Welcome to our first blog post. We are so excited to be able to utilize this platform and share with you information about our products, new releases, spotlights on makers we love, and much more. For those of you who are new to Lineage, we wanted to start with a little backstory about our business and how it came to be.
The Beginning of Lineage
Lineage is based in Harrisonburg, Virginia and creates high-quality, handmade waxed canvas and leather bags. Our brick and mortar shop and online store features products from other makers and artisans we love, including practical home and kitchen goods, art, apparel, and accessories.
The concept for Lineage came about when our founder, Paul Hansbarger, and his wife, Jessica, were expecting their first child. In a search for the perfect functional diaper bag, Jessica asked Paul if he would create one for her.
Mountain Laurel, Paul's first tote bag named in honor of his daughter
Paul has always loved working with his hands. From a young age, he was tinkering and teaching himself how to make things. But his passion for sewing really took off when he took a sewing class at VisArts, a community art center in Richmond, Virginia. It was a very basic introduction to sewing but he was able to learn his way around the machine and pick up some valuable skills.
A few years later after moving to Missoula, Montana, Paul picked up sewing again and began honing his skills by watching YouTube videos and making his own bags. Eventually, he started a small brand, making customized bags and accessories for long distance bicycle touring and mountain biking.
The bags were used by cyclists around the globe, including long distance mountain bike races such as the Tour Divide and Iditarod, the famous sled dog racing route in Alaska. Paul eventually sold the business to another cyclist and it has continued to grow.
It was a while before Paul started sewing again. Creating the diaper bag for Jessica was just the inspiration he needed and requests came pouring in from friends and family wanting bags of their own. To meet the demand, Paul set up a small sewing shop in his garage and Lineage was born. Needing a larger space and seeing the potential for opening up a shop, Paul started looking for a retail location that could also include a workshop.
Paul's first workshop in his garage
In February of 2018 Lineage moved into Agora Downtown Market in Harrisonburg, Virginia. A recently opened community retail marketplace, housing over ten different independent shops. Paul's vision for Lineage was to have a retail space that doubled as a workshop, and moving into Agora Downtown Market provided the space needed to bring this vision to life.
Now, the studio allows customers to see Lineage bags and accessories made in person while giving them an opportunity to learn more about our product line.
Waxed Canvas & Leather Bags
From the beginning Paul wanted his bags to be functional, practical, and made with durable materials. Each is named after a river in Virginia, with the exception of Paul's very first bag, Mountain Laurel, which is named in honor of his daughter.
Each of our bags are created with products sourced from suppliers within the United States. We strive to use high quality, time-tested materials including waxed cotton canvas, water repellent canvas, and vegetable tanned leather.
A Lineage bag being made by Paul
Lineage bags aren't just in Harrisonburg. You can also find them in retail locations throughout Virginia, including Black Dog Salvage in Roanoke, Jackson & James in Richmond, and many other locations.
We also collaborate with other local makers from time to time, and seek out unique products for our brick and mortar shop and online store.