"We have a lovely home — one that money did not buy — it was born and evolved slowly out of our passionate, poverty stricken agony to own our own home, happiness." Anne Spencer
Tucked away at the end of a brick-lined driveway on Pierce Street, just shy of downtown Lynchburg sits a charming garden cottage named Edankrall – the quiet retreat of well-loved Harlem Renaissance poet, Anne Spencer. The cottage has been painstakingly restored to capture the setting that was the backdrop for her poetry. Built by her husband Edward, his careful craftsmanship is highlighted by her unique décor: the walls play host to photographs of Spencer’s family and friends – a “who’s who” of influential African American leaders, artists and intellectuals; the furnishings satisfy a charming mix of writing and gardening needs; the accumulated books, notes and mementos speak to a life of exceptional depth. This tranquil landscape – house, garden, cottage – sat in the midst of the wider oppression occurring in America. The juxtaposition is remarkable. Edward and Anne created a home that radiates warmth and creativity, a multi-purpose haven from the world at large, and an inspiring base from which to challenge it. We were honored to be invited in to such a powerful local landmark and to be able share a small glimpse into the compelling life of Anne Spencer.
Our own story begins 81 years ago in Lynchburg, Virginia. Our founders, Don Moore and his son-in-law, Vernon Giles earned their livings selling leather and other materials to footwear craftsmen. Hardworking and honest, they weathered the challenges of the Great Depression and laid the foundation for the leather design company their son and grandson, Donald Moore Giles, remains Chairman of today.
The bags in this lookbook pay tribute to leather’s luxury and timeless appeal. We carry them with us wherever we go, for business or for pleasure. Our idea for these pieces was selfish- we wanted bags we liked, crafted from our own leathers in classic styles. They are a reminder of a time when quality really mattered, when things lasted a lifetime. The following images celebrate our heritage and our vision for the future. Special thanks to Shaun Spencer Hester and the Anne Spencer House & Garden Museum.
The Anne Spencer home remains nearly untouched from her days residing there. Tucked away in the corner of the room lies the reading chair where she spent time writing her inspirational poems.
Turn an earth clod
Peel a shaley rock
In foldness molest a curly worm
Whose familiar is everywhere
And the curly worm sentient now
Will light the word that tells the poet
what a poem is. “1975” by Anne Spencer
Anne lived in the midst of the Harlem Renassiance, a cultural movement throughout the 1920’s when literature, art, and music challenged racial stereotypes. Though unrelenting oppression raged in the Deep South and Urban North, Spencer’s garden cottage became her refuge, which she named Edankraal – a combination of her and her husband’s names (a play on the biblical Eden) and the African kraal (a place of dwelling).