How it all began
In 2019, I became determined to solve a problem that I faced for over a decade. Every time I traveled, went to a concert, ran errands, or did literally anything at all I had to decide: what bag do I bring? (Cue dramatic music...)
My shoulder purses were cute, but uncomfortable. Backpacks were useful, but not always cute. The decision to not wear a purse inevitably meant losing something. The classic fanny pack wasn't easy to dress up when the occasion called for it. Bringing multiple bags drove my inner minimalist crazy. Most of my purses and bags either had no pockets at all or pockets that weren’t useful.
I wanted something I could wear cross-body when hitting the grocery store, throw around my waist for a quick hike, and over the shoulder to get fancy. It needed to be cute, practical, and versatile. Big enough for the essentials, light enough to forget it was there. I just wanted ONE comfortable bag, I could wear everywhere.
One day, I was packing for a trip and did one last internet search for the convertible, lightweight, leather pouch of my dreams. When I didn't find what I wanted, I decided I would just have to make it myself. This would be a good time to add that I am not a leatherworker by trade nor do I consider myself particularly artistic. However, I have always loved leather bags and plastic Little Mermaid pocketbooks too.
But the drive of wanting something this badly, for this long, forced me way out of my comfort zone.
I dropped whatever I was doing and made my first of many trips to Tandy Leather. I purchased the basic leather working tools, and got some tips from the pros. I bought some beautiful North American deer and elk skin hides from a small tannery on Etsy.
For the next few years, I worked around my full time job in our spare room to figure out the design for the “Wallabee.” Inspired by the marsupial, I wanted it to be pouch-shaped, so it was more fitted to the female form. I traced a medium salad bowl and cut it in half to make the pattern for the body. The antique brass snaps I chose to make the strap adjustable were inspired by a studded Michael Kors bag I had in college. The easiest stitch I could learn was whip stitch and I loved the boho look.
After making a dozen prototypes, I got closer to the perfect design for the pouch I was now calling the “Bee” for short. I continued selling and gifting my prototypes to friends and family who loved them, the word started to spread until I ultimately had 100+ people on my waitlist.
In 2021, we moved to beautiful Lyons, Colorado. With more space to create, I finally had my own workshop, received the gift of a lay-off from my full time job, and decided to fully immerse myself in Lyons Leather Co.
To scale the business past my own two hands, I've partnered with a team of talented leather artisans in Leon, Mexico, a region known as the leather bag capital of the Americas. I continue to design everything in our collection with the intention of making simple, versatile goods that inspire a minimalist, adventurous lifestyle. Getting feedback from this little, mighty community has also been my North Star. Together with my team, we handcraft each collection in small-batches to ensure quality over quantity.
We are proudly partnered with the "most sustainable tannery in North America." Not only are they solar-powered, but they only source hides that are by-products of the food industry. All of our partners are members of the Leather Working Group, which upholds ethical production from materials sourcing through manufacturing.
As a small, woman-owned business, we are endlessly grateful for your support on our journey thus far. For more updates, product announcements, events, and more, follow us on Instagram!