Tell us about your business.It is intriguing to take textiles that have outlived their usefulness and transform them into bags that can provide service once again. On the surface they are beautifully crafted bags, but dig a little deeper and you see a meaningful story. Maybe the coat was originally worn by a grandfather or maybe it traveled all over the world? I thrive on the stories and memories that each bag tells and that's what inspired me to create a business. Many of the garments I work with were originally made in America at a time when Americans were known for their manufacturing quality and workmanship. I see it in the garments I deconstruct and I am inspired to honor those values that made us great. As my business evolves and grows, I stay committed to American made, sustainable growth, quality workmanship and respect for those who work for me.
What makes your business stand out?The most unique things about my business are the materials I use. Taking quality garments from someone's closet or the thrift store and turning them into useful products is contrary to this world of disposable,"fast fashion" where things are made cheaply offshore of low quality. But bigger, faster, and cheaper aren't always a good thing and I offer an alternative that may one day become the norm. My bags are as unique as the materials I use and are a celebration of individuality, just like the people who own them.
What's the best business advice you've received?Sometimes the best advice is that given by example. My parents are immigrants who came to the United States for a better life. I watched them take risks, work hard, lose some, and win some but in the end prevail. The path to success is long and hard and riddled with obstacles but staying the course is the only way to reach your goal.
Mark Your Calendar
NOMINATIONS ENDAug. 31, 2015
Final day for entering the Audience Choice Award competition.
VOTING ENDSOct. 19, 2015
Final day to cast your vote for your favorite makers.
WINNERS ANNOUNCEDOct. 23, 2015
2015 Editors' Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.See past Award Winners
AMERICAN MADE SUMMITNov. 7, 2015
Don’t miss our networking event and maker lecture series in New York City. Tickets are available now.Discover the American Made Summit