Lost Generation

The Why

A Perfect Bag

It all started with a need for something that I couldn't find in any stores: a timeless leather bag. Not too big, not too small, no logos, no fashion "novelty." Nothing to say what trend or movement this bag was bought under.

Just a forever bag. Something that wasn't already out there in the world.

This burning need would not go away, and led to a terrifying question: What if you made this bag yourself?

And so the process began. A good leather hide was acquired. An ideal bag design drawn up & patterned. The pieces were sewn up on a quilting machine. This was my one bag for years, and one that yielded many requests for me to make and sell more. This is when Lost Generation became real.

History & Heritage

The spirit of Lost Generation comes from my two grandmothers and their births into the "Lost" generation. Only one of these women was alive when I was born. She gave me my middle name and my first lessons in how a needle & thread could turn fabric into anything I wanted: doll clothes, blankets, bags. I only know my maternal grandmother through stories that echo through all the many in her lineage. How she raised 8 living children on a poor Indian reservation in the deep South, how she stood up for what was right, and how she always did her best with what she had. My first name came from her, and when I'm at my best, I feel my spine turning to steel just like hers.

They lived in very different American worlds, yet handed down the same skills and values. They both believed in seeking what you needed, but not in living for excess. And whether they bought or made the things they used in daily life, they took great care to ensure those goods would last forever.

Today, I like to imagine the way they would work alongside me: the tiniest details that one could stitch into anything she made, and the knowledge of ancient traditions that the other could offer. I only do work would make them both proud.

The Process

One Pair Of Hands

Each piece from Lost Generation represents the work of one woman (me) filling all of the roles: Designer, Sourcer, Maker, Marketer, Seller, and even Web Developer & Ecommerce. All making happens in my home studio in Austin, TX. There is no workshop full of employees or interns, no sourcing from outside parties or communities. The steps are slow and thoughtful, and the questions and service are straightforward.

Materials That Last

Leather is the oldest textile known to man. Through the ages, ancient and modern, a properly tanned hide would last practically forever. My own tribe was known for trading in both pottery and leather goods: items that were useful for everyday life throughout the years, and frequently, generations. This practical usability is at the core of Lost Generation.

Waste Not

Because leather doesn’t unravel, we can get a lot more use out of a hide vs. fabric. Our process involves sizing up the big pieces first (bags and straps), and then seeing what kind of remnants we have left. Those remnants tell us which smaller items we can make: from clutches and belt bags all the way down to wee keychains. Each hide offers a different array of goods. Any remaining leather scraps that are too small to use for products either go into art projects, or are composted.

When fabrics are used, we look to sustainable options again: Vintage pieces, bolt remnants from bigger shops, and always a focus on natural fibers first. Designing away from trend-focused, "novelty" details means even less waste.

Built For Real Life

Lost Generation firmly believes in only selling the goods that are worth putting out into the world. This means we focus on useful designs, tested construction, and timeless aesthetics. Every design has been prototyped and then used in normal life conditions for actual usability, and all features verified as normal-life-resilient.

Because of this testing, we don't expect you to have any issues with your own Lost Generation product. That said, life happens. And when it does, we ask that you reach out to us to coordinate repairs.

Questions about custom orders, collaborations, or installations? Wanna talk about something cool?

Get in Touch
All products designed & made by a Catawba Indian woman.