The Story of Popov Leather

The Popov Leather Team Summer 2019

High Quality Leather Goods, Made Honestly.

It’s hard to believe that what started as a hobby has blossomed into everything you see here.

In 2013, I picked up a leatherworking kit and bought some scrap leather. Countless late nights hunched over my dining room table were all in pursuit of one goal: To create a simple leather wallet that would fit in my front pocket. I made a few dozen crude prototypes, chiseling away at my design until it was just right.

It was my wife, Jill, who convinced me that I might not be the only person struggling to find the best front-pocket wallet for my needs. I posted my design online, and to my surprise, a lot of other people wanted that same simple wallet.

It has taken weeks of patience, months of practice, and years of learning, but this hobby has grown out of my dining room and turned into a thriving business that supports me, my family, and talented people in my community.

Every day I am fortunate to be in my workshop doing what I love. I’m even more fortunate to have found such an amazing group of hard-working people. We take enormous pride in what we make, and nothing leaves our workshop unless we know you’ll love it.

On behalf of the Popov Leather team: thank you for your support

Ryan's Signature

Ryan Popoff
Owner and Maker


Meet The Team

Kathryn hand-sewing a wallet

Kathryn

Sewing & Finishing


Favourite Popov Leather item?
Front Pocket Cardholder: minimalist majesty.

Favorite leather?
English Tan. So much variation and character.

Favorite part about working at Popov Leather?
The espresso machine.

What's something we'd never guess about you?
I've been lost in the woods for almost 3 days.

What animal would be the most terrifying if it could speak?
My cat. She knows so much about me.

Ryan D gluing a book cover

Ryan D.

Assembly & Sewing


Favourite Popov Leather item?
Front Pocket Cardholder.

Favorite leather?
Horween Nubuck Oil Tan (Pecos Desert)

Favorite part about working at Popov Leather?
Relaxed, casual atmosphere. Also: location, coffee, seemingly complete freedom of speech.

What's something we'd never guess about you?
I've modeled for Mercedes and lived in my van.

What is your most unusual talent? 
Being able to sleep anywhere.

Daniela sewing a razor sleeve

Daniela

Sewing & Finishing


Favourite Popov Leather item?
Baby Dopp Kit - they are soooo cute.

Favorite leather?
Driftwood Chromexcel

Favorite part about working at Popov Leather?
Working with my hands to produce these amazing products. And have my weekends free!!

What is something that everyone looks stupid doing?
Trying to look natural when they're being photographed or filmed.

What's your life's theme song? 
Deixa A Vida Me Levar by Zeca Pagodinho

Whitney packing an order

Whitney

Shipping & Quality Assurance


Favourite Popov Leather item?
Medium tote. I use one everyday and it is a great catch-all. It looks so nice with everything.

Favorite leather?
English Tan <3 It is my favorite because it's such a classic color. Driftwood is a close second.

Favorite part about working at Popov Leather?
We have a great work environment and I enjoy coming to work. I especially enjoy doing QA (Quality Assurance) and making sure everything will be exactly what was ordered.

What's something we'd never guess about you?
Played roller derby for five years and competed at a national level.

Picture of Jill in the workshop

Jill

Jill

Co-Founder


Favourite Popov Leather item?
Front Pocket Cardholder. It's what i use myself daily.

Favorite leather?
Driftwood because it's our original Horween leather.

Favorite part about working at Popov Leather?
Watching the business grow and evolve over time.

Is a hot dog a sandwich, and why?
Of course, it's between bread. Therefore it's a sandwich.

What's your worst bug-related story?
Having a lifetime of deeling with stink bugs because Ryan won't :P

Dave gluing a wallet

Dave

Assembly & Instagram Model


Favourite Popov Leather item?
Front Pocket Cardholder. Classic, simple, functional.

Favorite leather?
English Tan. I think it has the most character and patinas really well.

Favorite part about working at Popov Leather?
Working with my hands. And being in a workshop with creative, hard-working, fun people.

What's something we'd never guess about you?
I have a collection of over 350 books.

What is your life's theme song?
The Sound of Silence - Simon & Garfunkel

Laura smiling for the camera

Laura

Customer Service


Favourite Popov Leather item?
Field Notes Covers. My favorite EDC! I take down notes and ideas, make grocery lists, draw.. anytime and every day.

Favorite leather?
Driftwood. Because of the amazing patina, the oily and "raw" texture. The intriguing color.

