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Image courtesy of Pine & Boon.

Pine and Boon is a Seattle-based brand of handbags, wristlets and change purses, launched only a few years ago by Jess Griffith. They are perfectly chic and minimal in a good way; this is the cool bag you've been hunting for, the one without all the buckles and patterns, the one that is both carefully constructed but effortlessly nonchalant in appearance. With her 2016 collection ready to be devoured, we caught up with the Seattle artist-designer to find out how she got started, where she draws inspiration for the line, and what to expect next.
Give us a little background about the brand. How did you start and why is it called Pine and Boon?
I started the brand after a move and period of unemployment in the spring of 2013. I have an art background and always loved making things to wear or use. I also found a lot of independent designers and makers who were creating leather goods that were very heavy, dark, or almost too minimalist for my style and I felt other ladies would feel the same. I wanted to keep my designs simple but add subtle elements of interest. 'Pine' represents the Pacific Northwest landscape and 'Boon' the community within it. These two things kept me going in hard times and continue to be a driving force in my work.

Tell us a little bit about your background.
I studied art at a liberal arts college in Seattle, but art and craft have been a part of me and my family for generations. I grew up sewing, drawing, and painting. I was always that person who could see something and then make it myself. I worked various retail jobs while interning at contemporary art galleries in Seattle. I liked working with artists and being physically close to their work everyday. I was eventually hired as Registrar in a gallery in Seattle and then worked my way up to Assistant Director. I helped move the gallery from Seattle to Los Angeles in 2011.

Los Angeles was a tough place for me, but I found solitude in the arts and crafts culture there. I took a ceramics class and was constantly looking at local designers clothing, accessories, and ceramics. Everything had a different vibe than the Pacific Northwest, and it really piqued my interest more than art did. Eventually, I left L.A. to head back to Seattle to be with family and friends. I also really missed the [region]. And that is when I started designing more seriously.

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Jess Griffith, founder and designer of Pine & Boon.

Why bags and accessories, and where do you draw your inspiration from?
I originally had the intention of creating my own clothing line, but I felt as though accessories would be a great way to get practice in sewing again. I found I really loved working with leather and decided to keep going with that material to make leather bags. I love Ermie who is based in L.A. and was a huge inspiration for me. I am always giddy when I see an Agnes Martin, Esther Stewart, or an Ellen Lesperance painting.

Any future plans for the brand and beyond?
I am simplifying the line a bit this year and releasing collections just once a year. The 2016 collection is all about the basics but in bold primary colors. Personally, I have some major changes coming up! My husband and I are expecting our first child in September. Thus my future plans are really going to be all about being consistent with the brand and business. I want to design more things under the Pine and Boon brand and possibly extend towards a collaborative brand with my artist husband, Cable Griffith. I would love to get more into designing patterns for products and textiles.

You can purchase Pine & Boon at Moorea Seal (Belltown), Velouria (Pioneer Square), and Prism (Ballard), as well as online at


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