A Fireman, Fire Hose & the Inspirational Story of Ignition Supply Co.

A Fireman, Fire Hose & the Inspirational Story of Ignition Supply Co.

I am excited to see one of the brands I worked on in men’s bags & accessories is finally open for business.  As a freelance designer and startup consultant I work with a lot of different brands, from start ups to large established corporate brands.  Some of my favorite projects are unusual and inspirational projects that reclaim and upcycle existing materials.   Ignition Supply Co. is just that.  It is an inspiring story of a fireman, firehose and a unique idea.  It was very cool to be part of that project and I look forward to working with them in the future.

From their website….

“The story begins with a request from my Lieutenant to remove one of our recently failed fire hoses from service after it had been badly damaged in a fire. My curiosity began to run as this section of hose had been tossed out like any other piece of garbage. There was a sentimental value left in that pile, though covered in soot and damaged, it had protected me as I entered a burning structure ultimately bringing me back to safety. As a firefighter, one of the greatest lines of defense we carry with us into a fire is a fire hose. When heavy smoke and flames bank down over our heads, a fire hose acts as an escape rope allowing us to blindly determine means of egress.



Shortly after this event, I began to experiment by crafting several different items from this condemned material. I fell in love with the appearance of these failed hoses. Tho damaged, the fire hose I was collecting had such a unique story of how it was used to the point of failure. Each individual section had sustained markings achieved only by the most catastrophic events.

Not yet knowing what was in store for my new found hobby, I began contacting fire companies around the country to see what was being done with their failed fire hose. The trend was all the same that fire companies were stockpiling their condemned fire hose.


Growing up in a city that was once considered the furniture capital of the world,  I was referred by a business associate to create a profile on the site Coroflot to seek out designers. After several email offers to potential designers around the country, the addition of our now designer Tara was secured. Tara has a very extensive background in leather handbag design and specializes in luxury fashion trends.

I have always had an interest in the way products were manufactured and the stories which they carried. My grandfather, who spent his early days as an upholsterer still to this day has the tack hammer that he used to pound the brass tacks into place on the furniture he helped construct. With a mouthful of tacks and a hammer, the leather furniture slowly began to take shape.



With Tara’s experience in handcrafted leather goods, we began working with a manufacturer in Los Angeles who fit the products we were designing perfectly. The small leather shop where all of our bags are built are done so with some of the oldest working American made machines known to still be in use. This allowed us to achieve the look and quality that defines the Ignition brand. The team of leather craftsman who build Ignition bags are some of the most skilled artisans left in this country. The leather parings were selected individually to fit the style of hose and are hand stitched to ensure they will last a lifetime.

After a flight out to California, our production began to take shape. Hours of discussion regarding the types of closures to use for each individual product, the leather straps, zippers and hang tags have been selected to best pare with each design. The Italian hardware accents were selected to best replicate the fixtures used on the vintage horse sets formerly used by fire companies.


The unbridled journey taken to collect the fire hose we currently stock came at no easy feat. Our team accumulated hundreds of hours behind the wheel traveling to some of the oldest established fire departments in the world. From Michigan to Texas and everywhere in between. While manufacturing and design are some of the key components to the Ignition brand, the story which is woven into our line is what truly defines the passion we have for the products we produce.


Through hours of communication back and forth with Tara discussing potential names for a product line that was fueled with so much passion and history, Ignition was born. In the development phase for this line, I often times resorted to the vintage fire books my father, a career firefighter had collected over the years. The history of American firefighting stems from many traditions passed down generation to generation. The ingenuity that has taken place over the course of the last 100 years is truly remarkable. We chose to use a vintage steam powered fire engine as the mark which defines Ignition. In the late 1800’s to early 1900’s, These steam engines were built with the finest metals to ensure they would stand the test of time. We pride ourselves on instilling these same values into every single item we produce. When a fire bell was struck, firemen with assigned tasks would rush to the engine bay to hitch up the horses. Back in the day, the sight of seeing a steam powered fire engine rushing through the streets was something to marvel at. Hundreds of patrons would line the streets to cheer on the firemen as they made their way to the fire.


 Ignition – the act or process of initiating combustion

We’re building luxury leather products the old fashioned way. With American hands, using century old sewing methods to ensure that every item we produce will last a lifetime.  The components of design combined with the visual aesthetics of all Ignition leather goods are filled with character and built to be functional. Ignition follows a set of core principles: We design and build the highest quality American made leather products we know how, and determine the price last. We saw the direction that men’s carry bags were heading and decided that it was time to make a statement in an industry filled with duplication. We are excited for the journey ahead and hope you’ll share it with us.”

Good luck!  We are pleased to be a part of your beginning!  Check out



Tara & Rocco




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