June 11

Durable Goods of Lasting Quality

Leather artisan Hardmill sets up shop in SLU.

After working in restaurants during college, Ryan Barrie developed a love of cooking at home. But he couldn’t find a decent, well-made apron anywhere. He and his brother, Michael, decided to come up with their own designs and started manufacturing sturdy aprons in their garage.

What came from this DIY ingenuity was a line of long lasting, traditional, and rugged aprons, and the start of a new bespoke goods business called Hardmill. The shop’s aprons are made from leather, waxed canvas, or waxed denim and fall into the “rugged apron” or “industry apron” category. What sets Hardmill’s products apart is the brothers’ intentional design and sourcing of high quality materials.

But aprons are only part of Hardmill’s offerings. You can find everything from totes to wallets, tool and knife rolls, and more here.

Interior of Hardmill shop, with leather goods, tools, and complimentary products.

“Our tote bags are very utilitarian, and one small product that’s really neat is our pan handle covers for cast iron pans. We have a patent on that so it’s something we’re very proud of,” Ryan said.

Most of Hardmill’s products are made at its Georgetown shop, and the brothers have also added several quality complimentary products from other makers to their shelves.

Right now, Hardmill is focused on retail, but Ryan hopes to offer leather working classes and other special events in the store space. They’re even bringing in a sewing machine so customers can watch employees work on products as they shop.

Leather artisan sewing leather on an industrial machine.
Leather artisan cutting leather on an industrial machine.

Hardmill is located at 2215 Eighth Avenue and current hours of operations are in the works as the shop gets settled in the neighborhood.

Story by Ethan Chung & photographs courtesy of Hardmill.


40,000

employees in South Lake Union