Tell us about your business.I studied law, and wanted to practice in order to help people through social justice and human rights work, but soon realized that the paper pushing, and logistical side of law was not personally satisfying. I decided I could help people and myself better through great quality, beautiful accessories. I’m a self taught designer, and have found creativity and self expression are very therapeutic. Making the first bag happened very naturally and unintentionally. My mom and I were playing around with leather scraps, made a small clutch, and the from there the ideas was born. My process has been to build a business from the ground up, focused on certain values. One of them being, to source materials and create my products in the US.
Tell us about your workspace, shop, or studio.My studio is a small space in my home, located outside of the Minneapolis metro area. I work with an industrial walking foot machine, and small home sewing machine for bags with cotton sateen lining. Other than my electric sewing machines, all processes are done by hand. From hand cutting heavy leather hides, to hand painting geometric interiors, to fully finished/painted leather edges, all details are taken into consideration right here in Minnesota.
What inspires you?I am inspired by effortless confidence in the women I have met in my life. We have all met or seen a woman, that exudes confidence that is contagious from across the room. She knows what styles work for her, and accessorizes with pieces that are high quality, beautifully aged, and effortless. In regards to design inspiration, I gravitate towards clean lines, geometric elements, and rich color. If and when I run into creative blocks, rather that drawing inspiration from trends, I try to center myself by designing only what truly feels good.
What makes your business stand out?Although I love clean lines and minimal hardware, I also appreciate certain aesthetic elements that set my bags apart. I hand paint the interior of my bags with a simple resist method of applying masking tape, painting the exposed areas, and then removing the tape. This process means that every single bag made is slightly unique. Many of these bags are reversible to expose the interior which adds value. It's like two bags in one! Versatile features are important in a saturated fashion world.
What advice would you give an aspiring creative entrepreneur?From one emerging entrepreneur to another, my advice is the keep moving forward. It's more common than not to run up against struggles, obstacles, and fear of the unknown in the beginning. Keep a good positive attitude and get creative to find ways around the roadblocks. As long as you're not standing still, you're moving forward.
What does American Made mean to you?American and Minnesota Made means solid work ethic, fair work environments and building up the American economy. People are quick to mention overseas manufacturing when they learn about my business, but I feel strongly about keeping my the process completely here in our country. I have always been attracted to the notion of quality over quantity, and have faith in American Made craftsmanship.
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