On November 3, W Durable Goods opens a 4,000-square-foot storefront on Foch Street, the culmination of six years of hard work by founders Stephanie and Daniel Wright. The Fort Worth couple has one simple goal: to create quality leather goods that last a lifetime.
It started with a quest for the perfect duffel bag. “I searched and searched for the perfect duffel bag and could not find anything acceptable,” Daniel says in a release. “Everything I found seemed poorly crafted and looked like it would fall apart.”
He found inspiration in his dad’s fixed blade knife that had been around for dozens of years. “It’s nothing fancy — just a simple knife that is super handy and held up well for decades of use,” he says. “I wanted to find a bag that would be practical, like my dad’s knife, but had no luck. So I decided to make one myself.”
Daniel’s designs — duffels, Dopp kits, wallets, belts — are made using materials such as vegetable tanned leather from Wickett & Craig in Pennsylvania, 18-ounce Martexin Original Waxed Filter Twill from a textile mill in New Jersey, and solid brass and steel hardware. He aims for heirloom quality.
“Though we like to say we are ‘inspired by nostalgia’ at W Durable Goods, we strongly believe that useful items should get better with age,” Daniel says. “That’s why we specialize in offering intentional, purposeful, quality goods at a fair price. We don’t desire to do what other people already do well.”
The location on Foch Street is not their first. In 2014, they opened at 1543 N. Main St. near the Stockyards in a 750-square-foot retail shop and onsite manufacturing facility.
“My husband and I were building our respective careers, but the handcrafted business kept growing on the side,” says Stephanie, who has an MBA from Texas Christian University and oversees all aspects of business operations and sales for W Durable Goods. “What started as small, occasional gifts for friends and family quickly blossomed into an Etsy store, which then rapidly expanded beyond what we could manufacture from home.”
The new 4,000-square-foot facility boasts 2,500 square feet of dedicated manufacturing space and 1,000 square feet of retail space, as well as a multipurpose workshop for community classes in hand-painted lettering, calligraphy, and leather working. In addition to Daniel’s designs, the store carries a selection of complementary goods such as reclaimed wall decor, WWII inspired screenprinted T-shirts, vintage and reclaimed cowboy hats and accessories, Dickies 1922 specialty clothing, Red Wing boots in styles only currently available in Europe and Japan, and Woolrich blankets.
New items rolling out just in time for the business move have already gained international attention from attendees at New York gift markets. W Durable Goods has recently completed large orders from Japan’s top-tier department store, Beam’s, and the Wrights created an exclusive co-branded item for Portland-based Schoolhouse Electric’s holiday 2015 catalog.
Store hours Tuesday through Thursday, 11 am to 7 pm, and Friday and Saturday, 11 am to 9 pm. You can also buy W Durable Goods locally at the Dime Store in Denton, and West Elm, Read Between the Lines, and the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas.