Brahmin Factory Tour


Something you might have guessed about me but not necessarily know is that I have a fascination with learning how all things are made. In my day to day at BaubleBar, I am usually poking + prodding around our sourcing teams’ desks… looking at samples, trying to understand how things are constructed… and so on and so forth. So when the Brahmin team invited me to experience a day at their factory, I could barely contain myself. They promised us a look at how the bags are created from start to finish… and even a little behind the scenes time with the brand’s designers + founders. I needed to go. {note: I rarely ever – ever – take time off from my day job for blog projects… I’d rather spend my vacation days on vacation} but I had to say yes. And so off I went – to Providence {and Fall River, where the factory is} for a solid 36 hours. I took the train up after work on Tuesday and was back in the office on Thursday morning.

I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. Full disclosure – I didn’t even own a Brahmin bag until this trip. Don’t worry – that changed… now I have this one! Now that I’ve been to the factory, seen how the bags are produced, met the team and learned more about their company {and the insane attention to detail that they put into each + every bag}, I’ve been converted. Prepare to see a lot more Brahmin in these parts!

The other best part of the day? Hanging with Sydne + Jess. I’d met them both before but I felt like we really got to know each other and become good friends during this {short but jam packed!} trip. Be sure to check out their respective recaps of the trip.



We started out in the design room – perusing leather swatches and going through mood boards {my personal favorite — whenever I visit a designer’s HQ, I rush to their mood board… I love seeing what inspires other people!} The inspiration behind Brahmin’s Fall 2014 collection is Bohemian Voyager… basically, think of a rich, luxe hippie… and YSL in the seventies. The collection consists of rich jewel tones, fur, and lush floral prints.



From the design room, things got a bit more technical – we met with the specs team where we saw the software used to take the designs from spec sheets to prototype… and one of my favorite parts – got to see how the spec sheets {created by the design team} translate into real life… with paper bags. How cool is the above shot — paper prototype vs. the real thing? One thing I thought was really impressive is that Brahmin actually has its own sample factory in house. So if a buyer or press requests a style in a new fabric or someone gets a spur of the moment idea, they can sample it in less than 24 hours. Kinda nuts!



And then I lost it because they let us loose in the factory. Rolls and rolls of leather + fabric… we got a demonstration of the leather cutting machine… it was so, so cool.


No but then I really lost it. We got to make our own bracelets! {these bracelets.} I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t my favorite part of the day. The DIY’er inside of me was screaming and completely freaking out… but I tried to stay as composed as possible on the outside. We chose our leather swatches {I went with an Hermes-esque orange and a perfect summer white. It took me forever to choose and I nearly lost the group. I could play in the leather area all day long.} After choosing the leather, we used Brahmin’s equipment to cut  + thin the leather out… and then we moved on, with the promise that we’d get our finished bracelets back at the end of the day.



The rest of the day was a whirlwind. From reviewing hardware options, to seeing the tiniest details {they thin out the edges of the leather where it is being sewn to create a seamless effect… they use a special dye on the edges of the leather…} They walked us through every single step of the production process… including the rigorous quality control tests they run upstairs {from steam baths to ten pound boulders, it’s truly insane what they do to their samples to ensure that they’re entirely sure the bags will hold up for the long run.



At the end of the day we were given a sneak peek at Fall ’14 (so good!) and given the chance to sit down with Bill Martin {he founded the company thirty+ years ago in 1982 with his wife Joan} to learn about the company’s history and how they got their start. I was extremely inspired by his story and how hard they worked to get the company to where it is today. And I was really struck by what a family Brahmin is – and how scrappy they had to be in the beginning. As someone who currently works for a (rapidly expanding) start-up, it was incredibly motivating!


Oh and those bracelets! At the very end of the day, they were presented to us on a silver platter. Not bad huh?

Thank you to Brahmin for an amazing day! I’ll honestly never forget it.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment


  1. MissBagaholic:

    Wow, that must have been a super cool visit!

    7.2.14 Reply
    • Hallie Friedman:

      Fab post, Grace! I love how you described everything, and I felt like I was there with you, just from reading this post. Sounds like you had a blast! xo

      7.2.14 Reply
  2. Cathy, your Poor Little It Girl:

    Such a fun way to spend the afternoon! Very cool :o)

    Cathy, your Poor Little It Girl

    7.2.14 Reply
  3. Rachelle:

    That is so cool, I would love to visit them.


    7.2.14 Reply
  4. Laura:

    So nice, I love to see how is the work behind a final product!

    7.2.14 Reply
  5. Heidi:

    Those bracelets are amazing! Does Brahmin make all of their bags onsite? I could never tell from their website if their bags are made in the USA or if only limited bags were made domestically.

    7.2.14 Reply
  6. Erica:

    I grew up just a few towns over from the Brahmin factory — glad to see they’re getting some well-deserved attention! 🙂

    7.2.14 Reply
  7. Alison Gary (@wardrobe_oxygen):

    I’ve been a fan of Brahmin for a long time and covet my cobalt Melbourne satchel, a gift to myself after a work bonus. It’s awesome they let you three have a behind the scenes tour, and I adore the Duxbury Satchel you chose!

    7.2.14 Reply
  8. The Avg Girl Guide (@AvgGirlsGuide):

    Wow, that’s amazing. Love behind-the-scenes, learning construction, etc., too… this is awesome, and absolutely love how your bracelet looks!

    7.2.14 Reply
  9. PROSECCO & PLAID (@jessannkirby):

    Such a fun day and love your recap. I already want to do it all over again (and make more bracelets!). xoxo

    7.3.14 Reply
  10. Emily | The Fielding Report:

    Awesome opportunity! I really enjoy a peek behind the scenes- it definitely makes me want to look closer at them the next time I’m shopping.

    7.4.14 Reply
  11. Bee:

    Great behind the scenes tour!! Made it feel very “buy local” and support our authentic luxury brands!! Kudos!

    7.5.14 Reply