How It’s Made – Lemolo Nameplate

November 2, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Posted in Backpacks, handbuilt, Lemolo Bags, portland, Uncategorized | 7 Comments
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As the official launch dates seems to finally be approaching, I wanted to show off a bit of my hard work. The following is a photo set laying out exactly how each Lemolo nameplate is made. By hand, by me.

The process starts with a 6″x18″ sheet of brass shim. The first thing that needs to be done is to cut the brass down. I use a large metal cutter provided by one of my shop mates (thank you James). You have to carefully mark the brass, line up your piece and slowly, but forcefully, swing the arm down. It cuts at a very slight angle and takes a bit of getting used to. It’s not hard once you get the hang of it, but it can be rather tedious, especially when the pieces start to get down to their final size of 1/2″x2″.

Once the brass is cut down to the appropriate size the next step is to hammer “LEMOLO” into it. I had a custom stamp made for this specific purpose. A very hard, stable surface is required for this step. A heavy, purposeful swing is required when hammering the stamp to ensure a deep, even, well-cut final result. This can take a little practice to get the technique right. It is easy to get a accidental shadow image as the brass or stamp could make a virtually un-noticable hop when the stamp is struck. You only get one shot at this, so it has to count. At about 1/3 of the way through the process it is a real bummer to have to scrap a nameplate at this stage.

The next step is to round the corners on a grinder (thanks for the use of your grinder Jordan). Not much needs to be removed, so a steady hand and sharp eye is key here. The corners just need to be rounded a bit, that’s all. Once the corners are rounded you need to brush the  backside of the nameplate along the edges with the grinder to smooth out any burrs that may have formed.

Only one more step is required before you are ready to rivet the nameplate to a finished bag. For this I was previously using a handheld drill and getting acceptable, but not great results. My friend Blake stopped by the shop and offered the use of his heavy duty hold punch. You simply find where you want your hole to be and squeeze. It takes a short amount of time for each nameplate but your hand can get a bit fatigued if you have a relatively large quantity to punch. This has been a dream compared to using a drill (thank you Blake).

At this point the nameplate is finished and needs only to be riveted to a bag. I lay the nameplate where I want it then mark on the bag where to punch the holes. As every nameplate is made one by one and the holes are cut by hand there can be a slight variance in where the holes in the bag need to be. So, to be sure everything looks just right you need to be sure to mark the bag using the exact nameplate you intend to rivet to that specific bag. Once the holes are punched it is simply a matter of loading up the rivet press, lining everything up, and pressing it together.

This small run of backpacks and duffels were all sewn by real people, whom I have met, working at Portland Garment Factory in SE Portland. I am the founder of Lemolo, sole designer, and each and every nameplate was completely made from scratch and attached by me. Lemolo Baggage, all proudly made in USA.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, I hope you found it both interesting and informative!

-Elias Grey

Visit or follow Lemolo Baggage on Facebook and Twitter.


Behind The Scenes Progress….

May 11, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Posted in art, Backpacks, Lemolo Bags | 3 Comments

I have a meeting with some very talented folks tonight regarding the new website ( More details on them and super rad website coming soon. Also, placed a order for a bunch of Lemolo t-shirts with the new logo. American Apparel, black w/ white logo, Gray w/ black logo. Chris over at Printed Matter came highly recommended and has been super helpful and really easy to work with so far. Should have t-shirts within a couple weeks! They will be for sale on my totally awesome new web store… when the website is completed. Ahh, so much to do.

Am planning out some really great details on this current run of bags, which should be available (on the future web store) by the end of June. I will post about the details once I get them all figured out and set in stone. Stay tuned.


Sneak Peek #2

February 22, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Posted in Backpacks, Lemolo Bags, Uncategorized, What's New! | 2 Comments
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As promised, here is the sneak peek of the aforementioned bag. As you can see this guy is quite a bit bigger than the last one. You’ll be able to stuff a fair amount of crap… I mean really important stuff… in there when you need to.

This bag features a roll top and flap system and larger outer pocket. I used oiled leather for the top flap, pocket flap, and re-inforced bottom this time. I haven’t done a whole lot of work with leather in the past and I am very happy with how this shaped up. As you can see from the photos above, I have once again employed that marine canvas, beautiful cream colored cotton webbing, and heavy-duty brass hardware. Although I am thinking a more heavy duty waxed canvas might be in order for this bag. Needless to say, I am very happy with how this backpack turned out. Being that it is prototype #1 there will be things that will change before we reach a final product stage. All of those things I will try and figure out as I use the bag over the next few weeks.

I am very excited about the future of this bag and the bag mentioned in the previous post. I hope you are as well!


sneak peek #1

February 19, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Posted in Backpacks, Lemolo Bags, Uncategorized, What's New! | 5 Comments
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Hello friends,

I have been working on some new ideas these past few months. I’d like to share a sneak peek with you.

This first bag I finished for a friend around Christmas time. I have waited to post anything about it as I wanted to get some real-world feed back on how it was performing for her. So far so good. It’s a bit on the smaller side, if you compare it to what I have been doing in the past… although it is really unlike almost anything you’ve seen from Lemolo in the past so it’s a bit hard to compare, aside from the size that is.

A very simple, smart looking bag ready for everyday use. A drawstring and flap design keep your things secured inside the main compartment. Marine canvas gives this bag the water resistance you’d expect from a bag designed in our fair city, and a very nice feel as well. I think the brass hardware and cream cotton webbing really set it off.

This is just a preview of what is to come. As of right now, this bag is not available for sale. I will keep you posted on when and how to get a hold of one when the time comes.

Like what you see above? I just finished this bag’s bolder big brother (at least prototype #1 of it). Similar in material and style. If you like like the bag featured in this post I think you’ll love the one I’m going to post about next. Stay close…


Portland Backpack: New (better) Price!

May 29, 2010 at 10:47 pm | Posted in Backpacks, Lemolo Bags, What's New! | Leave a comment

Over the past few months I have had a lot of help (thank you Adam) and I’ve learned a lot during that time. I’ve learned how to be more efficient, streamline certain things around the shop, etc. As you all know, I’m not really making this backpack to-order as I used to. I’m choosing the color schemes myself and offering the bag as more of a “stock” item. Although each one is different, built one at a time, and of course still made by hand, it has been saving me a lot of time and energy to do it this way. The long and short of it is that after a lot of work, and a lot of consideration I have decided that I am able to lower the price of the Portland Backpack! The process has been speeded up and the savings are passed on to you. It may not seem like much, but it’s huge to me, and could make the difference for a few people out there. I am trying to provide a super high quality product at a price as reasonable as I can afford to, and I’ve realized that I can now offer it at an even better rate than before. Awesome! Soo. The new price for the Portland Backpack is now $250, down from $285. Same awesome bag, new awesome price… and just in time for summer!

Oh, and both of the bags pictured above are available to for purchase. Click here for a full list of all the bags I currently have for sale.



May 25, 2010 at 11:49 am | Posted in Backpacks, portland, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

T.A. has been doing some work for me off and on for the past 6+ months. His attention to detail, pursuit of perfection and work ethic is unmatched. He is a very good hearted down-to-earth guy with a lot of skills behind a sewing machine.  Although I think he will still be doing some work (I hope!) for Lemolo, Adam has decided to focus more on his own sewing vision, and I think that is awesome! He is creating some great looking baggage from his home in N.E. Portland. You can find him online

The best of luck to you Adam!


Petite vs. Portland

April 21, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Posted in Backpacks, Lemolo Bags, What's New! | Leave a comment
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I’ve already had a bit of interest in the new backpack design… thought some comparative photos might help give you all a better idea of the actual size of the bag. Like I mentioned before, it is a bit smaller and will sit a little higher up on the back than the Portland Backpack. Although I am labeling it the Petite Backpack it is not a super small bag… it just happens to be the smallest backpack I currently make.

Here are some pictures of my personal bag (a Portland Backpack) and the Petite Backpack (the bag on the left in all photos). The top left picture makes the bags look like they stand almost the same hight. That is a bit deciving as my bag is slouching a bit due to the fact that it has been used almost daily the past few months. A new Portland Backpack would stand slightly taller.

As far as fit goes, the Petite Backpack suits a person with a shorter mid section and all-around smaller frame best. It is a shorter backpack so it might feel like it was riding pretty high up on someone with a long torso. You’ll probably notice from the pictures that the shoulder straps are a bit closer together at the neck area as well. This helps the bag ride more snuggly on shoulders considered anything but broad. I made this backpack for my friend Lynnsy, so naturally I thought it best to have her model it.

Like I mentioned above, if this bag becomes a production item it will be the smallest of Lemolo backpacks offered. That being said, it is still a good sized bag that will certainly be able to carry enough stuff for an overnight… or 2 depending on how you pack.


Prototype – Small Backpack

April 17, 2010 at 10:20 am | Posted in Backpacks, Lemolo Bags, What's New! | 4 Comments
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I just finished up a project that I have been thinking about for some time now. This bag is the first prototype of what could become a standard Lemolo bag. It turned out so well that I felt like I had to share it…

It is bit smaller than the Portland Backpack and was designed for someone with a more petite frame, although anyone should really be able to wear it. This little bag stands approx. 15″ tall and measures in 7″x12″ at the base. Although the two bags share some of the core features you’ve come to expect from a Lemolo this new pack is a bit simpler and I’d like that to reflect in the cost. I decided to not add any pockets to the inside of the bag. It’s a manageable enough size to be able to find anything you need fairly quickly and pockets can cramp the main compartment of a small bag. Like the Portland Backpack this bag features a re-inforced bottom, back padding, blinky loop, 3-D outside pocket, side pockets, and compression strap(s). Of course the chest strap (on both bags) is adjustable both horizontally and vertically to ensure a snug, comfortable fit as well.

I hope ya like it! Feel free to comment or shoot me a email (lemolobags[at]gmail). Is there even any interest in a bag of this size? I’d love to hear what you think.


Filmed By Bike 2010 Raffle Bag

March 31, 2010 at 10:39 pm | Posted in Backpacks, filmed by bike, portland | Leave a comment
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This bag could be yours…

It’s almost time for Filmed By Bike again. And, like the past 3 years, you’ll have a chance to take home a Lemolo backpack! Lot’s of other great sponsors this year as well, check them all out @

See you there!


More backpacks…

December 30, 2009 at 11:21 am | Posted in Backpacks, Lemolo Bags | 2 Comments
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Just added a couple more backpacks to the For Sale Page of the new site. Check out some pictures below, email me if you are interested in purchasing one!

email: lemolobags[at]


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