are a part of our Makers Alongside Hackwith Design House series and hear about their work, their passions. There is nothing more inspiring than talking to someone who loves what they do and are great at it.

How would you describe your style?
I am drawn to clean lines, neutral tones, and pieces that are made with care and in a sustainable way. I am pretty minimalist when it comes to accessorizing, so I wear pieces that I love and feel comfortable in.

What is important to you about buying local and supporting American Made?
I am constantly impressed by people in this country that have stepped up and are doing things. They’re making, creating, writing, building, contributing. They’re forming businesses doing what they love and are good at. We are proud to have brought back manufacturing jobs to the North Loop neighborhood in Minneapolis. We are impressed by other companies and people doing the same. It’s exciting to be a small part of the movement back to American Made products and joining those who have been doing it all along.

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Meet Tastemaker Rita Mehta of The American Edit

Rita American Edit
Rita Mehta, founder of The American Edit. A place to celebrate the brands that manufacture in the United States, educate the ones who would like to start, and elevate self-sufficiency in style.

What does handmade mean to you, and why is it important?
Anything that is handmade is special – whether the item is the epitome of quality and a work of art and precision or a work in process. Technology is amazing and has it’s place, but there is an irreplaceable appeal to handmade goods.

Tell us about your favorite J.W. Hulme product picks.
Continental Duffle, Linwood Large Wallet, Leather Envelope, Legacy Shopper Tote

What is important to you about supporting small business or American-made brands?
There are too many reasons to share in one post! Ultimately, I believe in responsible, thoughtful consumption and the best way to do that is to support local businesses and brands.

What else inspires you?
Travel. The amazing makers I meet while writing The American Edit. A really great book. The idea that the more I work, the more I can give back.

How would you describe your style?
Casual. With the exception of my shoes, I focus on comfort and almost always wear jeans. I wouldn’t say my style is minimalist, but I ascribe to the idea that you should buy less, but better and have a comparatively small wardrobe that aligns with that notion.

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Meet Tastemaker Pip Hanson of Marvel Bar

Pip Marvel Bar
Multidisciplinary by nature, Pip Hanson started bartending while studying jazz drumming and playing in rock bands in 2005. He first learned the bar trade under Johnny Michaels at La Belle Vie in Minneapolis before moving to Tokyo in 2007, where he tended bar at Fifty One in the Roppongi Hills Club.

During his days off Hanson sought out cocktail mentors in Ginza, Tokyo’s fashion district, where he studied classic Japanese cocktail technique with “hard shake” inventor Kazuo Uyeda. He also helped form the rock group Mazis, which was chosen by Tokyo’s Rocking On Magazine as one of the 20 best new bands of 2009.

Upon returning to Minneapolis Pip oversaw the bar program at Cafe Maude and co-founded the North Star Bartenders Guild. He also penned a drinks column for Metro Magazine where he opined about the nascent Twin Cities cocktail scene and helped translate Kazuo Uyeda’s Cocktail Techniques into English. In 2011 City Pages named him Bartender of the Year.

After more than a year of planning Pip and his team opened Marvel Bar to acclaim in August 2011. Bon Appetit Magazine named Marvel Bar and The Bachelor Farmer one of America’s ten best new restaurants and Marvel Bar has been a James Beard national semifinalist for Outstanding Bar Program two years in a row. It has also received national recognition as one of the best cocktail bars in the country from Eater.com and Thrillist

How would you describe your style?
Design by deletion

What else inspires you?
Everything, even the examples of what not to do.

What is your favorite part about what you do?
Making someone’s day better.

What are your favorite J.W. Hulme products?
I like the simplicity of the classic brown and grey totes.

Tell us about the community in the Twin Cities and how you work inside of it.
There are so many people doing incredible, eclectic things all over – it’s great to be able to learn from totally different crafts.

What is important to you about supporting small business or American-made brands?
I respect dedication to quality wherever it’s found.

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Meet Tastemaker Tricia Khutoretsky of Public Functionary

Tricia Public Functionary
Tricia Khutoretsky is the Co-Director and Curator of Public Functionary, a non-profit arts center in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District. A blend of contemporary art exhibition and social space, Public Funtionary creates new experiences in collaboration with local and national artists that are redefining the role of the modern gallery.

What inspires you?
I’m constantly on the search for inspiration, and I’m a visual thinker so anything aesthetically pleasing gets ideas churning in my head, from seeing the way a painting is installed in a museum to an interesting interior in a retail space or restaurant. But, I grew up overseas and thrive on seeing the world, so I would say that travel experiences are what truly gets my creativity flowing, because it takes me out of the everyday grind for a change of perspective.

