Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Indie Designer Spotlight - Stitch & Swash

Leather so soft, it looks like it would melt with the slightest touch of your fingers.

This is what Seattle-based designer Angie Bowlds uses to create the beautiful, one-of-a-kind bags, coin purses and card holders for her line, Stitch & Swash. Angie sources this leather from dated, damaged and unwanted jackets that she finds in thrift stores.

She was taught how to sew at an early age by her mother and started specializing in bag-making a few years ago. A graphic designer by trade, Angie sees making her bags as the perfect way to combine the two things she loves - screenprinting and sewing.

Angie decided to make leather her material of choice because of it's strength, durability and ductility. She manipulates the creamy leather to create soft pleats, and the rich, neutral-toned leather makes an excellent background for Angie's brightly coloured, modern, screenprinted designs.

Angie runs Stitch & Swash from her basement studio in Seattle and has set up an Etsy store where she aims to offer products in a variety of colors and styles. Since Stitch &Swash does not offer wholesale items, she is able to keep the prices low so that her products are affordable for everyone. Currently, price of items range from US$6 to US$55.

Angie also has another store called The Crafty Devils which was started by her and friend Nicole, and it offers bags made out of new leather which she sells wholesale to a few shops. However, she finds it more rewarding to collect and recycle the soft, vintage jackets rather than use new leather because it gives them "new life as a bag that someone will love to have."

In the future, she plans to transition completely out of using new leather and also expand the Stitch & Swash line to include more tote and purse styles, men's wallets as well as new screenprint designs.

Click here to go to the Stitch & Swash Etsy store to see what other great items they have for sale!

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