Anchor Leather Co.

Field Duffle, sized to meet carry-on requirements; starts at $795.
Field Duffle, sized to meet carry-on requirements; starts at $795. Anchor Leather Co.

What: Handcrafted travel, personal and lifestyle products made with leather from U.S. tanneries. Prices start at $36.

Who: Ethan Martin grew up visiting his grandmother at her home in Williamsburg, Va., where he came up with a list of different trades he witnessed and wanted to try. Woodworking got checked off in high school, blacksmithing in college. In 2008, while living with his wife in a small apartment that, as he explains, had no room for any other hobbies, he tried leather working. He was hooked.

How: Every product – camera straps to wallets, bags to leather mugs – is handcrafted. Leather is cut from a pattern; stitching holes are punched and a traditional saddle stitch buttons up the whole process.

It’s in the bag: “There are certain things I like making more than others,” says Martin. “And then there are bags. I love making bags. Something about them gets me every time. The process of making a bag is time-consuming and laborious, but it never gets old to me. Each and every stitch is hand-pierced and then sewn through with two needles in a running stitch. Copper rivets and solid brass hardware create both longevity and a beautiful story through the patina they get. A really beautiful handcrafted leather bag is a timeless piece that almost gets a life of its own. If you see someone carrying one on the street, nine times out of 10 you can ask the owner about it and they get excited to tell you stories about their bag. I love creating the timeline for those stories.”

What he’s liking right now: “The Field Duffle is my current favorite.”

Find it online at; 704-996-9631.