A Letter about Leather | Raine's Market Tote
This was a post that was written and originally appeared on Urban Southern, featuring their beautiful market tote.
Growing up I was fascinated by leather products because I was introduced to them in a small saddle shop, in Missouri. It was a homely place and it drew me in a way that all dreamers know because beautiful things were made there.
To begin, one walked into a small wood cabin lined with worktables, warmed by a small potbelly stove that had flames licking at the door, and was equipped with a sturdy sewing machine opposite the stove. The stunning green-eyed proprietress, along with her sisters, were known throughout the region for leather tooling on saddles and skill as equestriennes, but we knew them better as some of our best childhood friends. It was an amazing day with a cabin that smelled heavenly, and it was enough to get my love affair with leather started.
After that day I dreamed of working with leather, and it’s funny to me now because about as close as I get to working with leather is using leather bags to carry my work. Since then I’ve collected approximately five leather bags with at least as many pairs of leather shoes and boots (I’ve lost count). Of all the bags, I usually play favorites with this market tote from Urban Southern, another leather working shop located in Tennessee.
AT HOME EVERYWHERE I GO
This bag is “the bag” for me because is is beautiful and versatile. It is equally at home in Paris (it traveled to Europe with me last year), in a market, a coffee shop, weekend explorations, work trips, or on a shopping date. I’ve even been detained in security lines for the officers on duty to comment on it and ask me where I got it – under the pretense of checking my laptop of course.
It has been a conversation starter for me everywhere, but the ability of this bag is still best summed up by a notable comment from a friend when she first met the market tote:
"This bag is exactly the type of bag I would imagine that someone would maybe pull out a bouquet of fresh-cut flowers, a baguette or two, fresh fruit, wine… or maybe a small car."
We laughed, but it’s true that it is exceedingly useful to get just about any hauling job done and look good while doing it. Most recently I traveled to Michigan to see friends and family, and paid a visit to my favorite little town of St. Joseph, tucked on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan. The market tote went along for the little photoshoot pictured here.
I’m a big fan of an urban-natural look, and this the market tote fits right in. Honestly, I think this bag could fit any style under the sun, because it’s versatile simplicity sets off anything from classic to romantic, to edgy.
We both hold an honest appreciation for standing the test of tougher times, and this bag certainly fits the timeless beauty I want to find in life. The market tote is the stuff of any leather lover’s dreams and I expect ours to be a lifelong relationship.
Raine & the Market Tote