How do you decide what makes the cut be in Public Functionary?
Curating for Public Functionary is an interesting challenge because I focus on showcasing artists on what I call an “eclectic continuum,” meaning that we show a deliberate but varied range of art. I believe that in order break down elitist attitudes around art and galleries, and to create a gallery experience that is relevant to modern audiences, there should be diversity in the art that a gallery shows. And when referring to “diversity” I am not using the cliche definition of the word. The world today is diverse in so many multifaceted ways. People are more complex, have unique tastes and less definable by stereotypes. So in terms of what makes the cut, it’s generally a requirement that the work be in an obvious way, different from the last show, and much different from the next. The overarching criteria though is well crafted, thoughtful art by complex artists. I’m hoping to cultivate an audience for art that enjoys diversity, unexpected experiences, and the opportunity to see and understand something new.

How would you describe your style?
Comfort is always my number one priority as I am super active. But I gravitate towards a bohemian style in the summer, lots of color, pattern and flowy lines. Winter is more minimal and monochromatic for me, gray, black and white in a tighter fit for layers and warmth. Fall and Spring style exist somewhere in between the two, of course.

Tell us about the creative community in the Twin Cities and how you work inside of it.
One of the things I most love about the creative community here is the cross-over energy between music, art, fashion, design, restaurants etc. While we don’t have the major city benefits like New York or Los Angeles, we do have attainable resources, affordable space and collaborative energy. I work within this community by making ideas happen, taking risks, supporting innovation and encouraging multidisciplinary collaboration. I’d like to hope I can somehow represent what it is that makes the Twin Cities an exceptional place to be a creative.

What are your favorite J.W. Hulme products?
I’m absolutely obsessed with the new cobalt blue line… it’s totally Yves Klein blue! It’s absolutely gorgeous and J.W. Hulme executes the iconic color in leather goods flawlessly.

Tell us about Public Functionary’s beginnings.
Public Functionary was initiated in 2012 by myself and a group of collaborators from a boutique creative agency, Permanent Art and Design. The then partners of the agency were focusing on design projects, but all had roots in the art community. Working on the marketing and curation of two galleries: CO Exhibitions and XYandZ Gallery, the group of us spent a lot of time examining the landscape of Twin Cities art spaces… and what we felt was both possible and lacking. A year later, with a 30K Kickstarter campaign, a lot of crazy ideas and resources pulled from reputations built on creative hustle, we founded Public Functionary. The goal was to be a “modern gallery” that could re-imagine art patronage as fun, playful and energetic. The organization has since organically grown to be a platform for experimentation and collaboration, and new partners and leaders have since added to the vision for the space. We’re in the first two years, so as with building any new business it’s not without challenges and compromises. But community support is strong and consistent, I’m excited to continue building.

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Meet Tastemaker Paul Berglund of The Bachelor Farmer

Paul Bachelor Farmer
Paul Berglund is the Swedish-American executive chef of The Bachelor Farmer, and a 2014 James Beard Award finalist. Specializing in farmhouse-inspired fare that is sourced locally, The Bachelor Farmer is an authentic yet modern take on Minnesota’s Scandinavian heritage, and its success has brought national attention to the burgeoning Minneapolis culinary scene.

Was there been a pivotal moment where you decided to be a chef?
I was reaching the final year of my obligation to the U.S. Navy and went through a proper self-led life goals/career/values assessment, which even included reading What Color Is Your Parachute? , if I recall correctly. I whittled my career search down to 2 professions: park ranger and chef. I chose a profession that is still very dear to me. The people that I work with have become the richest part of the experience. I would have had to get good at talking to owls if I chose differently.

What’s your favorite food?
No way. Can’t do it. I’ll list 5: Lox and bagels (that was 1), peanut butter, BLTs, bibimbap, dark chocolate

Tell us about your favorite J.W. Hulme product picks.
The American Heritage duffle bag fills me with a genuine impulse to take a trip just to use it. The Classic tote elevates weekend outings around town to events. My Classic Bi-fold wallet, a gift from my wife, Kelli, has a great patina on it now and just feels good whenever I use it.

What is important to you about supporting small business or American-made brands.
My first intentional Made in the USA purchase was a Cannondale commuting bike about 12 years ago. Slowly, ever since, I have made it part of the process of choosing what I buy. It’s hard, frankly, to do it. It’s not cheap and it often limits your options significantly. It matters, though. The more people that understand the process of hands-on creation of the goods that touch our lives, the more connection that we have with the world around us. Not too long ago, we understood in a deeper way the value and source of the food that we ate, the clothes that we wore, and the goods that were the backdrop of our lives. That fostered community and social responsibility. Those are good things to shoot for as we look ahead.

What inspires you?
Nature inspires me. It connects me with the seasons, which influence our food in a significant way. Knowing that a better way to do things exists inspires me to keep looking for those ways. The idea that eating can bring joy to people inspires me.

Tell us about the culinary community in the Twin Cities and how you work inside of it.
The culinary community in town is an incredibly warm and supportive one. The chefs that I have met since moving to Minneapolis have really taught me how good it feels to be warmly welcomed. I hope that I can do the same for others, when given the chance.

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