Today we got the opportunities to interview the famous lady of craftswomen Ms. Jess Murray as a founder of Aegis Handcraft is one of the famous hand craft goods from California, USA. She can be a role model for all craftswomen in the world, because she is the one girl show for her brand and very passionate for her job and denim world. She makes denim bags and accessories like belts,key fobs and many more. We’re very happy for having she for our interview session.

Here you go!

Why did you fall in love with a handcrafting?

It was something that always came fairly easy to me. I have this hunger, this need , to make goods. It started making things, like bags, for myself, and then became something else where I could make things for others.

When did you start Aegis Handcraft?

I started Aegis Handcraft 3 years ago this summer. It’s unbelievable to think about how long I have been fortunate enough to keep doing this for.

How did you start Aegis Handcraft?

Lots of trials and many, many errors. It didn’t just blossom on its own, I had to work many other jobs during the day mostly, and work on Aegis Handcraft through the night and weekends. I’ve actually just celebrated my first year as being the maker of Aegis Handcraft full time. Truly overwhelmingly humbled that it’s become my full-time job.

Please describe what is make you want to start a handcrafting?

I worked in the fashion industry for a couple of years, trying my hand at many different roles. And after a few years of having not so great work experiences, I decided to start a project on my own. To find a way to make something from beginning to end, taking my time. No need to rush, and thinking about quality instead of how fast I could produce something.

What does Aegis Handcraft mean to you?

I am Aegis Handcraft. I can’t explain it any other way. For a while I always called it my baby, because I took care of it, I worked hard to grow it, and loved it unconditionally. But ever since it became my full-time “job” I realized that I live and breathe my craft. I work on it full-time, on the weekends, overnight, 24-7. Don’t get me wrong, I get out and have a life outside of the workshop, but I live my brand. I love it.

Can you describe how to starting and running Aegis Handcraft?

I would say that it’s taken a lot of unconditional love. For the first year, I didn’t make a cent. I worked so hard, and still managed to come out in the red. But I kept working at it, and soon after it picked up, and it’s been growing ever since. For me, there’s no such thing as failure. There are many days where I have to cheer myself on, but I’m lucky to have a great support system of family friends, and of course those who buy my goods and support my work.

What make you survive to build your own Aegis Handcraft?

Lots of support. Not necessarily financial support, but more so encouragement. It’s surreal how I have managed to make connections with people all over the world, through social media particularly, and have been able to share the common interest of denim and quality made goods. What a great community that has kept my craft growing and alive.

Who is the target market for Aegis Handcraft?

I would like to imagine that Aegis Handcraft is for anyone, and everyone! I usually use myself, my significant other, and friends as my target markets when making goods. If I love it that much, I feel like it will show, and others might be drawn to it as well. I know it’s not normal practice, but that’s the beauty of running your own business. Also I love thinking of Aegis Handcraft as a big collaborative project, I always love hearing and asking for input on what I should make next, and for inspiration.

Where does Aegis Handcraft  inspiration come from?

Oh, this ones tricky. I get inspiration from all sorts of places. For the most part I go off of what I would need day to day. For example, I found myself needing a pouch or dopp kit to carry my tools in. I made one, love it, shared it, and figured it would be a good idea to share it with others. When it comes to construction details, I am usually inspired by vintage menswear and workwear. I love the durability, how minimal they were, but always very functional. Made to last.

Can you explain what kind of Aegis Handcraft product?

An Aegis Handcraft bag, is a bag made with lots of love, and with the person it’s made for in mind. I use a lot of denim and natural vegetable tanned leather, because I would like to think that in a way I finish a bag that is still a little unfinished. It’s durable, sturdy, sleek, but it has a lot of character left to earn. Through the denim fading and the leather tanning and marking, it will earn the wear to tell the story of the person who ends up using it. A bit romantic isn’t it?

Like we all know that you’re one of famous “Women in Raw”, can you explain when you start to fall in love with denim and why? hat do you want to say to all denim enthusiast around the world?

Oh! I’m not sure that I’d call myself famous, but very honored to be taken seriously and welcomed as part of the denim enthusiasts community, since it’s mostly made up of men, and menswear.  I fell in love with denim, and raw denim in particular, long before I knew what the textile was. I loved how durable it was, how it fit, and how it faded. I worked as a denim tailor just before starting Aegis Handcraft, and got to work with all sorts of jeans, and other denim goods, in all different stages of wear. I loved how each piece was so unique, even after starting off the same. I could never get enough, and now that I use the material to make my bags, I don’t have to worry too much about not being surrounded by it. As for being a lady that wears raw denim, and well men’s clothing for the most part, I just fell into it. I found it more flattering that a lot of the women clothing out there. I don’t care who it’s “made for” rather that it fits me, or I make it fit me well. Head to toe covered in denim. I love it!

Thank you so much for connecting with me, truly a pleasure!

Love, Jess.


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