It has been a while since our last Shop Small Saturday Showcase! It is the perfect time to start it up again because it is time for the holidays and putting together those gift lists, so make sure to take note of all of the upcoming shops I will be featuring. You are sure to find some unique, amazing items to put on your list this year!
In fact, today's feature from Martine has some of the most gorgeous items I have seen produced by a single person. Seriously! I simply adore all of Sarah's items, and it is so difficult to look at all of the pretty leather bags, purses, and accessories, and just choose one favorite! Take a look though and see how tough it is to add just one to your wishlist.
Also, I am so happy to say that Sarah is offering one of her popular clutches for a giveaway! