Words & Photography: Courtesy of Rural Kind
We are Mike and Nia, husband and wife, designers and makers of simple, functional, and durable carry goods, made by hand in the hills of Wales. For quite a number of years before Rural Kind came into being, we had dreamt of working together, setting up a small business that supported our dreams of simple, rural, sustainable living. It took a number of false starts and detours before we started to take the route which was to become Rural Kind. Mike is a trained architect but had for some time wanted to actually make something with his hands, rather than just designing on paper. He started doodling some simple bag forms and with an old industrial sewing machine we found ourselves playing around with bits of canvas and fabric, working out how a bag drawn on paper comes to life in canvas. Before we knew it Rural Kind was born.
First and foremost we design bags and goods that we would want to use. Whether that be a bag for walking in the hills, a bag for taking to town to pick up some fresh veg, a bag for carrying a camera, or a slim wallet for carrying a few cards and some cash. If we have a need for something, most likely we will try and design something to cater to our needs (but always with a mind to how others might use it). We are driven to create goods that are functional, durable and that will gain character through their use. One of our guiding principles is to 'make well' and these two words are behind many of our day to day decisions. For us it means taking time and care in the construction of our bags, choosing the proper way over the easier way. It's about making durable goods that are built to last for a long time. It's about choosing thick waxed canvas, English bridle leather, and solid brass hardware; materials that have a proven track record in strength, durability and that will gain character through their use.
We like to keep things small and slow, developing ideas over time and growing the business gradually and organically. We don't have grand plans, but we're all about creating a small, sustainable and flexible business that works with our desire for a simple and fulfilling way of life. And when not making bags we can usually be found out walking in the rugged Welsh hills with our two dogs. It's our place to stretch our legs and clear our minds but it's also a place to gather inspiration, new ideas and future plans.