Interview With Brian Trubshaw from Journeyman Handcraft

In this new category on our blog we want to share the story of craftsman and -women, the story of inspiring people that make a change in this – somewhat- strange world. We want to give you a peak into their lives and crafts, so you can get to know them more, and pick up a trick or two!

In this second edition we will feature Brian Trubshaw, owner and creator of Journeyman Handcraft Ltd. You will find out the story behind Journeyman Handcraft and we will share with you a traditional looking pack with all the comfort of a modern one!

1. Where on the internet can people find you (website, socials etc.)?
They can follow me on Instagram to see what I’m doing in the workshop and how the business is getting on. If you are interested in our products, they can be found on our website Journeymanhandcraft

2. What is your favourite way of spending time outdoors?
My favourite passions are canoeing, long distance backpacking and woodcrafting. The most important part for me is carrying out some form of journey with friends and creating memories.


3. Do you have any strange habits before leaving on a trip?
I like to wrap my rucksacks in shrink wrap in the airport before a big trip in an attempt to protect the pack going on it’s journey, I get some funny looks, as I’m walking around in circles

4. Can you name three things that you would never go on an adventure without?
Compass, water bottle, knife. Everything else I could manage without if needs must.

5. What does you morning (routine) look like when you are out and about?
Wake up 7am, get washed and changed, wake everyone else up (normally abruptly). We all eat breakfast together while beginning to pack up. After that we finish packing and get moving. Mornings tend to be fairly fast paced for us, as we like to get moving and cover distance.

6. What is the last (bushcraft/survival) skill you learned, and how did you master it?
I went on a bowdrill course a few weeks ago just to polish up my skills. It’s very surprising how much you forget when you don’t keep on top of it. I was very happy to have got two flames from two different sets!

7. What music do you listen to when unpacking?
There is normally a stack of weird and wonderful songs that come out mind, and my companions minds, while on a trip, so when unpacking I normally put those songs on. I suppose its a way of unwinding from the adventure.

2019011 brian v1

We would love to tell our readers more about your brand Journeyman Handcraft. The next questions will cover that.

8. When did you start making canvas and leather gear?
I started 4 years ago. I bought a strip of leather for £3 from the Bushcraft show 2013, not long after that I made myself a belt with it, and still wear it every day. That was how it all got started.

9. What were some of the unexpected hurdles, you took to get where you are?
Not so much unexpected, but hurdles we’ve been forced to get over to get the business to where it is today. For example, things like spending a lot of money on larger sewing machines, enabling us to make the bigger products. If we didn’t took that hurdle, we’d still be making only small little pouches and nothing else.

10. What is the greatest lesson you learned so far on your journey on making outdoor products and building a brand?
Quality is everything. If people can see that the product is worth the price tag they will pay. Making sure our quality is as high as it possibly can be is very important to us!

11. Where do you want to be in five years?
In five years we hope to be a noticeable brand within the outdoor community around the world. We have big goals of branching into many genres of the outdoors and clothing markets – something we are very excited for!

11. What does the Journeyman Handcraft team look like?
The team is made up of my mum, Emily and me. My mum does a lot of the sewing machine work, she taught me a lot in the early days about how to build things properly for strength and neatness. Emily, my partner, she takes control of the admin, graphics, marketing, website. If it’s on the computer -you name it- she does it! Then, there is myself, jack of all trades. A lot of my time, at the moment, is being spent designing new products and getting them made and tested. So much new exciting stuff for the future!

12. What motivates you to get better at making canvas and leather gear?
I believe in making a quality product that will last our customers a lifetime. To make that happen we need to be constantly striving to improve our build and design of products.

brian pack

13. How would you describe a perfect canvas pack? What specifications would it have, how would it look like, what would you be able to do with it?
My perfect canvas pack actually exists! I designed our 40lt Journey Pack based on my ideal pack. With this I created something that I had always wanted.  It’s light enough that it can be carried long distance, but strong enough that it can be thrown into a canoe. The pack has an internal back frame, which makes it very comfortable to carry. With two 3lt side pockets, and one 3lt front pocket, you have plenty of space to organize your gear. The overall 49lt capacity means its a great size for anything – from 3 days to a week in the woods, it has got you covered! It’s the only traditional looking canvas pack, that I know of, that has a comfortable carrying system.

14. Do you have mentors, or others, you look up to?
I’ve had a lot of mentors in my life, that have all taught me a lot of important lessons. As of this minute however I don’t have a mentor, I’m very much paving my own way at the moment and trying to trust my instincts.

15. What do you want people to know about your brand and products?
I’d like people to know that we are here for the long term, and we are a brand they can trust. However I also know that, that isn’t something you can tell someone that’s something people need to find out for themselves and that’s ok.


Thank you Brian for sharing your story, and telling us more about Journeyman Handcraft! If you enjoyed this interview, we invite you to check out Brian’s work on his website and following his journey on Instagram!


Photo credits: Brian Trubshaw/Journeyman Handcraft Ltd


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