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The Copper River Bag Story

John Anthony Law for Copper River Bag Company on 18th Nov 2022

      Standing in line for the all new iPad back in 2010, the founder of Copper River Bag Co., Marlon Jefferson, had already created his new iPad holder – the 10” iPad Tablet bag. All because of the frustration from not being able to find a high quality and acceptably beautiful carrying case for such a precious piece of technology. While waiting in line, people began to compliment and ask him “Where did you get that beautiful bag?” It was then that he had a vision. A vision to create leather bags and accessories that all would love – and sell it for a price that everyone could afford – by using the highest quality leather and materials on the market. And this was when Copper River Bag Company was born.

      Named after one of his favorite fishing spots in all of the world, Copper River in Alaska, it just felt right. Founded in 2010, a small Etsy shop was created featuring the bag which received so much praise. The orders were coming in left and right and the company quickly expanded to accommodate all those who wanted a full grain leather bag without the high price tag found anywhere else.

      The company was moved from Southern California to Nevada City (located in Northern California) in 2010 because it was a better fit for the company's mission: to create a durable and beautiful product with rugged undertones, using only the highest quality materials and made right here in the USA.

      Copper River Bag Co's location is situated in a small “city” that was once a bustling gold rush town. Now the town is filled with quarky and artistic types who cherish the historically preserved area and welcome tourists from all over the world. Beautiful homes, buildings, a quaint downtown all surrounded by evergreen trees, creeks and a never ending breeze make up the area. At about an elevation of 3,000 feet above sea level, this area is still considered the “Sierra Foothills” even though those who live here have a mountain-life attitude. A rugged yet sophisticated attitude – not to mention very friendly.

      The crew here is amazing. Each and every member of the Copper River Bag Co team has an extensive background in what they do here – from our designers to our management staff, all the way to our production crew and world class craftsmen. Everyone has input here and works tirelessly to create new designs, new work spaces as well as streamline processes to help lower costs even more. All of our products are ordered from US companies and our leather comes straight from our tannery in Napa, California. The talent here is unmatched. The attention to detail in each and every one of the products we make here cannot be reproduced.

      In a world where everything is disposable, technology and styles are moving at an accelerated pace, being able to craft something with meaning and a purpose pushes us to continue to design and create. Back when the old-world craftsmen, trappers, miners and makers designed and crafted bags to last a lifetime - to endure all climates - this is what we want to emulate. We build our bags to the standards of those who came before us.

      What do we strive for? What is our cause? Our roots are to be a part of an American tradition, live the American dream that has been so lost or seems so far away in times like these. Maybe, we are creating our own, a feeling of community, a feeling of belonging. Working together to find something lost, we found something new that feels old.

      Here's some quick links to the products featured in this article:

      Take a look at the process of crafting our bags here: