Happy Hollow Farm

Messenger Bag / Satchel


​REVIEWS: Comments_MessengerBag – Happy Hollow Farm (happyhollowfarm-tn.com)


All colors shown will not have samples but, all colors shown are available.

Our items are designed, crafted and built in east Tennessee.

The leather in this Messenger Bag is full grain, vegetable tanned leather sourced from one of the worlds best tanneries in Pennsylvania (Wickett and Craig).


12 inches (304 mm) high, 15 inches (381 mm) wide and 4 inches (101 mm) deep.

External zippered pocket on the rear.  Two internal pockets and key fob.

Fold over flap contains tuck lock closure.  50 inch (1270 mm) cross body strap.

      About The Leather (Full Grain/ Vegetable Tanned):

      Full Grain:

      Full grain leather is from the outer most portion of the cow hide.  As such it is the strongest part of the hide with the highest concentration of fibers.  These hides, that are full grain and sourced from some of the worlds best tanneries, also will age well and patina (increase appearance) over time and normal use.

      Quality Levels:

      Within a hide there are several "levels" of leather than are extracted from a single hide.  Once the outer most portion of the hide (Full Grain) is extracted there are other lesser levels of leather that can also be extracted. 

      For example, top grain is a bit deeper into the hide and the top grain leather contains fewer fibers, thus making the leather less strong and will not wear as well.

      Genuine leather is the lowest level of actual leather and is a level beneath top grain.

      Types of Hides:

      Not only are the levels of a hide significant but it is also useful to know that hides are graded.  The top level (or as most tanneries label them # 1's) contain the fewest defects and will produce better products.

      Also the type of cow that the hide comes from is also important.  The jumbo North American steer is considered the best source of hides for leather.

      Once the raw hide is selected it is then put through a "tanning" process.  Basically removing excess material and preparing the hide to become quality leather.

      The Tanning Process Vegetable Tanning:

      There are several methods of tanning.  The vegetable tanning process produces the highest quality leather.  This process uses natural substances like tree bark to process the hide into a leather item.  Vegetable tanning takes longer and therefore causes less disturbance to the fibers in the hide.  But, it also produces a much higher quality hide.  A typical vegetable tanning cycle from the raw hide to a finished dyed hide runs about 4 to 6 weeks depending upon the dye and finish applied to the hide.

      The Tanning Process Chrome Tanning:

      Chrome tanning uses chromium salts and other chemicals that will "tan" a hide much faster.  A chrome tanning process from raw hide to finished, dyed and waxed hide is usually a few days and can be as short as two days.  Because the time and effort is less most chrome tanned hides are less costly.  Chrome tanned is more common because of the lower cost.  Also chrome tanned hides are more common in automotive, clothing and furniture.

      The Tanning Process Oil Tanning:

      Another tanning process is called oil tanning.  This process will use different oils, for example, fish oils in some cases that will add an extra element to choices for consumers.  Not everyone will want to purchase the best leather, although we do suggest that, because, over time, the actual life cycle cost will be lower.  It is worth noting that some tanneries will attempt to claim that oil tanning is the same as vegetable tanning and some will label hides this way.  Oil tanning is an option in the marketplace but IS NOT vegetable tanning, even though some will label this as RE-Veg Tan.  

      Hide Appearance and Initial Condition:

      Images that exhibit scratches, stretch marks, or other blemishes in the product are not build defects but are a verification that this item is built from the outer most or FULL GRAIN part of the hide.  The outer most portion of a North American Steer hide is what is exposed to the world, thus reflecting the artifacts that hide was exposed to.  This produces the strongest, most durable and attractive leather.

      Linda:  Verified Buyer

      This is the most well made purse I've ever owned.  It's made for everyday use.  It's high quality.  It's a tank.

      Melanie:  Verified Buyer

      I was excited to receive the tote in the mail last week. I haven't had many reasons to leave the house due to our current Covid19 crisis, however, I have filled up the tote and using it for my purse. I think I'm obsessed! The top level leather is beautiful. The interior is so soft and the amount of pockets is perfect. My phone fits snuggly and safely in the front pocket. 

      Jessica:  Verified Buyer

      What a delightful surprise to find out that you were sending me one of your beautiful leather totes. I typically only carry my cell phone with a fake leather case with my credit cards, but I have to say that ever since receiving your tote, I find myself taking it every time I leave the house, I just love it!

      Campbell:  Verified Buyer

      My mom LOVES her purse. Thank you so much!

      JoAnn:  Verified Buyer

      I’m enjoying the tote - besides being stylish, it’s well-made and can handle being bumped around.  And the tuck lock helps keep things secure.

      Sue:  Verified Buyer

      One of my favorite accessories is my beautiful leather tote, designed and crafted by Chuck and Kate from Happy Hollow Farm. With my specific needs in mind, Chuck and Kate created a piece of art that is durable, beautiful, and functional. As a writer who often gives readings, teaches writing classes, and attends workshops, I require a bag that allows me to carry everything I need in one piece. Made from the best leather and beautiful stitching, Chuck and Kate  leather made an accessory of function and beauty, indeed an object of art that will last a lifetime. I carry it daily!

      Gene / Mary:  Verified Buyer

      I wanted to thank you for your quick service in sending out the pocket book that we ordered. The pocket book came crafted just as we had asked. Thank you also for your time in informing us about the different types of leather. You can put us in your satisfied group of customers.



      Is The Cost Of What You See A Good Value:

      Since any given product category of items that are seen on this site have competitors from just about every corner of the planet, with price ranges that vary widely, how to determine value versus price?  Hopefully, the following short primer will help.

      Determining value is a combination of materials, design, construction techniques, customer service, durability, longevity, appearance and price. 

      • Materials:

        • Leather (and canvas) quality varies widely.  This is important because the quality will affect performance, durability and life of the product.

        • Types of leather:  Full grain leather is the outer most portion of the hide that leather is made from.  That part of the hide is the strongest since it is the part that faces the environment.  It is not uncommon to see small artifacts in the hide.  This illustrates that the leather is in fact the outer most, or strongest, part of the hide.  Our leather items are full grain leather.  Actual leather is composed of Full Grain, Top Grain (where the outer most portion of the hide is typically sanded to provide a smoother look) and genuine leather.  Each one of these three categories yields less stronger portions of the leather.  Full gain is the strongest and genuine leather the weakest.  All other claims of types are leather are manufactured or modified in some way. 

        • Hides:  Hides are typically a by-product of the meat industry.  The North American Steer is considered to provide the best source of the majority of leather in use today.  Since animal skin is the source of leather there is a wide variety.  Examples are things like Alligator , Buffalo, Cow and so on.  Hides are then graded based on the quality of the hide.

        • Tanning:  There are multiple methods of taking a hide and turning it into leather.  Some methods go back millennia.   Principally today most leather tanning falls into three major categories:

          • Vegetable Tanning:  This process uses tree bark to transform the hide into leather.  This process is "softer" and thus takes longer.  It is less invasive on the fibers in the hide thus yielding a bit stronger leather.  This process is also more eco-friendly since it uses natural substances and requires less process to clean up after tanning.
          • Chrome Tanning:  This process uses (typically) chromium salts to transform a hide into leather.  It is much faster and thus often results in a lower cost leather.  This process also is more heat tolerant.  This allows certain types of industries (auto, furniture etc.) to use this method since the use of heat to form the leather allows for a better fit.
          • Re-Tanning:  This process will typically use a chrome tanning process as a first step and then use some soft or natural substance (tree bark, fish oils) to re-tan the hide.  This yields some different characteristics and can retain properties of different tanning methods.
      • Design

        • Design, to us, is the usability of the item.  In day to day use does the item fulfill its intended use as an extension of the person (or place) using it.

      • Construction:

        • How is the item put together?  On this site the items that you see (excepting the supply items in accessories) are built by two artisans from the hide on up.  We use the best available materials that we can find.  When we are building a given item we focus on the strength, durability and usefulness of each item.  Using better materials like bonded, heavier nylon for stitching.

      • Customer Service:

        • We back what we do.  If an item has a failure in intended use we will fix it or replace it.

      • Durability:

        • Leather (and canvas) being a hide or fabric does not mean that a given item can be subjected to any use without affect.  But, to us, it does mean that the item should be able to withstand long term use in it's intended environment.  

      • Longevity:

        • To us means the item should be able to last in normal use.  In today's world-wide marketplace there is a very wide variety of items in just about all categories.  Some of the suppliers build items to a price point without considering length of service or durability.  This comment is not a criticism, since that approach provides consumers with more choice.  But, not all items in a given marketplace are built the same, or with similar levels of materials.

      • Appearance:

        • Better leather will improve in appearance with age.  This is typically referred to as patina.

      • Price:

        • Just because a given item has a higher price does not mean that it is a superior item.  A value based price should include all of these items mentioned above.