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Dear Jan, Find The Best Bag For Your Career Transition.

"I recently graduated college with a degree in journalism. When I was in school, I used an old JanSport backpack that my sister passed on to me when she left for college 6 years ago. I loved the bag because she had put my initials on the inner pocket with a sharpie. While lacking in structure and durability, the bag was what I used to lug my books and journals all across campus. Needless to say, the Jansport didn't graduate college with me 😢. I'm writing you awesome guys at ColsenKeane to help me find the perfect bag to start my new career as a journalist! I want something stylish, versatile, spacious (but not bulky), and most importantly, D-U-R-A-B-L-E. What would you recommend!

(An email sent to us by a recent customer, Jan Neely)


Making the jump from being a student to a professional is definitely a milestone. That transition shouldn't be taken lightly and, if possible, commemorated. When Janet sent us this email, we knew what she needed. 

Introducing The No. 719. In Denali Brown

At ColsenKeane, we consider our leather goods the antithesis of the cookie-cutter style. We use only the best materials to craft our handmade cowhide purses and distressed leather tote handbags. The No 719 is a bag that helps distinguish the wearer.

The Details

Although the design is minimalist, the storage features are anything but. Whether you are packing for a day trip or heading to work, this tote can keep all your essentials organized. The snap closure on our distressed leather tote handbags gives you the option to carry it open or closed. We offer optional pocket inserts to keep your phone, pens, or small toiletries and sundries organized and secure. From laptops, articles of clothing, and water bottles to other small personal items, our tote bags give you the room to live your life on the go.

Why You'll Love It!

 The Denali Brown leather is different than any other leather we've ever used. Its design is a subtle nod to the totes worn a century ago in the roaring twenties. They say fashion is cyclical and we certainly believe this tote is reclaiming its time in the limelight.

If style is what you desire, then the No. 719 tote-ally delivers. Its Havana accents speak volumes while its rich, supple oil-tanned hide exudes a humble air of confidence. If you're looking to make a statement in the street or in a boardroom, buy this bag.


The Icing On Top.

Janet said she wanted something stylish, spacious (but not bulky), and durable. She wanted something that could help her transition from student to professional and hopefully last longer than her beloved Jansport. The no.719 is the perfect solution to Janet's query. Its stunning pull-up effect lends the bag the style that Janet was looking for. It's also over engineered to last multiple lifetimes, so Janet will definitely be able to pass this on to her grandkids. Better yet, we can even add in her initials on the bag just like her sister did for her! We will use something a little more suitable than a sharpie, though!

Why Small Gifts Can Have a BIG Impact and How To Find Them

Why Small Gifts Can Have a BIG Impact and How To Find Them

"It was a small gesture. But it made a crappy day brighter. My wife knew that I had been meaning to replace my watch band for a while (read two years) but just hadn't gotten around to it. Work had been extra stressful lately, and I just felt like I didn't have the time I needed to truly connect with family. I came home late one night and found a small wrapped gift with my name on it. When I opened it and found a new ColsenKeane Apple Watch leather band with our initials burned into the band's inside, I almost burst into tears. The next day, I requested some time off to spend with the people who mean the most to me!"

(An email written to us by a brand new owner of a ColsenKeane Leather Apple Watch Band)

 

Sometimes "I Love You" Isn't Enough.

Small gifts have an absolute intangible quality that strums at the gift receiver's heartstrings more than that of the more grandiose gifts that we often see celebs flaunting on their social media profile (sorry, Kanye). This is because they say more than "I love you." 

 

Small, more thoughtful gifts say "I see you," "I understand where you're coming from," & "I think you deserve something good."

 

The science behind gift-giving has been muddled down with marketing jargon & subliminal messaging over the years, but the fundamentals still ring true. Take the excerpt above; for example, the customer was having a tough time managing their work-life balance. Their partner, hearing and seeing this, decided they needed a small token of appreciation in the form of our ColsenKeane Full-Grain leather watchband. The watchband wasn't just a fancy new addition to their collection. It became a signal to the recipient, letting them know their spouse was aware of what they were going through and realized a little TLC was in order.

 

Size Doesn't Matter.

 

Another bonus about gifting small is that often well thought out presents can create an unforgettable experience. 

 

Think about the bond you share with the person you are buying a gift for. Are there any similar experiences that only the two of you share? For people you have drifted away from, look for something that reminds both of you of the good times you've had. Nothing is better than stumbling upon a gift that fires up long lost memories when held. Most importantly, find something that makes the person you're giving it to feel unique.

 

Try To Inspire Joy.

 

Without going all Marie Kondo on you, we wholeheartedly believe that every gift you give should inspire joy. You can do that in two ways. 

 

First, the act of giving the gift lets the recipient know that you're keeping them in mind. That always boosts morale. Everyone likes to know that someone else is thinking about them, 

 

Second, the more you can personalize the gift, the better chance you have at delivering joy. At ColsenKeane, all of our leather products allow for you to inscribe initials into the leather itself. This is just one of the many ways we add personal touches to our products to connect better with the end-user.

 

We've been in the leatherworking industry for 11 years. We've sold $1,000 dollars gifts that had the same impact (to the receiver) as $15 key fobs. It is NOT about the dollar amount. It is 100% about the thought you put into the gift. Pick through our Small Goods collection to find some inspiration!



Why your leather patina is worth the wait and how to maintain it

Why your leather patina is worth the wait and how to maintain it

An Excerpt from a Current ColsenKeane Customer's letter of appreciation:

"When I was young, my dad used to have a pair of leather shoes that he loved. The thing about these shoes that always amazed me was that he had been wearing them for 'going on 10 years' (as he always put it).

My mom later told me that he had been wearing the same shoes for closer to 20 years and that he was more in love with those shoes than he cared to admit. I used to wonder how he kept his shoes in such pristine condition. I once asked him what his secret was, and he told me 'the leather does most of the work. I just take care of the rest.' While this answer was really cool and made for good storytelling, I was still woefully unprepared when I bought my first leather pouch."

The First Thing You Need To Know Is…

Understand the type of leather that you are carrying. This means understanding the quality of the leather and the grain that makes up your piece. Learn more about leather types in our previous post.  One of the best qualities of full-grain leather ( the cut we use in our workshops) is that it is exceptionally high quality and requires very little maintenance before it starts developing a beautiful aged and worn-in look. 

 

What Is A Patina and Why Should You Care About It?

Your leather's patina occurs from everyday usage. With full-grain leather, you don't need to use any fancy chemicals or treatments to get a gorgeous sheen and hue on your leather. You just have to use it. That means taking your leather satchel with you on a road trip. Letting it sit in the sun next to you. Every time you accidentally brush the leather up against another object, rough or smooth, you are helping your bag develop its own character. This is what we mean when we say your purse, belt, or wallet "marks to touch." 

All of these different interactions help tell your story through the lens of your daily companion.

What is the absolute bare minimum you should do to maintain your bag and keep your natural patina going?

Remember, with full-grain leather goods, very little maintenance is required to keep your leather  looking good.

There is a delicate tightrope you have to walk when cleaning your bag. The golden rule for full-grain leather is to use a microfiber cloth & very, very veerrrryyyyy mild soap. Wet the cloth and wring it out. You do not want a soaking wet cloth for this. When you apply the fabric to the leather, just dab it. Don't use too much pressure or rub the leather too vigorously. When cleaning your leather, you want to be careful about not warping the leather so let it dry naturally AWAY from direct sunlight or lamps and heaters.

 

Lastly, don't sweat the nicks & scrapes.

Full-grain leather is supposed to show touch marks and has natural imperfections. Your leather grows, changes, and evolves with you. You continually add your character and your energy into your bag. 

This happens every time you touch it. 

The oils from your hand get absorbed into the pores of the leather. The indent caused by the pressure of your touch gets recorded into the bag. All of these microtransactions seem almost minuscule at the moment. Still, over time they create a gorgeous patina that in many ways symbolizes a full-grain mosaic to represent fragments of your life and the many adventures you have been through.

 

ColsenKeane No. 1214 – Standard Portfolio Case Review – $195 by Best Leather

ColsenKeane No. 1214 – Standard Portfolio Case Review – $195 by Best Leather
I was helping my brother in law clean out his home office last spring, and amidst the countless obsolete software manuals he must have had a dozen laptop cases. From black nylon zippered pouches to cheap, thin promo ones stamped with corporate logos from trade shows. It really got me to thinking the amount of money people spend on these cases over a lifetime and how buying one very good one can not only save you money, but provide for years of service. Enter ColsenKeane No. 1214 – Standard Portfolio Case.

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ColsenKeane No. 215 – Small Travel Case Review – $110 by Best Leather

ColsenKeane No. 215 – Small Travel Case Review – $110 by Best Leather

One of the driving motivations behind this site is to connect people and products, but not just any product to any person. In a world full of disposables, it’s refreshing to simplify and focus on quality over quantity. We want to showcase goods for the person who wants to buy the best and only cry once. I had the opportunity to handle one such product, a clever case that has become indispensable when traveling – The  ColsenKeane No. 215 – Small Travel Case 

Construction

Ever look at the back of a bag of Doritos and shudder at all the bizarre components of a flavored tortilla chip? Well, you’ll be relieved to find the ColsenKeane No. 215 Small Travel Case is made of 2 ingredients: Leather and Brass – Or to be more precise American sourced Full Grain Chrome Tanned Cowhide.

We see brass rivets at all critical stress zones and two hefty prong buckles.with keepers. Measures about 8”x4”x3” and comes with a Lifetime Guarantee. 

Function

At a cursory glance you might just see a very handsome dopp kit, but then you’d be robbing this little case of all the utility it presents. I load it with cables, clothing and even fruit a few times. The heavy duty buckles are a bit overkill and can sometimes make retrieving items more of a hassle but they also offer maximum security from loose items getting out.

The size is a great balance in terms of fitting things in, without taking up precious real estate in your backpack or luggage. Right now my daughter is storing color pencils in it for art, and last week it was full of scavenger hunt items. My point is, thanks to the build quality of this bag it will serve in multiple capacities for decades to come.

 

Disclosure: We are a professional review site that receives compensation from the companies whose products we review. We test each product thoroughly and give high marks to only the very best. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed are our own.