Favorite part about working at Popov Leather?
Working with my hands, helping people and working with amazing people. And cookies and snacks :)

What's something we'd never guess about you?
I spent a month living off the grid in the middle of Australia in a jungle among spiders, cockroaches, pythons and other creepy venomous creatures.

I got married in India.

How do you feel about putting pineapple on pizza?
Worst idea ever! Why?! Sacrilege!

Marnie hoisting some dopp kits

Marnie

Assembly & Sewing


Favourite Popov Leather item?
I just love our card holders. They are a brilliant design - so simple and classic, plus they are a dream to sew. Gotta say, I also love our Tote Bags - so fun to make.

Favorite leather?
Shell Cordovan (Dark Green) and I love it because it's just so gorgeous to work with. The finished products are spectacular.

What is your most unusual talent?
I can mimic some bird calls, my favorite is my golden eagle.

What's in your pockets right now?
Leather bits and a band aid.

If you could jump into a pool full of something, what would it be?
Beer - specifically the Saison variety.

Bob inspecting the clicker press

Bob

Production Manager


Favourite Popov Leather item?
4 card billfold: slimmest model that holds full-length bills. Unique design.

Favorite leather?
English Tan: dynamic patterns and changes over time.

Favorite part about working at Popov Leather?
Being part of a great team in a nice workshop.

What's your worst bug-related story?
Had wasps in my motorcycle helmet while on the highway.

In 40 years, what will people be nostalgic for?
Re-issues of re-issued vinyl reissues.

Branda rivetting a keychain

Branda

Engraving & Sewing


Favourite Popov Leather item?
5 Card Wallet

Favorite leather?
Driftwood - so oily and feels the best!

Favorite part about working at Popov Leather?
Snacks and beer. Inspiring place and people. Everyone here seems like a doer. Smells great.

Is a hot dog a sandwich, and why?
No, a sandwich must have more than one ingredient that's not a condiment (unless it's grilled cheese). A hot dog is just a different food item entirely.

If someone asked to be your apprentice and learn all that you know, what would you teach them?
Weaving. I wove twill structures on my 12 shaft loom for 10 years and had a weaving business. Would love to teach. It's so learnable: follow the pattern, get the result.

Ryan P inspecting a wallet

Ryan P

Co-Founder


Favourite Popov Leather item?
The front pocket card holder. It was the first wallet I ever designed and I still carry it to this day.

Favorite leather?
Driftwood. It's the original Popov color for all our products. The pull-up, waxy feel can't be beat. And the patina.. it's stunning.

Favorite part about working at Popov Leather?
Working with a team of folks who are just as hard-working and passionate about leather goods as I am.

What's something we'd never guess about you?
I'm a huge video-game geek and my favorite video game is Earthbound (Mother 2) developed by Shigesato Itoi's company Ape, Inc. Itoi also founded Hobonichi Daily Planners (which we also make leather covers for!)

How do you feel about putting pineapple on pizza?
Disgusting. I like fresh pineapple, but them can't stand it cooked.

Stacy waving to the camera

Stacy

Product Development


Favourite Popov Leather item?
I really love the book covers. They are all so simple, elegant and clean. The item you never knew you needed.

Favorite leather?
Shell Cordovan

Favorite part about working at Popov Leather?
I love the small business atmosphere that fosters a great balance for work and life. I love coming to work everyday feeling like I'm going to see friends, have gut-wrenching belly laugh attacks and leave feeling like I helped grow the company.

What's something we'd never guess about you?
One of my favorite things in the whole world is laying in bed and having the sheets thrown over like a parachute. Takes me back to childhood.

If you could jump into a pool full of something, what would it be?
Money.


Inside the Workshop

Ryan with some Leather Rolls
The team share a laugh at the cutting table
Whitney is happy to answer your questions
Cutting some belt straps

A peek inside the day-to-day at Popov Leather. We're currently operating out of renovated animal kennel measuring just over 1,400 sqft in size.

Every product that's ordered is made to order. That means we create every single order from scratch for our customers. From the time we receive an order, it gets cut from our full grain leather, assembled, sewn, finished, inspected and finally shipped. Each product we craft passes through many hands before it reaches a customer. There is nothing automated or fancy about what we do. The care and dedication to our work comes through in the final product.

Every email you send us, phone call you make, is answered by a member of our team. Someone who knows our products, who makes our products, and who uses our products daily. We wouldn't have it any other way.