Parker Clay is on a mission to empower at-risk women
By Kamala Kirk
When Brittany and Ian Bentley visited Ethiopia, they met local women overcoming the odds, discovered beautiful traditions, and learned about world-class materials that have been the backbone of luxury brands for decades, but with no recognition or growth to show for it.
Their experiences abroad ultimately led to the creation of Parker Clay, a B-Corp and Ethiopian leather goods brand with a mission to uplift at-risk women.
“An idea was born,” Brittany says. “Could we bring these beautiful products to the world, create jobs to empower vulnerable women, and celebrate traditional, sustainable and ethical craftsmanship all at once?”
Named after the couple’s two sons, Parker and Clay, the company was founded in 2014. They opened their first store in Santa Barbara in 2016, and have since expanded to four brick-and-mortar locations in San Luis Obispo, Denver, and most recently at Playa Vista Free Market in April 2022.
“We decided to bring Parker Clay to Playa Vista because we wanted our customers to experience our products because shopping for sustainable leather hits different,” Brittany says. “Our LA community cares about sustainability and the impact behind every purchase.”
Parker Clay crafts premium leather bags and goods, and one of their best-selling and most reviewed products is the Miramar backpack, named after their hometown favorite, Miramar Beach. Like all of their products, it’s handcrafted with full-grain Ethiopian leather and is available in four colors. Their signature product is the Merkato Signature tote, a classic full-grain leather tote designed to fit everyday essentials.
“We offer products for everyone in the family – men’s, women’s, and a selection of products available for personalized monogramming online,” Brittany says.
The Woven Collection is a Zero Waste initiative that features products designed by Parker Clay’s team in Ethiopia to utilize leather scraps and cuttings from other styles, in an effort to use every last inch or raw material available. To accomplish this, their team focused on woven designs, using traditional methods to turn a handful of “useless” scraps into a cohesive, functional and beautiful accessory.
“The community will enjoy visiting our Playa Vista location within the Free Market because they will be able to experience our products and feel the quality while visiting neighboring brands – a one-stop shop,” Brittany says.
Parker Clay is open Monday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
12751 Millennium Drive, Los Angeles