On this week's Shop Small Saturday Showcase, I have one of my favorites shop to share with you! When I first saw Vintage Remade's booth at Unique LA, I stopped dead in my tracks because Michelle had the cutest vintage sewing machine on display (you can see it below). Then, I noticed Mic shop name was made up of two of my favorite words: Vintage and Remade! I obviously love vintage and I am an upcycling fan as well, so when I found out the materials she uses for her bags, I fell even more in love with her items!
So, get this. Once you peruse through all of the eye candy and read about the roots of Vintage Remade, Michelle is offering a 30% discount to all of my readers AND she is giving away this gorgeous black leather clutch! I am in love. Now, enough of me, let's get to the feature!
Tell me a little bit about yourself!
Well, first off, thanks so much for the interview! I'm happy to be featured on such a lovely site. I'm a mostly-self-taught designer living in Los Angeles, but I'm originally from Texas. Since I was little I've always loved making things and creating. I started sewing on a whim about seven years ago.
Where did the name of your store come from?
All of my Vintage Remade pieces are quite literally made from repurposed vintage textiles. I take old clothes, curtains, leather coats, etc. and refashion them into one of a kind handbags. When I named my shop, I was apparently going through a very literal phase of life. :) I had tossed around a few other ideas, but ended up just going with something that made it clear what my line was all about: Vintage Remade.
Why did you start making goods for Vintage Remade?
My first creation was a tote bag made from an old curtain. When I saw the fabric, in all of it's 1970's glory, I could instantly envision it as a bag. That purse got me thinking what else I could repurpose, and I began running with the idea of deconstructing old clothes and other fabrics and reimagining them into something new.
What is your favorite item?
I love getting to do larger leather tote bags. Leather-working involves using lots of tools, and there's something really fun about a process that's hands on. Out of everything I make, the leather tote bags are also the most involved, so it's a rewarding accomplishment to see the finished product.
What is your most popular item?
Our leather clutches are probably the most popular item. A clutch is great because it's versatile enough to use every day, but it can also elevate an outfit.
Where do you get the inspiration for your work?
Because I work with repurposed materials. It's often the material itself that inspires me. There will be something unique about a particular piece of fabric-- the stitching, color or detail-- and it sparks an idea for that purse. In general, I try to have the regular rhythm of my life be where I am engaging with things that inspire me and where I am surrounding myself with people that are doing interesting things-- both of those things keep me in touch with the creative part of myself.
What makes your store unique?
Every Vintage Remade piece is one-of-a-kind and $5 from every bag that we sell, goes to support widows and orphans in Malawi Africa through an organization called Visionledd. In 2006, I visited Malawi and fell in love with the community there. Once I started Vintage Remade, a lightbulb went off that I could use my business to partner with an organization that I truly believe is doing amazing work.
What is the toughest part about making your goods?
One of the challenges about upcycling is that it's a little more time consuming to source your material than traditional manufacturing. I have the limitation of what I can find and the limitation of how much is available. When I start to cut into an old jacket, I am always aware that if I mess it up, that's it. If I'm working with fabric that I think is amazing, I can't go to the store and just buy another yard.
Do you take custom orders?
I do take custom orders, and I absolutely love the process! Typically it takes 3-5 weeks depending on the time of year. My favorite experience is when someone gives me fabric to work with that has sentimental value to them. I've been able to create purses using fabric that belonged to a grandparent or a significant family member. It kind of feels sacred to get to work on a project like that.
Where can I see more of your work and buy a gift?
Currently Vintage Remade products are sold online at http://vintageremade.com and at Sherman McNulty's Santa Monica location.
Don't you just love all of her creations? I adore everything from how she upcycles less than ideal materials, to her philanthropic cause, to just how darn gorgeous her bags are! Now, for all of you ready to buy something, Michelle is offering a 30% discount to anything on her site using the code "vintagezest."
Last, but not least, are you ready to enter the giveaway? Just use the widget below and...