August 6, 2019 - Read my recent interview in Voyage Dallas where I discuss how I started my business and the challenges I've faced over the last 11 years!
Hi there! I’m Jenny Nemlekar, and I own, operate, live, and 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 Dallas, Texas.
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.
When I first started Jenny N., I envisioned building lasting relationships with my customers as I constructed their bags one-by-one. After 11 years, I'm proud to say I am still a one-woman operation, and I still offer the same individualized attention to each of my customers. Talk about small business!
Bonus: my construction quality continues to improve after years of sewing and shipping thousands of bags around the world! :)
My husband, Shay Nemlekar is my pro-bono model (if I nag him enough) and sounding board for all major business decisions (he's got a lot of business know-how!).
I operate out of a spare bedroom in our home while our lazy pug, Hubert keeps me company while I work. Honestly, 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 years old) in my college dorm room while procrastinating on studying for an Engineering Physiology exam. It soon became an addiction. Ironically, earning a Bachelor 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 beside 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. Simplicity and versatility are defining characteristics of my design aesthetic.
My bags are created with premium full-grain genuine cowskin leather, YKK zippers, and metal hardware, and fully lined with water-resistant canvas. They are assembled simply with durable nylon thread and metal rivets. No chemical-laden glues, adhesives, or rubber! Most of my bags can be worn in multiple ways, including crossbody.
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 package it with a hand-written note to be shipped away to a loving new home where it will hopefully be used daily for many many years!
Follow my personal Instagram for the other thing that takes up all of my time besides my business... my 2-year old toddler. Follow along here!