Creators of fine handmade leather goods in classic designs - Proudly made in the U.S.A. using only the finest materials.

Latigo Bay Snapshots


Your Wonderful Purses!

I still wear ONLY the purses that you have made for me.  I just love them. They do not wear out...they just stay beautiful and rich looking.

Linda Chaffee-Hampton
Woodbury, MN

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Our Studio


"Where are these bags made?" "What country are these bags from?" "You mean you actually made all these bags?" …We hear these questions all the time when people walk into our booth at craft shows. Well, so here it is-the studio of Latigo Bay, located right across the driveway from our house. Grandpa built this back in 1936 to use as a chicken coop. We moved it to it's current location in 1984, when developers were going to get rid of it to make room for houses. We cleaned it up, painted, insulated, roofed and replaced the chicken-sized windows and door. A year later, we were able to move out of the basement workshop to this bright, airy studio. A great environment to work in.

our studio

Now, it's about 100 feet from our back door across the driveway to the studio. This is normally a leisurely thirty second commute (can be done in under ten seconds in a sprint) unless we encounter traffic delays. Gapers delay can occur when some new flowers opened or new birds at the feeders…sometimes there may be a detour that forces one to travel by the pond or through the vegetable garden…neighborhood kids wandering by…sometimes that commute times can be really long.

Sue at the Sewing Machine

Sue has been working with Barbara for about nineteen years now. So every single bag will have been sewn by Sue or Barbara or by both. Like Barbara, Sue's grandmother taught her to sew when she was nine, now this is kind of scary: we added up both their years of sewing experience and we came up with over 100 years! Customers at our craft shows who are seamstress' are always complimenting us on our beautiful stitching. They are in awe of the nice straight stitching on straps, zippers, pockets, around curves on pockets, the x- stitched handles, the clean, turned French binding…! Every where you look on the bag, our craftsmanship and years of experience is evident-even on the inside where it doesn't really show (but you know it is there).

Barbara cutting out a Bag

This is where it all begins. We start with a premium aniline-dyed cowhide-the finest leather available. It has oils tanned into it to give it a nice soft feel and it is dyed all the way through, so scratches can be blended into the leather. Every hide is different, so Barbara carefully selects the hide, depending on what type of bag she is making. A large travel bag or a briefcase calls for heavier leather, while a small purse needs softer, lighter weight leather.

Barbara cuts out every bag by hand, no "cookie-cutter" dies or machine stamped out pieces used here. Each pattern piece is carefully laid out before cutting. Straps and bases of bags are cut out of a firmer area of the hide, while binding is cut out of the softest, thinnest area.

Barbara at the Glue Bench

After several bags are cut out, they move over to the glue bench. Barbara lays out each piece to be glued and turned before sewing zippers, bases, pockets, pocket flaps, handles, and straps. Every piece is glued, edges folded over and pounded. A simple step, but extremely important to the finished look of the bag. Look carefully at the finished bag, as there are no exposed raw edges. Turned edges are one of the elements that contribute to the clean lines of the finished bag.

Visitors To Our Studioq

Here are Nephew Adam, Rhonda Raccoon and Eliot at the sewing machine. We encourage the neighborhood kids to visit our studio. It's fun to have their company and if just one of them may be inspired to create things, that will be great. We have a scrap box by the cutting table, where all pieces of leather go when we can't cut anything else out of it. The kids all go through it when they are doing a school project or just to make something for fun.

Adam has been visiting since he could toddle over here (he lives nearby). We never know who or what he may bring with him - his dog Lucky, lizards, an iguana, snakes, squirrels, a raccoon…


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