Well, hey 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. Now after 8 years, I'm proud to say I am still a one-woman operation, and I still offer the same individualized attention to each one of my customers. Talk about small business! Bonus: my construction quality continues to improve after years of sewing over 3,500 bag orders! :)
My partner and husband, Shay Nemlekar is the strategic and operations arm of my business. He helps me with major business decisions and is my constant source of pep-talks when I'm feeling overwhelmed (every holiday season). He also models bags if I nag him enough (all the time).
I operate out of a spare bedroom studio while our goofy 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!
Designer, Manufacturer, Graphic Designer, Model, Photographer
Operations, Strategy, Model, Photographer (occasional)
I design and hand make every single bag you see here in my shop --over 3,500 bags and counting!
I earned my bachelor of science in Biomedical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin in May 2009, then went immediately into designing/making bags full time.
Turns out I love fashion accessories more than medical devices (because of the faster turnaround times from conception to production, if you're wondering).
When I'm not working in my studio, you can find me experimenting in the kitchen, or hanging out with my furry sidekick pug, Hubert (and posting photos on Instagram).
See what I'm up to on my Facebook page! :)
Shay is my husband, tough business decision-maker, source of sanity, operations and strategy guy, and male model (after some nagging).
He earned his MBA from Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business with University Honors, so he's a constant source of (unsolicited, but very valuable) business advice.
He also has a bachelor of science in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, so when we're not talking business, we're solving problems. Seriously, we're nerds.
When he's not trying to minimize my leather hoarding, you can find him playing tennis, drumming, or mixing fancy cocktails (he makes great Mexican Martinis!).