Portland Leather Goods has great energy! We really love their passion, the team synergy and the fact everything is made in the great city of Portland!
What’s the story behind this brand?
Portland Leather Goods began in a garage a few years ago when Curtis (the Owner) and a couple of like-minded people got together and decided, in the Portland fashion, to create a hand-made leather brand. After a few months of learning and creating, they eventually moved into a room in our current SE warehouse.
The first room we started in in the warehouse seemed so large and we wondered how we would fill it. But fill it we did! The company began to grow very quickly. We became a leather tote favorite globally, and since then we haven’t stopped growing and expanding our product lines and workshop. Now we have 12,000 square feet of workshop space, over 35 employees, plenty of natural lighting, and a few more workshop pups in the mix!
When did you start?
I started working at Portland Leather Goods nearly a year ago (June 19th marks my one year!). I actually began by cutting all the totes by hand and sewing our products. Since then, I’ve been able to utilize my design background and now I create the majority of our marketing and print material. I still love to tinker around with product design in the (more fun) production room though!
What are your top three sellers?
Our three top sellers are our Totes, Dopp Kits, and Makeup Bags. The Makeup Bags are a recent edition that started in early March, but they’ve already become a favorite among our customers.
Another reason why these products are so loved is because we offer personalization with all of them. You can get your initials hand stamped onto our Totes, Dopp Kits, and Makeup Bags. We also use the best, Full-Grain leather for our products, and offer them at an incredible price. The more you use our products, the nicer they will look because the leather naturally oils itself and gets richer in color over time.
We’re assuming all your products are made in Portland? Can people come by and watch bags being made?
All of our products are indeed hand-made in our SE Portland workshop. Our workshop is open for anyone to stop by, take a little tour, learn about the production process, and visit our Outlet Store. You can meet our whole team here, and see the renovations we’re making to our workshop to make it Portland Leather Goods’ forever home.
Do you do custom bags? If so, what can customers get? What’s the process like?
Unfortunately we do not do custom orders. We have so many regular orders that we just don’t have time to make custom orders, since there are many steps involved in the production process.
Tell us all about your leather conditioner. Can people use it for their other bags? What about fancy-schmancy high-end handbags?
Our leather conditioner is actually produced by one of our own employees. Jeremy makes the conditioner out of natural materials, and it is great for the majority of our leathers. The conditioner works great for Full-Grain leather, since Full-Grain naturally produces its own oils.
A lot of the really high end bags that are “genuine leather” are most often sanded down, and covered with a plastic coating to make them all look uniform. Because of this, no type of conditioning will help fix those scratches or blemishes that the bag gets over time, since it’s a scratch in the plastic coating, not the leather.
What’s one of your products that you think more people should know about?
I think people should know about our Makeup Bags and Pencil Cases. Since they’re fairly new, a lot of our returning customers might not know they’re an option. They make wonderful Bridesmaids gifts or Mother’s Day gifts, since they can be personalized with initials. Also, within the next couple of weeks, we will also be offering names, not just initials, for all our Makeup Bags! They’re going to look extra cute!
Tell us all about Nala!
Nala is definitely the softest pup you will ever pet. She was adopted by Carly, who is one of our very special employees. Carly is in charge of all of the tote matching, and ensuring you get the highest quality totes. Nala gets a little nervous when she doesn’t have Carly within her sight, but you can still find her bouncing around the workshop saying high to everyone.