OUR STORY

Founded in Brooklyn, NY in 2016, Magpie Dry Goods is an accessories design company.  Our initial campaign focuses on high quality, modern, urban-style backpacks, messenger bags, dopp kits, and travel bags.

The collection is made from responsibly sourced and produced materials including vegetable tanned leathers made by skilled artisans.  All of our products are designed with what we consider Urban Practicality. We understand that a bag first and foremost must be functional. The placement of every zipper, strap, and pocket is carefully considered when each new product is created. While functionality is essential we also understand that a bag is an extension of a carefully considered look and is as important as the clothes we wear.

Magpie is a family owned and operated company located in Brooklyn, New York.  We started Magpie with the goal of creating functional products--practical bags  made from natural materials but that suit our aesthetic.  Most of the canvas and leather bags we saw were brightly colored and nautically inspired as opposed to the darker neutral colors that we prefer, i.e.the all-black uniform so many New Yorkers gravitate towards.  

Our Creative Director, Jessica, has a long history of creative endeavors as a illustrator, photographer, and architect and has spent her life engaged in creative ventures. After graduating from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU she took a position as the Director of Bookings at Milk Studios. When life brought her to Boston, Jessica decided to explore a lifelong interest in Architecture and received her Masters of Architecture (M.Arch) from Boston Architectural College. While in school, she took a position as Director of Marketing at Patrick Ahearn Architect. Ever the creative chameleon, Jessica’s exposure to Architecture and Marketing fueled her interest in product design. Even though many wonderful things happened in Boston, Jessica continued to pine for New York.  We knew it was finally time to return when a Jay Z song brought her to tears.  

Back in Brooklyn, Jessica realized product design was a great way to combine all her creative passions. Kevin left a career in education to become a stay-at-home dad when our son was born in 2012. We have always dreamed of being entrepreneurs and together we decided to jump in with both feet.

 

OUR PROCESS

Most of us know that all leather starts out as animal hide, but many people don’t realize there are vastly different ways the original animal hides can be turned into the leather we use as clothing, shoes, or bags.  The process of turning an animal hide into leather is known as TANNING.  If a hide was not treated it would harden and putrefy over time.  The tanning method used will have a profound impact on the qualities of the leather (suppleness, color, patina) as well as on the environment as a whole. 

CHROMIUM TANNING is used on over 90% of leather goods sold worldwide.  This method of tanning uses chrome to remove water from the hide and replace it.  The first step is to place the hide in acidic salts.  This method can be fully automated and completed in one day.  As the chrome ions displace the water a thinner softer leather is produced.  Chromium tanning is considered to have a negative environmental impact as the Environmental Protection Agency considers all wastes containing Chromium to be hazardous. 

VEGETABLE TANNING leather is used on all Magpie bags.  Vegetable tanning is an ancient method of turning hides in to leather believed to date back to 6,000 B.C.  It is 100% organic and uses only natural material to tan the leather.  Artisans use tree bark, branches, and leaves to displace the water from the hide.  The entire process takes about two months and employs highly skilled artisans who are truly masters of their craft.  Vegetable tanned leather is extremely durable and thicker than when other tanning methods are used.  The leather will age beautifully and develop a patina that is unique to each individual bag.  We like to think of the unique characteristics that high quality materials produce over time, as reminders of all the adventures life takes us on.