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A letter from the founder

Join or Die is a handbag company based in New York City. In late 2012, I left a job at Vogue Magazine and an East Village apartment for a new life in Austin, Texas. Needless to say, my wardrobe had new requirements. I didn't intend to start a brand – I really just wanted a classic, fairly priced handbag.

The first product, a tote bag, combined clean design with everyday durability. The quality spoke for itself – I carried the sample every single day. After a year of heavy use and hundreds of compliments from strangers, I founded Join or Die.

The line has expanded and I have moved back to New York City, but Join or Die still delivers on its original purpose. The following principles have guided the brand since day one.

Join or die, xx
Sarah Neal Simpson, Founder

 

Founding principles

Never forget your roots

Join or Die values quality, fairness, and craftsmanship. After meeting suppliers & factories around the world, it was obvious that the most honestly priced product would be made in America. Each product is constructed of superior materials and supportive of local industry.

Never settle

Join or Die would not exist without the feedback and support of friends, family and stylish strangers. Each product has been built to withstand the adventures of their daily lives. But to continue perfecting our product, it's important to get your comments. Join or Die will not settle until we make the handbags you reach for every morning.

    Never forsake style for trends

    Join or Die isn't interested in making handbags you'll tire of next season. Our products are classic, full of an effortless polish and adventurous spirit – the epitome of American style. Each handbag is meant to be worn (and loved) season after season, year after year.

     

    Made in America

    In 1965, 95% of US clothes and accessories were made domestically. Today, 97% are made elsewhere in factories and with materials that deprioritize quality and fail to consider environment impact. Join or Die handbags are long-lasting and fairly priced. 

    Our supply chain is minuscule – the price of goods is reflective of the true cost of labor, not padded with import taxes and shipping fees. For example, the new envelope clutch is sourced and produced on W 38th Street in New York City's famed Garment District. The leathers & zippers are chosen, carefully inspected and then hand-delivered to the factory.

    The suede for our tote bags is made by Horween, the last-remaining Chicago leather tannery. Their materials are of the highest quality – perfected by five generations of family expertise and valued around the world for their ability to age gracefully. 

      

    Special thanks to

    My beautiful friends who have acted as models, stylists, photographers and guinea pigs: Emma Ciufo, Bethany Kennedy, Miguel Lilly, Christina De Smet, Lucia Orlandi, Christine Riley, Franki De La Vega, Brittney Leeolou, Yi-Mei Truxes, Isabelle Eddy

    My board of advisors who I turn to with questions about strategy, accounting, production and design: Nancy & Buzz Simpson, Pon Kattera, Alexandra Leite, Valeria Mykyta