Hobo: A homegrown business with international appeal

With her mother, Toni, Koren Ray has grown a local brand to a national, household name. (Courtesy David Burroughs Photography)

WASHINGTON – Walk into almost any specialty clothing and accessories boutique today, and chances are you will see an oversized leather wallet designed as a clutch, with a colorful fabric pattern and a magnet sewn to the inside.

Look closer and you will see the name of the company behind these popular leather goods: Hobo.

The brand has become one of the most recognized names in women’s accessories — and it got its start on a dining room table in Annapolis, Md.

Twenty-two years ago, Toni Ray, a single mother and co-founder of Georgetown Leather Design, cashed in her life savings after her D.C.-based leather goods company was bought out.

“She called me and she said,


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