A Closer Look: Stanley & Sons

Every so often I will come across an image that so perfectly encapsulates my own taste and aesthetic, it’s as though I’m looking at a still taken from one of my own daydreams. That was precisely the feeling I had the first time I saw the bags by Stanley & Sons. When I then learned that each bag was handmade in the US from salvaged and reclaimed textiles, what started out feeling like a daydream suddenly entered the realm of full-on fantasy. “Really?” I thought “Can I have my cake and eat it too?”

The answer is a resounding yes. Shortly after featuring S&S on the site, I ordered one of the brand’s custom-made totes for myself. The ordering process (which consisted of exactly three emails) was an absolute breeze, thanks largely to the exceedingly helpful customer service maven Jess. After much deliberation, I opted to combine two of their existing designs (1 and 2), as I was having too difficult a time settling on either. Once the order was confirmed, and the billing sorted, there was nothing left to do but wait (and continue to ogle the pictures on their site). Three short weeks later, and my daydream / fantasy became reality.

The bag is built like a tank: hard, heavy and tougher than I’ll ever be. The repurposed canvas (which was previously a conveyor belt) is still as rigid and strong as the day it was woven, while the hand-riveted vegetable dyed leather straps and pocket are cut from a dense 12 oz. hide (and are also one of the most beautiful hues I’ve ever seen – pictures don’t do the color justice). There is literally no cargo I can think of that this bag can’t handle, and there’s something kind of comforting about that. Definitely money well spent.

The day the bag arrived, I emailed Jess asking her to please thank Chris (brand owner and one man bag factory) for doing such an incredible job. To my pleasant surprise, the reply that came back was from Chris himself, thanking me for my purchase and kind words. And with that, Stanley & Sons won themselves a customer for life. Recycled materials, bomb-proof construction and a personal note from the label founder – I couldn’t have fantasized it better.

To order your own custom bag, visit Stanley & Sons.