Babes Ride Out will be hosting our Makers Market at BRO 6 this year. The BRO Makers Market is a curated group of female makers that will be on site showcasing their talents and providing a unique experience for attendees. Meet Jenny Linquist of Pack Animal; Leather Craft.
“We're super excited to bring the Pack Animal booth from Seattle back down to Babes Ride Out 6 for the Makers Market! We’ll have a range of small leather goods available with an assortment of brass stamp designs for you to get your hands dirty with on-site. Stamp your initials into a keychain or try out hand stitching your own card holder on one of our stitching ponies! Maybe you'll get hooked on this craft too, and feel that same freedom that comes with learning to make and repair your own leather goods.”
A few years ago when we started Pack Animal, I was working full time as a photographer and didn’t know a thing about working with leather, let alone designing and manufacturing bags. It was unknown territory, but I love thinking about unknowns simply as challenges to overcome. Much like my start in riding motorcycles, I thought, “If these other people have learned how to do this, couldn’t I learn, too?”
I started to learn leathercraft from my more experienced business partners, but it wasn't long before I was learning new skills by just messing around with leather scraps and trying things out. After making myself a belt, I realized I could also make my own camera straps, wallets, purses, repair my leather boots, and make gifts for friends and family. A world of creative possibilities opened up after learning a few basics of the craft, and I fell in love with the independence that came from making things with my own hands.
At Pack Animal, we make our bags with leather sourced from North American cattle through a tannery in Pennsylvania that values the eco-friendly tradition and craft of vegetable tanning. This process makes our bags more expensive, but it’s important to us, as roughly 90% of the world’s leathers are chrome tanned — a cheaper and faster processing of leather using acids, chromium sulfates, and other chemicals that are harmful to the environment.
Veg Tanning is fascinating and has been around since the dawn of civilization. Essentially each hide spends weeks soaking in a bath of natural tannins from the bark of Mimosa and Quebracho trees and is later stuffed to the core with nourishing waxes and tallows that result in a material that’s rich in color and extremely durable. With exposure to the elements and oils from your skin, the leather takes on a lovely patina and when properly maintained, can last lifetimes.