Friday & River

Friday & River

Headquarters: San Diego, CA

States manufacturing in: CA


Friday & River produces its high-quality products in San Diego, California, using eco-friendly materials. They offer wallets, cardholders, lanyards, keychains, watch bands, memento coins, candles, and jewelry at their store, so they know how to make quality goods for all areas of your life.

The husband and wife team, Joe Freitag and Yumi Kawamura founded Friday & River in 2011. The company alias comes from their last names – “Friday” in German and “River Village” in Japanese. They design the products together with the intent to satisfy your leather product needs.

Through their products, Joe and Yumi try to fuse traditional Western wear’s ruggedness and durability with a minimalistic and beautiful Japanese aesthetic. This goal results in high-quality goods inspired by their personal experiences. They consider themselves travelers and artists, and they describe their products as being made for creators, explorers, and freethinkers.

The Friday & River mantra is “Raise Your Sail High.” This phrase means that you work harder when you focus more on the journey. Hard work improves your outlook on life and helps you achieve success. The couple worked hard with brands like Levi to discern their stylistic approach, and now their brand offers various unique goods to make your life a little prettier.

While they specialize in leather, they also sell stone jewelry and candles. Friday & River refuses to be defined by one product, and they are continually innovating with new and attractive items.

Recently, Joe and Yumi decided to limit their product offerings. They now release small batches of items made through experimental techniques with new materials. They have begun selling new designs each season. However, you can still find their older products for sale through other vendors, opening your options further.

Our Favorite Friday & River Products Made in the USA

Wallets: If you’re looking for a super minimalist leather wallet then Friday & Leather might be the place for you. They use leather from some of the world’s leading tanneries and are stitched using the likes of super-strong sinew or bonded waxed nylon. They have a number of size options, including billfold, cardholder, utility pouch, or a simple enclosed card wallet. You can also buy these in a number of colors, which are classic leather colors, typically black, brown, tan, and natural. There’s also the option to monogram these leather wallets too.

Bags: You really can’t get two of the same bags at Friday & River. They explain that their process for creating bags is to choose a side of leather and “look for its unique characteristics” and allow these elements to guide the design. The result is some fantastic bags that have a lot of character whilst also having that classic leather look. They typically design bag types such as totes, utility bags, messenger bags, and slings – if you want one, you’ve got to be quick though! 

Manufacturing Notes

Based in San Diego, California, Friday & River manufactures using earth-friendly materials and minimal waste. They utilize the Japanese principle Kaizen, meaning Change For Better, to inspire them to improve the manufacturing process. 

They ensure that all pieces of leather used are optimized to make the most of them and reduce waste. They never cut around any marks or scars, but instead, use these as features on their work. This also means that they cannot guarantee the exact colors of their products. 

They source most of their core materials from US suppliers, often listing on their product pages that the leather has been sourced by Horween Tannery (based in Chicago). They source some of their leather internationally (specifically mentioning Italy and Japan) and also some smaller components from overseas as well. 

Friday & River ensure that all materials sourced are of the highest quality and use traditional leathercraft techniques and methods to create their unique products. Their home goods and jewelry are also handcrafted at their San Diego site, ensuring that attention to detail and care are taken with each product.

The artisan crafters are so confident in the quality of its products that they offer a lifetime warranty on its leatherware.