The Silent Travel Companion: Saddleback Leather Company Handbags

July 20, 2010

All who know me will attest to the stellar collection of dresses and shoes in my closet. Seldom do I get excited over handbags and luggage, except ultra pricey ones that I often can't afford.  Earlier this year, I came across a company whose sole mission was to create handmade leather handbags and accessories that will last a lifetime.  The original designs immediately caught my eye. The bags were rugged, masculine and classy, sleek in design and original in concept.  I immediately reached out to the company's marketing department for an interview to learn more about the bag with a staunch cult following. After several email exchanges and phone calls, I was finally on the phone with Dave Munson, the man behind the brand Saddleback Leather Company, a Texas-based, family owned and operated brand that manufactures rugged and handsome leather handbags and accessories.  The story behind Saddleback Leather Company's inception is as epic and rugged as the bags themselves and one that should be read in the first hand account by Dave, the designer and creator.

Saddleback Leather Company is a boys brand. It's for the rough and tumble, handsome and rugged outdoors man who can don a suit for the courtroom and strip down to jeans and a plaid shirt with work boots for a day in the woods with the boys. An up-close and personal look at Classic Briefcase, will bring you to your knees.  Dave told me the bag was even more impressive in-person so he sent me the Classic Briefcase in an extra large.  The process of picking this particular bag was like picking a soulmate, one that required an intrinsic look into my life, personality and lifestyle. After all, I would be stuck with this bag for life, as evidenced by its 100 Year Lifetime Guarantee.

My Classic Briefcase in Tobacco Light Brown color suits me because I: am creative, love big dogs, never met a stranger, adventurous, a traveler and easy going. I reckon he nailed my personality to a T. The bag arrived and I immediately jet set off to Fashion Week in February, during the Snowpolcolypse. After tagging along with me in search of a mode of transportation to New York City, by train, plane or automobile, we finally found ourselves on the Amtrak train en route to every fashion fanatic's biggest week. In a land where most gals carry Alexa Mulberry bags, Louis Vuitton luggage and Hermes Birkin bags, I decided to take Saddleback Leather Classic Briefcase where its never been before: Fashion Week.

It's been almost six months since I started carrying the Classic Leather Briefcase from Saddleback as my travel bag for my weekly New York trips and I haven't gotten bored toting it back and forth.  Every man wants it and stops me in the street to tell me what a "beautiful" bag I have. An older gentleman backtracked on Park Avenue to ask me for the name of the company that made the handbag. This bag is take charge Humphrey Bogart; gun slingin' Clint Eastwood in a cowboy tale; and rope swingin', adventure seeking Indiana Jones. It's non-fussy with a limited amount of hardware and hand stitched with perfection.  I might be dainty and feminine on the outside but my inner tomboy gives me the confidence to carry it proudly.

The Classic Leather Briefcase, along with the other leather goods in the Saddleback Leather Company, is easy on the eyes but don't let their outer appearance fool you. They are made of high grade leather that Dave says is the Porsche of leather.  They're smooth to the touch like a rich chocolatey milk shake on the tongue but straight as a shot of Blaton's bourbon served neat with a glass of ice on the side, because ladies and gents, the bag is that cool. They are  kick ass tough and durable, which is why the company stands behind them by offering a 100 year warranty. My bag is the item my kids will be fighting over when I'm dead and gone. The bag that my grand children will tell stories about. As I make my way through the U.S. of A in my travel adventures, my Classic Briefcase has been my silent companion and wingman. Yes wingman! A very handsome finance guy toting the Thin Chestnut Briefcase complimented me on my bag and bought me a drink as we waited an hour for a train.

I interviewed Dave Munson about Saddleback Leather company, its origins and what makes these bags command such a cult following. Since our interview,  the company has expanded its offering with a collection of handbag cases that are priced just right for the gent or gal looking for a sleek alternative to the colorful cases on the market. I'm currently investing in a Saddleback Leather Company Suitcase in Tobacco Brown as well a Travel Case for my travels, especially on my upcoming trip to Ghana.

Read on for more from Dave Munson.

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