Peg and Awl

A glimpse into the workings of a small business in Philadelphia.

Peg and Awl began as a company of 2 in January 2010. Since then we have grown to 15 people, all working in our Philadelphia workshoppe with the exception of Melanie, Stitcher and Pattern Maker, who works at home and takes care of her 2 little girls. Stay with me on this. It is a long story, yet only skims the surface of what we do!

Each month we have a 'shoppe activity'. This can be as simple (and delightful) as taking a break and enjoying locally made Weckerly's Ice cream sandwiches together, or as complex as our Mr. Rogers Day where we all enjoyed an Ekta lunch together (best Indian food in Phila!) then, for the first time, we each shared some details of our daily responsibilities at Peg and Awl (except for the chicken, that's me). What an incredible team we are! (Except, erm, did I mention that I was too chicken to talk?)

Walter surprised us with a Mr. Rogers opening scene reenactment!

The Woodshoppe.

The wood shoppe, consists of Joel, Chris, Alex, and Joe. Joe just moved to Philadelphia from Western Penna last week to join us! They gave us a brief going over of each machine...

Alex demonstrates the palm sander.

Chris, the most animated of us is talking about the much used drill press.

A batch of desk caddies made from floor joists from dilapidated 19th century Philadelphia row homes. The trees were likely seedlings before our country was even established.

The Brothers Kent are part of the team!

Our waste! Soon to become something new...

Joe and Stephanie talk safety.

Dry Goods. This area includes bag production, bookbinding, and jewellery packaging. (the jewellery finishing happens in our dining room in the wee hours of the night)

This is Ari. Here she demonstrates a handle stitcher-on-er. She also single-handedly cuts every bag we make as well as bookbinding and managing!


Ari is explaining the bookbinding process which Oliver and Emmett are now part of...

This unexpected twist to the job presentations, was Laura's! I was caught off-guard, not filming. She works in the dry goods department, and also helps out with social media and marketing.

Laura grabbed a bucket and tossed in each part that goes into the finishing of a tote - the waxed canvas body, rivets and straps, brand and tag. The video shows the rest!

SΓΈren is making a leather cape for his Lego guy.

Hamid is our in-house stitcher. Here he demonstrates threading the machine and how to sew.

Shipping and communication!

Itarya demonstrates the use of a water gun. Otherwise, she ships all orders, wholesale + retail. She also handles customer service (along side yours truly).

Stephanie manages wholesale accounts, inventory and participates in much else around the shoppe!

Oliver is demonstrating how to wrangle Emmett, the laser, into making impressive marks in wood. Oliver also manages much of the technical and computer goings-on in the shoppe.

5... 4... 3... 2... 1 Blast off!!! Emmett is making a ruler. He also engraves all of the handwritten quotes extracted from my journals and readings, as well as assisting in knife rack production, bookbinding and customization.

As for Walter and myself, we've come a long way. We set out in the beginning, to make a living just making. We didn't go to a school for business, managing, finance, &c. As many small business owners, our work began with needs and passion and developed into something we never anticipated! Yet, all of these hands in no way give us time to rest. As the company grows, our hands and minds become more and more busy.

Our jobs, collectively, include photography and social media, budgeting and marketing, designing new product, developing processes and systems. We do our best to make Peg and Awl great inside and out! We also have an incredible bookkeeper, Chris, who guides us all along the way. Questions and comments completely welcome! This is the most we have ever shown of the inner-workings.

All objects are handmade in Philadelphia. Instagram: @pegandawl @thebrotherskent

  • mombo

    very cool

  • aconica

    @hayliezangrillo check this out !

  • aconica

    So jealous! πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ» BRAVO!!!!!

  • copperline

    Wow, quite apart from everything else going on here (which is a fascinating insight into the workings of a small business), Ari's sewing skills are insane. πŸ˜³πŸ™ŒπŸ»

  • Leontine

    Small business... Great persons! 😊❣

  • duwitawahjoe

    This is great!

  • sraynz


  • pegandawl

    @copperline Ari is insane with everything she does - BUT I must clarify - the machine we are showing has been pre-programmed to do to do our box stitches! πŸ˜‰

  • pegandawl

    Thank you @aconica !

  • archaeolinguist

    I absolutely love every thing about every page of this story! Such a splendid inside look into a place and crew that have come together to make all things wonderful and magickal. We should all be so lucky to work in such an obviously happy environment! 😊

  • pegandawl

    Thanks @archaeolinguist ! We are all quite fortunate to have figured this out together so far...!

  • copperline

    Still, pre-programming or not, nimble fingers! I used to sew on "industrial" sewing machines back in my college days and I'd be terrified to go near one now! Fassssssst! 😳

  • pegandawl

    @copperline I agree! So fast! And Ari is awesome πŸ˜‰

  • geordie

    This is beautiful. Can't believe you guys have a swing in the workshop. Very awesome. πŸ‘

  • pegandawl

    @geordie - that swing is used every single day! Even when Søren and Silas aren't there!! ❀️❀️❀️

  • pegandawl

    And thank you for your kind words @geordie !

  • pegandawl

    Thank you @habitatadapt ! It is so nice to read all of these reactions!

  • J9nkidz

    LOVEEE Peg and Awl!!!!

  • kapowder

    Oh how fun to stumble upon you here! I follow you on Instagram! I'm reading the top 100 books list recommended by the BBC. I'm on 97. It's my plan to treat myself to one of your mini books once I finish! πŸ’—