Hansbarger creates Lineage, a business for dads and homemade bags


Caleb Goss

Owner of Lineage Paul Hansbarger helps a customer check out an item. Linegae started in 2018 and can be found in the Agora Market downtown Harrisonburg.

Located in the Agora Downtown Market, Lineage is one of eight local shops customers downtown can visit and support. VCU grad and sewing machine Paul Hansbarger created a business focused on bags. With the arrival of a new baby, Paul and his wife had one mission, to find a diaper bag that didn’t have polka dots on it.

“We were looking for a diaper bag that would be utilitarian and durable as well as look nice. [We had a hard time so] I made one out of waxed canvas with leather handles and then we had other friends and family wanting a bag of their own and [so] it kind of snowballed into a business,” Paul said 

This passion for sewing all started after graduating college, when Paul signed up for a night time sewing class. A nac for sewing stitched its way into his heart, and he would continue sewing years prior to starting Lineage. 

Making its grand opening in 2018, this dream started for Paul in his garage where he’d sew away at bags and sell to customers who approached him over Etsy. Growing out of the garage, Lineage found a new home in the Agora market

I didn’t go to school for business. I learned it as I went along and you’re always learning new skills and new practices as you go along.”

— Paul Hansbarger

“I opened this retail shop here and we house our workshop where we make the bags right [in the store] as well as a retail space with not only the things that we make but also homegoods and gifts and apparel and accessories from other like minded small brands and makers,” Paul said.  

Not only has Lineage developed a relationship with other brands that share the same ideals, Paul and his three co-workers have developed a relationship with those within the market. Helping each other out, the flow of customers coming to visit the shops has been beneficial for the development of the business.

“Being in the Agora market has helped because we’re able to not only reach the customers that are interested in our products that come in to buy a bag or something from our shop, but also someone who may come in for a cup of coffee at Broad Porch or they may come in to get a candle from Isle. They get exposed to our shop and hopefully become a customer when they’re looking for something,” Paul said. 

Though a community surrounds Lineage within the market, it can still be challenging when running a local business. From always having to be there to hiring and finding staff, Paul and his growing business have had to learn how to function when on a shoestring budget. 

“We’ve been fortunate enough to have some success and a very supportive local community. I didn’t go to school for business. I learned it as I went along and you’re always learning new skills and new practices as you go along. But we’ve been fortunate things have worked out so far and we’re looking forward to the next step,” Paul said.