The Instagram account for Bexar Goods is full of beautiful, inspiring photos of the company’s handcrafted items—leather satchels, waxed-canvas totes, and accessories like wallets and leather-bound copper flasks—in the environment for which they were intended: the great outdoors. With more than 40,000 followers, the account has been a smart way for brothers Falcon and Christian Craft-Rubio and their cousin Guy Rubio to reach the world from their quiet studio in a former uniform factory on San Antonio’s West Side. Says Falcon, who, along with another cousin, Dominick Rubio, makes most of the items: “Guy’s a geologist by day, so many of the photos are from his everyday life out in the field in the Hill Country. He takes our products along with him and might shoot them with cacti or a barbed-wire fence. It’s all real moments he’s having outdoors.”
The three men always knew they wanted to go into business together, ever since working in their family’s pizza restaurants as teenagers. They finally came up with their business idea in 2011, after Guy bought some leatherworking tools and made a bag for himself. Four years later, they have sold hundreds of bags to customers as far away as Singapore and received commissions from brands like Nike and the History channel. And though the men were new to sewing back when they started out, the business has proved a natural fit. “All three of us are travelers and love to explore new places,” says Falcon. “Our bags are made for adventures. Bexar Goods is us.”
Q&A With Falcon Craft-Rubio
What’s different about the bags you make?
We use English bridle leather from one of the country’s oldest tanneries, which is typically used for saddles. Our bags are no-frills, and they’re made in the way we want to use them when we’re traveling. There is no lining. They’re bare, a play on our name, Bexar Goods. You can see the way they are constructed; we aren’t trying to hide anything.
How did you guys decide on the name for your line?
Our name is inspired by Bexar County. It was important for us to stay in San Antonio, even though when we started this four years ago, there was zero vibe of a maker scene going on here. It’s nothing like Austin in that way. People from San Antonio know how to pronounce it the right way, so it’s special to people from here, like our own little secret.
It seems like San Antonio has been a big influence on your work. What do you love about your city?
Our families are from Mexico, so we love that Mexican culture is such a big part of the city. San Antonio might be a big city, but parts of it really capture the charm of a small town as well.
What were the biggest challenges in learning how to work with leather?
Initially it was cutting a 90-degree angle, and then it was cutting a straight line. It’s an expensive mess-up when you’re working with such high-end leather. It took a lot of practice. I am self-taught, but self-taught the right way, not my own way of doing it. I use saddle stitching. It’s the way people have been sewing for hundreds of years.
Were creative pursuits a part of your childhood?
We were always at my grandmother’s house growing up, and she often had us painting or working on a project in her kitchen. We built a chair for squirrels to eat in while they snacked on corn. Creativity is a big part of our entire family. My uncle Jorge designs homes for the royal family of Saudi Arabia.
You had never sewn before you began working on Bexar Goods full-time. What’s been the biggest take away?
There is nothing better than being able to make something yourself.
For more information, go to bexargoods.com.