small business monday

I’m a big fan of handbags, as evident by my (give me these) purses board on Pinterest. If my budget allowed, I’d have every single one of them displayed in my closet. A few years back, I went on a “designer binge” where I spent a startling amount of money on Kate Spade bags (much in part to their addictive flash sales that they have every now and again — so, in retrospect, I spent far less than what they were worth). My bank account was definitely shaking in its boots in fear of what I’d splurge on next. I’m a bit embarrassed by this. I thought that a “brand name” was a necessity in my professional environment and, admittedly, I transformed into someone else for a bit and neglected my own personal style.

Flash forward!: I recently purged myself of every single designer bag that I owned. I sold all of them on eBay in an effort to rid myself of clutter. It was startling how many items of clothing, wallets, and shoes that I was holding onto purely due to the memories connected to them and not because of their utility. While I did sell quite a few things (ah, if only my student loans disappeared), it felt marvelous to drop off four crates overflowing with items to Goodwill.

One important note in my purse adventures: I did keep every single bag that I’ve ordered from my favorite little Seattle-based online shop, Stitch and Swash.

After my first purchase just over three years ago, each (ahem: I have three) have withstood the test of time, raindrops, accidental rubs against my filthy car, and subzero, snowy Midwest weather. Angie Bowlds, the shop’s owner, achieved Internet fame nearly overnight by having one of her designs featured in the popular vampire saga — but her leather goods definitely shouldn’t be clouded by the “teen” aura stereotype that surrounds the Twilight films as evident by the reviews of her craftsmanship. They are definitely appropriate for any age or environment and you’re able to customize your leather accessory every which way: be it leather color, thread color, hardware color, or print color. Sometimes, she even creates items from reclaimed leather — such as one of the purses that I have that was crafted from a vintage jacket.

A few of my favorite designs include her famous Peacock bag (someday!), cosmetic bag (how lovely would that be for traveling?), and the satchel (again, perhaps it’s just the feeling of spring in the air, but airports are coming to mind — how perfect for a sturdy carry-on). Personally, I think it’s pretty fun to be able to design whatever you would like. It makes your own purchase feel just that much more unique.


Perhaps I’m silly, but there’s something about me that just feels good carrying something around nearly every waking hour that supports a small business.

mineLearn more about available designs at:

Note: This post isn’t sponsored by Stitch and Swash in any way whatsoever. I’m just a fan and thought anyone that is leather-friendly and enjoys buying handmade would enjoy a glimpse at some really crafty goods. Enjoy!


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