You need this locally made tote bag

CHIC, DURABLE, DO-GOODER

Photos by Danny Fulgencio

They met at meditation in Beckley Club Estates and started having coffee together.

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Ruby Hunt and Alisha Stephens both have degrees in international business. They’re both entrepreneur-minded globetrotters who believe that business can be a force for good.

And they’re creative on top of that.

Stephens works for a biotechnology company but also has a 6-year-old nonprofit that raises money for schools in Uganda. Hunt works for the Dallas Museum of Art but previously co-owned a jewelry line called Bella & Chloe.

It didn’t take long before they were working on a business plan.

“We want to spend the rest of our lives doing something meaningful that has an impact,” Stephens says. “And also be able to express our creativity.”

They launched Pacha, which makes high-end canvas bags, this past spring.

All of the bags — leather-handled totes and zippered pouches in two sizes — are made of waxed canvas. The material is sourced in Houston from a woman who applies Texas beeswax by hand. The leather and other fabrics all come from American suppliers.

Vickery Trading Co., a Dallas-based nonprofit that employs refugee women (they also pay the living wage and teach life skills), manufactures the bags.

The skilled workers there even made the patterns from Hunt’s and Stevens’ drawings. They designed their big tote, the Atlas, with a pocket that holds a MacBook, rings to attach keys and pockets for phones and keys.

“You don’t want a big bag that you’re eternally digging through,” Hunt says.

They’re going for function and durability with a classic look. This isn’t disposable fashion.

“So often, we don’t know what the conditions are in the places where our clothes are made,” Stephens says. “We know where every piece of that [bag] came from.”

The Pacha Atlas tote costs $96, and the pouches cost $22 and $32. They’ve pledged 1 percent of their annual sales to 1% For The Planet, which raises funds for environmentally sustainable initiatives. 

So far, Pacha bags are available at Beatnik in Oak Cliff and online at shoppacha.com.

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