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Our Workshop: Part I/III

Our Workshop: Part I/III


            North End Bag Company was founded with the desire to create a more intimate and genuine relationship between the product, producer, and the consumer. From the beginning, it has been a goal of ours to invite our community into our workshop, to witness and be a part of our process. Beyond the borders of our coastal town, we aim to give you a glimpse of what it entails to create a North End Bag; where we source our material, how we perform our craft, and the hands that create the finished product that we are so proud to pass on to yours.

             Though the vision of our business has remained the same, the workshop where we create has changed over the years. We have landed in “The Alley” of The Creative Vibe District in Virginia Beach, located just a few blocks from the Atlantic Ocean and are currently surrounded by an incredible supportive community of small businesses and creatives. Making a number of alterations and renovations to our current shop to make it functional as a production workshop, yet an intimate experience to visit, it’s exactly as we’ve always dreamed it to be. Over the next few weeks we’ll be taking you back in time, showing you where it all began and how we got to the location we’re in today. And for those of you who can’t pop in for a visit and follow us from afar, our hope is to share this with you!

            Our founder and owner Aaron Mclellan learned how to sew at a young age and has been making bags since he was 12 years old. Having an affinity for antiquing, seeing the value in well-made products and durable material, he found himself traveling to shows. Meeting a crew from New England producing their own handcrafted denim jeans, he was inspired to make something of his own. Returning back to Virginia Beach, Aaron began sewing at home in the evenings after his day job. Making tote bags and aprons throughout the week to sell at the local Old Beach Farmer’s Market on the weekends. Taking on his first show, Aaron loaded up his antique trike (pictured above) with his bags and pedaled it from his home on 58th St., down Oceanfront Avenue to the Wyndham Hotel. At these shows and markets, Aaron began friendships meeting face to face, explaining his story, his product, and his why.

            Not too much time passed before he realized more work space was needed. Storing rolls of canvas and leather while having the floor space for work tables and sewing machines was now a necessity. Making our first shop at a friend’s property in Portsmouth, Aaron continued working his day job while commuting to the workshop to sew in the evenings. Continuing markets and shows, we were just getting started…

To be Continued…

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    This kind of determination is the fiber that arguably fuels why we should always focus on small businesses first, second and always. Aaron’s devotion to his gift and to his uncanny attention to quality is the greatest example that we should all employ within our lives, relationships and tasks. Aaron is an amazing spectacle of true leadership in the way North End Bag Co. has grown from a trike to a treasure. Thank you Aaron and to all of North End Bag Co.

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