Starting out I sewed my bags on a cheap little sewing machine I'd had since college. My capabilities were limited, but I persevered—holding the intention that someday I would buy myself a better machine. One day I came across four one hundred dollar bills, folded on the sidewalk with no one around. I picked them up and went straight to a sewing machine store and bought my first real machine—a Bernette (the lower cost line of Swiss maker Bernina, which is what I really wanted).
That Bernette treated me really well... until my design vision outgrew my abilities. I knew I needed to find production in LA.
I didn't know any factories, so I asked around at every fabric, hardware, and leather store to see if anyone could point me in the direction of a factory that made bags. Finally, at a bag hardware distribution center out in the Valley (where I'm pretty sure they had never sold direct to a designer) I struck gold—someone told me about a factory. I made an appointment and went in soon after with samples of all the bags I had made.
I bonded instantly with the owner—she had been making bags for over thirty years, appreciated my abilities, and took an interest in what I was trying to do. When I made my first round of samples with her, I realized that in order for the bags to be produced in the U.S. and still be affordable, they had to be simple—this is the equation I still use when designing bags. It was a significant moment in the evolution of the company. We work with this factory to this day, along with five others also in Los Angeles.