In anticipation of the Walker’s Jewelry & Accessory Makers Mart this Saturday, we’re highlighting a few of the 20 artists and 10 accessory designers whose hand-crafted designs will be on display.
Handbag designer and maker Julie Meyer began her career as sites like Etsy gained popularity. She uses leather and cowhide to create fashionable, functional and long-lasting bags and wallets for everyday use.
How did you develop your brand?
In 2008, I was introduced to the world of online marketplaces and was instantly fascinated. With the realization that I could combine my urge to create along with the need to generate income, my online shop was opened.
Why did you want to become a handbag artist?
I wanted to create something that had a functional, practical use combined with traditional materials.
Your cowhide fanny packs are particularly fun. What brought you to use this material?
Hair-on cowhide leather is the most natural part of the hide and is extremely durable. I love how it allows my bags to stand out with a simpler design.
What do you love most about your work?
Getting in my studio with a vast amount of time. There’s nothing like the satisfaction at the end of the day when I have a tangible stack of things I’ve made.
Where is the challenge in making a long-lasting, functional, and yet still fashionable item?
When making bags, there are so many details that can be included. The challenge is simplifying all these ideas to create a bag that is both well made and highlights the materials used and gives the user something they can use every day for a lifetime.
What is your favorite tool and why?
There are so many tools that enhance all the details in leatherwork. The latest tool I’ve acquired is typically my favorite. Right now it’s an edge roller for applying a finish to leather edges.
What person has influenced you the most?
My grandmother was an amazing sewer. I have a small jacket she made over 40 years ago that inspires me each time I look at the skilled workmanship she put into it. It pushes me to create both quality and durable items.
What’s your biggest “pet peeve”?
People who can’t handle driving in the left lane.