Checking in With Co-Founder Roy Katz

Hi,

My name is Roy and I’m one of the founders at Winter Session. I’m also the designer, fabric buyer, sewing machine mechanic, plus one of the sewers, shippers, click-press operators, and I answer all of your emails.

We do things a little differently at Winter Session because we never learned how to do them the “right” way. I spent the better part of a decade working as an architect, building houses first in Los Angeles and then in  Mumbai, India. In designing bags and other carry goods, my wife/partner Tanya and I wanted to give people that same sense of home but wherever they went.

We started by cutting up clothing from thrift stores and sewing bags on our home sewing machine. Even these early creations had a character and a comfort to them that you just couldn’t find in the ubiquitous black nylon bags we saw everywhere else. Enough people felt the same way and we’ve been buying more fabric, more sewing machines, and bringing on more people to help ever since.

Most companies outsource their production to another factory but we make everything ourselves, in-house in our Denver workshop. It does make some things more difficult, like finding parts for 80+ year old sewing machines or keeping orders running smoothly so everyone on our team can keep working.

But it also means we can tweak and improve anything whenever we want, we can make sure the people who make our products are paid well and treated fairly (there’s only six of us), and we can make whatever we want. At the start of the Covid pandemic, we switched from sewing bags to face masks and made over 20,000 before overseas supply chains could catch up.

And as much as we love being able to make it ourselves, it’s our idea that nothing’s really finished until someone uses it. So we use natural materials like waxed canvas and veg-tanned leather that let you leave your mark.

Thank you for choosing to follow along on our journey. I’m excited to share more with you about who we are, what we make, and how we make it. And I hope that a little piece of our home at Winter Session will someday be a part of yours.

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