THE FIVE-SCOOP: Artifact Bag Co.—Artisan-made in Omaha, Nebraska.

The Artifact Bag Co. creates artisan-made bags of leather and waxed canvas using a combination of hand tools and vintage industrial equipment. Products are made primarily with American-sourced materials and offer a lifetime guarantee. Artifact Bag Co. makes lunch totes, garden totes, and utility totes for our everyday lives.

Founder Chris Hughes started Artifact Bag Co. in 2010 in the basement of his home in Omaha, Nebraska. He began with one commercial sewing machine and with the goal of making things that resolved his own needs, and fulfilled his love of textiles, vintage apparel, military collectibles, and making things. “I haven't really had a big idea, but rather a series of small ideas I executed on.”

“My ethos is about creating the best product humanly possible,” says Chris. “As a consumer I am constantly disappointed by products that take shortcuts in manufacturing and materials. Artifact Bag Co. is my opportunity to create the products I would want to own and use.”

For example, the Artifact Bag Co. lunch tote is made from rugged waxed canvas, a Horween leather strap, solid copper rivets, and double stitching, making it a sturdy and eco-friendly.

Clearly, people appreciate the intimacy of the products made in true artisan fashion. Websites like Etsy, and artisans like Chris are making the designer/builder trend well appreciated in the marketplace. “I am involved in all steps of the process. This elevates a hard good from a commodity to something more,” according to Chris. 

Take a poke around Chris’ site (which is set to be re-launched soon with a broader product line). Chris sees many opportunities to develop his product line, by getting into different materials, and into new markets. “As far as growth, I want to develop my skills as a craftsperson and scale my company to accommodate relationships with select retailers in US and abroad.” 

Artifact Bag Company from Turnpost on Vimeo.

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