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Our Story

Thanks for taking the time to visit our website!

If you are reading this part of the website, you are probably wondering about the history of our brand, who we are, how our products are made or why we do what we do.

Milltown originally started as designer Mariko Nakaya’s side project back in 2007. Dissatisfied with her work in the commercial fashion industry, she wanted to make bags that looked and felt like her favorite vintage items, and that were made with that same focus on craftsmanship, quality materials, and care.  As the business grew, her husband John Davis began to help manage the business side, as well as doing some sewing in the hours after his own full time job.  The brand grew organically over the years with the support of friends, family and local shops and we incorporated as an LLC in the summer of 2012.

Throughout our existence we have focused on keeping everything as local as possible.  By choosing to cut, sew, and print all of our products within Brooklyn, NY, we were awarded gold level ‘Brooklyn Made’ certification by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

In April 2014, an unexpected event changed everything for us.  Mariko was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, a type of cancer, and had to undergo 6 months of chemotherapy.  During this difficult time, we continued to make and design new products, and having the business was a positive aspect to focus on.  Mariko’s treatment was successful, and she has been in remission since November, 2014.  After going through such a traumatic event, we decided that we would introduce new products aimed at helping others going through the same thing, and try to create more positivity in the world.  In addition to upcoming products aimed specifically at cancer patients and survivors, we have also made new products inspired by our animals, who played a huge part in our healing.  Just as we rescued our 3 cats and 1 dog from shelters, they helped us during this difficult time, and our animal products are dedicated to them.  We will donate a portion of proceeds from these two collections to charities.

Our goals are not to make tons of money selling cheap products, but rather to put good products out into the world that last for a long time and help people to enjoy their lives.