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

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 the greens and [Seaside] blue is awesome. Color is life to me, and I love that color.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Meet Tastemakers Todd Randall & Zak Fellman of Sandborn Canoe

Sanborn Canoe
Todd Randall and Zak Fellman are two of the Co-Founders of Sanborn Canoe, a hand-crafted wooden canoe and kayak paddle company. Their hand painted products are preserving and cultivating the North Star State’s heritage of paddling.

Tell us about Sanborn Canoe’s beginning.
Sanborn Canoe Co. began as a bunch of guys who went to the BWCA together every year, year after year. Then, one winter our grandpa was telling Zak and me about how he built several canoes with some friends in the 60s with the goal of taking Boy Scouts from the Twin Cities out to enjoy the outdoors. We were inspired and set to work building our own boat. After much trial and error, we had a cedar strip canoe and several paddles to power it. It was during this time we discovered a knack for woodworking and a love of the process.

What is important to you about buying local and supporting American Made?
Learning to make our own camping gear has led to an appreciation of well made, quality goods. Local and American made products typically come with a promise of quality. You have an opportunity to know the maker and know the pride they take in their work. Being proud of what you do leads you to take ownership and refuse to settle for something second rate.

What inspires you?
Our inspiration at Sanborn comes from many sources. One of the major inspirations is a connection to the past. Our beginnings as a company are a testament to that fact. We are who we are because of the people who came before us. We canoe because our parents and grandparents spent their free time on the water. We hope our love of the outdoors and our passion for creating beautiful, quality products inspires the same in others.

What are your favorite J.W. Hulme products?
My favorite J.W. Hulme products are the duffel bags that combine leather and waxed canvas. They have the feel of the road and an eagerness to travel.

Tell us a bit about how being a part of the maker movement inspires you.
Being a part of the maker movement is humbling and inspiring all at once. It’s really inspiring to see others putting their talents to work creating things of real worth. It’s also humbling knowing that for as proud as we are of our work, we are only a tiny part of something much larger.

Meet Tastemaker Eric Dayton of Askov Finlayson

Eric Dayton Askov Finlayson
Eric Dayton and his brother Andrew Dayton are the co-founders of Askov Finlayson, a uniquely Minnesotan menswear brand built with an appreciation for high quality American-made products and timeless design. Founded in 2011 their flagship store has become a fixture of Minneapolis’ NoLo District, and is known for its unpretentious style and well-edited collection of like-minded brands.

Tell us about Askov Finlayson’s beginnings.
My brother and I opened Askov Finlayson in the fall of 2011. We had just opened The Bachelor Farmer and Marvel Bar two months earlier, so it was a busy stretch. At first, we didn’t have any store employees; it was just Andrew and me. We’d be working in the restaurant until late at night and then do rock, paper, scissors to see who had to wake up early and open the shop the next morning. Fortunately, we now have a little more help! And then about a year ago, we started introducing our own Askov Finlayson products. The first was our Explorer Pant and we’ve been slowly expanding the brand ever since.

What is important to you about buying local and supporting American Made?
We’re seeing in all three of our businesses that, more and more, customers are interested in the story behind the product. Whether it’s a bottle of wine or an article of clothing, they want to know where it came from and who made it. We want to be able to tell stories that we’re proud of, and we’re always proud to tell American (and especially Minnesotan) stories. But ultimately, the story doesn’t matter if the quality and value aren’t there. We make our pants here in the U.S. not for the story, but because that’s where the best factory in the world is located.

What else inspires you?
I’m fortunate to get to travel quite a bit for work. Askov Finlayson takes my brother and me around the country, and The Bachelor Farmer has taken us to Scandinavia a couple of times with our chef. It’s very valuable to get out and see what’s happening in other cities. I always come back from a trip with new ideas and fresh energy, but our point of view remains deeply rooted in Minneapolis and this region.

How would you describe your style?
I’m not much good at describing it, really. I just buy things that I really respond to and put them together in a way that feels right to me. And that’s essentially how we buy for the store, too. It’s very personal.

What are your favorite J.W. Hulme products?
I’ve been so impressed by some of the recent designs that feel very forward-looking to me and represent an evolution of J.W. Hulme’s traditional styles. Bags like the Fremont Weekender and the Cody Tote are perhaps not what you’d expect from a 100-year-old Minnesota company, and that’s exciting.

Meet Tastemaker Danielle Everine, Fashion Designer

danielleMinneapolis–based fashion designer Danielle Everine was a Twin Cities favorite even before she appeared on Season 9 of Project Runway. Now back in the Twin Cities, she continues to design fashion to “encourage people to be independent, create their own look, and have their own voice.” Here, she shares her fashion philosophy and what the word “handmade” really means to her industry.

Was there been a pivotal moment where you decided to be a designer?
As I believe many designers are, I was born to design clothing and dress people. I don’t think I have much choice in the matter. Defining my place in the fashion world took much longer to develop and is still evolving.

What is your fashion philosophy? How did you develop it?
I am interested in a new definition of beauty. I think a lot of people have been bombarded with this glamorous look that has been valued as the epitome of fashion and are striving for perfection. To me, real people, real adventure, and real activities are what is fun and beautiful. My clothes encourage people to be independent, create their own look, and have their own voice. I aim to empower women through my clothes, inspire them to be adventurous, and look great while doing so. Jump on a bicycle, explore the forest, enjoy the cold, hike a few miles, sail the seas, and travel are a few of the ways I love to spend my time. I design clothing to match.

What does handmade mean to you, and why is it important?
The amazing thing about all clothing is that it is all made by human hands! There are different levels of automation for various complex operations, but in the end, an individual person is making each garment. The true difference is between mass production and small-scale manufacturing. Mass production usually means 10,000-plus units of a particular style made at rapid speed and flooded into giant retailers. This fuels endless cycles of buying and a huge amount of waste in terms of raw materials, shipping, and unwanted goods. Small-scale production is absolutely incredible for many reasons. The care taken to produce each item is inspiring, environmentally producing smaller runs in preferable, and as a consumer you not only know there is a limited number of certain styles, but that the item will outlive anything else in your closet.

What are your favorite J.W. Hulme products?
I have and love the Mia tote in Navy with yellow trim. I also adore the Whitney Clutch in perforated leather Onyx with cream trim.