Made in Virginia 2014: Awl Snap Leather Goods, Richmond

Awl Snap Leather Goods

Photo by Shanaz Bowman.

When Erin McRoberts quit a steady 9-5 at a Richmond marketing firm in 2013 to make her part-time business a full-time gig, the leather maker envisioned one day running a small shop where she could build relationships with her customers, she says, like the butcher, the baker and the .… well, you get it. She doesn’t have the bricks and mortar yet, but today, the success of McRoberts’ online business is bringing her closer to that dream. She designs and makes all of her products by hand in a studio in the city’s maker-mecca district of Manchester. In one year, she has quadrupled sales of her custom bags and accessories, but if it’s trendy you’re looking for, McRoberts isn’t it. Her bags are meant to get better with age. One of McRoberts’ most popular items is the 20-inch by 23-inch Hotshot Weekender, whose supple, reinforced leather bottom fits a week’s worth of stuff as comfortably as it does just a few outfits, thanks to a pliable waxed-cotton canvas upper that rolls down to buckle and conform to the load. $355.

See all the Made in Virginia 2014 Winners!


Nordt Family Farm, Charles City

Moonrise Jewelry, Cape Charles

Awl Snap Leather Goods, Richmond


Moore & Giles, Forest

Cricket Cove Soap, Glen Allen

Buckingham Slate Company, Arvonia

New Ravenna, Exmore

Fielding Archer Designs, Midlothian

Kala Studios, Arlington


Rappahannock River Oysters, Topping

Red Truck Bakery, Warrenton

Pickled Silly, Richmond

Glass House Winery, Free Union

Willie Byrd Sauce, Richmond

La Vache Microcreamery Caramels, Charlottesville

FERIDIES 5 O’Clock Crunch, Courtland


Three Ships Coffee, Virginia Beach

Commonwealth Gin, James River Distillery, Richmond

1762 Port, Philip Carter Winery, Hume

Gingerbread Stout, Hardywood Brewery, Richmond


Latell Sails, Deltaville

Tad Coffin Saddles, Ruckersville

Goodpasture Knives, Ashland

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