The story of Amanda Farrell & Peter Shangraw and how Bergamot + Amor came to be
Bergamot + Amor is a two-person Vermont business, thoughtfully handcrafting bags and gear for the maker, outdoor enthusiast, explorer and functional minimalist. Amanda Farrell and Peter Shangraw met in 2020 during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently laid off from her previous job, Amanda had begun painting artwork to sustain a living. Searching for an artist to create a mural, Peter contacted Amanda, and the two connected over art. At the time Peter, owned his own upholstery shop and worked from his home. Amanda once owned her own upholstery business but had moved on to work in the corporate marketing world. The two began talking regularly over early morning coffee. While watching the sunrise and listening to the birds chirping, they realized they had a lot in common, much more than they could have ever imagined. Each had always wanted to work with leather, but neither had the equipment and had always just avoided it, fearing it would be too much risk. Working with leather was an unknown, costly, and required many new tools.
The stars had aligned.
Suddenly, the fear of failure seemed unreal. Maybe it was the pandemic; perhaps it was each other’s preexisting skills; or maybe it was love; whatever the impetus, Amanda and Peter each used a portion of their government stimulus money to order leather and an industrial sewing machine that very first day. Their initial goal was to just toy with the leather and make Amanda a purse. After a single post to social media, interest in their bags snowballed. Bergamot + Amor was launched and selling in Vermont. Within the first six months, the two had sold 1,000 bags in Vermont, 30 states, and three countries. Making one leather bag for Amanda had turned into a profitable business. Always giving back, Amanda and Peter donated over $30,000 of their profits in their first year of business to local charities and several community members who needed help during the pandemic.
So, what’s with the name Bergamot + Amor?
Amanda’s favorite flower is a native New England pollinator plant called Wild Bergamot, also known as Bee Balm. Amor is a family name that holds strong significance for Peter. Bergamot + Amor is a lifelong dream turned into a full-blown business, deeply rooted in love, creative curiosity and, most importantly, the never- ending drive to give back to those around them.
Bergamot + Amor is thoughtfully handcrafted bags and gear for the maker, outdoor enthusiast, explorer and functional minimalist. Whether you are a badass cook, blacksmith, mechanic, truck driver, office worker, forager, hiker, biker, builder, farmer, teacher, student, hunter, stay-at-home parent, nature enthusiast, etc. our products are crafted with your passion, hard work ethic and need for durability in mind.
All items are made completely by hand, using high-end and durable six-ounce full-grain boot leather from happy, healthy, sustainably-source United States cattle; solid, corrosion-resistant copper hardware; industrial-strength threads; local fibers form Vermont’s famous Johnson Woolen Mill; and, on occasion, a 20-ounce waxed, weather- resistant canvas.
All Bergamot + Amor leather products are proudly created in a tiny, two-person garage workshop in Williamstown, Vermont.