This Designer Left the Corporate World to Make Sentimental, Stylish Leather Purses

Mameyo Goods’ leather works are made with a sentimentality and soul that’s meant to be shared.

Working a corporate job in graphic design had Maxine Young feeling a tech slump that many of us can relate to: “I got to a point where I was looking at a screen all day, every day,” she recalls. The New Zealand-born designer moved to Canada in 2016, and that screen fatigue, coupled with a love for browsing Vancouver’s buzzy craft market scene, inspired her to try a more hands-on kind of art. Three months into leather working classes, she was hooked. “I became absolutely obsessed with it,” she says.

Designer Maxine Young
Designer Maxine Young and the Penny bucket bag. Photo by Rebekah Nathan Photography

Young’s Gastown-based brand, Mameyo Goods, uses leather that is a by-product of the meat industry, making functional and long-lasting bags, wallets, keychains and other accessories out of materials that would otherwise waste away in the garbage. “I’m quite a sentimental person, so I want to create things that people can have with them for years to come,” says Young. Each piece proves her emotional connection to her craft: the Valerie bag is modelled after a bucket bag her stylish grandma gave her (“She has really gorgeous taste,” Young says); the Bonita backpack, meanwhile, is named after a street she once lived on (“I carried a not-so-good leather backpack,” she remembers with a laugh).

Besides handmade wares, Mameyo Goods offers workshops to further share Young’s love of leather—take her five-hour classic tote bag workshop and you’ll leave the studio with a custom tote of your own (and the priceless pride of a job well done). “There is something so satisfying about making something from nothing,” Young says. “It’s just such a lovely thing to be creative in a way that you’re not usually in your day-to-day life.”

Designer Maxine Young took inspiration for this versatile bucket bag, called the Little Valerie ($340), from a coveted accessory of her grandmother’s. The timeless leather bag is available in five different colourways.
Mameyo Goods’ Selene half moon bag made in Gastown.