The concept for the Hand & Eye shop was born back when I profiled Rob Nelson of Mer Bags. We hit it off pretty well and we started on working on plans for a collaboration after hanging out for just a few minutes.
Nelson really embodies what inspires me about the the new maker movement or micro-manufacturing or whatever you want to call it. He’s makes all the Mer Bags by hand in his Brooklyn shop and is totally committed to using American-made materials. He’s self sufficient and is building his own business, and that’s what inspires me.
Nelson is probably most known for his bomb-proof messenger bags (search #carryshitolympics on Instagram!) but we settled on a tote. We decided to go with green waxed canvas because it’s timeless and always gets better with age.
After field testing the bag for a few months, we finalized design details, and came up with the Hand & Eye x Mer Bags Tote. Thanks to the design elements like the truck tarp vinyl bottom and liner, mid-weight waxed canvas exterior and nylon webbing straps, it’s bombproof and, at just over 1 lb, surprisingly light. And of course, it’s made in Brooklyn.