I’m Jenny Nemlekar, and I own/operate/live/breathe Jenny N. full-time, where I design and hand make every single bag, one at a time (or in very small batches), in my home studio in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I am also the photographer, model, saleswoman, customer service rep, and graphic designer for my little business.
Jenny N. is truly my labor of love. Amidst this mass-produced world, Jenny N. is where I focus on quality over quantity -- I provide exceptional customer-centric service, and thoughtfully designed and constructed products.
I operate out of a 50 sqft (yet expanding into our living area) corner of our 600 sqft studio apartment where our goofy pug, Hubert keeps me company while I work. In other words, he sleeps all day and snores very loudly, but it's better than nothing!
I started making tote bags (something I learned from my mom when I was six) in my college dorm room while procrastinating on studying for an Engineering Physiology exam. It soon became an addiction. Ironically, earning a bachelors of science in biomedical engineering solidified what I really wanted to do: be my own boss. I figured owning a business would give me the opportunity to do what inspired me, while creating the flexibility to work my own hours and move anywhere around the world. What I didn’t realize at the time was that owning a business is a 24/7 commitment and that industrial sewing machines and leather hides are really heavy to move, but that’s besides the point.
I am an artist by nature and an engineer by discipline, so my business is the fusion of my personal artistic aesthetic and the engineering principles I adopted throughout my education. I create my bags using premium upholstery leathers and durable canvases, and construct each piece in my classic aesthetic, ensuring high quality and utility while minimizing waste and scraps. Simplicity and versatility are defining characteristics of my design aesthetic; my designs are created with no excessive hardware, are fully lined with water-resistant canvas, and can be worn in various ways, including cross body.
I source my materials and tools from US vendors, concentrating in the states surrounding Pennsylvania. I design my bags by sketching out the final silhouette in a notebook, then reverse-engineering the design to create a template. I cut a whole leather hide into a stack of geometric shapes that culminate into a design when sewn, lined, and riveted. Once a bag is ready, I take a brief moment to feel like a proud mom before giving it a final hug goodbye, and then packaging it with a hand-written note to be shipped away to a loving new home!