When you drive by that Filson sign on 1st Avenue, you're not just passing their flagship store. You're also passing their manufacturing division.
A majority of the brand's luggage and bags are made right there in the store, almost unheard of in this day and age of shipping work overseas.
"We've been making quality Filson garments here in Seattle for about 120 years," said Doug Lesavoy, the Director of Production at Filson. "Heavy luggage twill. Thick bridle leather. Really great products built to last so we can guarantee it for a lifetime."
Designers are upstairs, and bring a sketch of an idea down to the sewing team, who mocks it up into paper versions to see how everything fits together.
"We make all of our bags, ranging from our fishing packs and our technical sporting bags, the stuff that you take fly fishing with you," said Lesavoy. "Hunting bags, all the way down to duffles. Backpacks. Briefcases. The sort of stuff you carry to work with you."
Looking around the room, each piece is being cared to like a piece of fine artwork.
"It is artisanship, absolutely," said Lesavoy. "And it's part of our culture to make stuff that can last a lifetime."
So, what's Filson's most popular bag?
Impressive, right? But Lesavoy says they kind of have to...after all, they need to always keep it in stock!
"We just had graduation season, and we saw a bunch of people give these as gifts," he said. "They're great bags for that sort of thing."
Filson offers free tours every Tuesday and Thursday. Sign up for a tour at filson.com