is the small business of Niamh Lyonhart, run out of an East Oakland warehouse studio. All bags are made by hand, by Niamh, from design to construction to hammering the last rivet. This small business is a one woman show, though during the busy holiday season I often have a wonderful helper cutting out pattern pieces and helping around the studio.
I started Lyonhart Bag Company several years ago, but brought to it nearly 10 years of professional sewing and design experience. Inspired by the way things were made decades ago — articles that survived generations and got passed down — I produce bags that are meant to be repaired and cared for and used for many years.
All of the materials that go into making these bags are sourced locally and domestically when possible. I use #10 waxed canvas from Martexin, a family business that has been producing the fabric since the 1800’s. The liner fabric is surplus from the Carhartt factory. The sturdy, bridle weight leather used for handles and straps is US sourced and from a local California business. The hardware is solid brass and comes from another family business in the Midwest.
The bags are constructed with double seams for durability, and areas that get the most stress are reinforced with solid brass rivets.
Niamh is originally from North Carolina, and grew up in several small towns across the state. Her grandmother taught her to sew as a five year old, introducing her to a lifelong passion and future career. Flea market finds from decades past and thrifted vintage dresses from small town Salvation Army stores inspired an appreciation for quality made goods that would last.
Niamh attended the University of the North Carolina School of the Arts as a high school student. She went on to attend Parsons School of Design, and graduated from Brooklyn College.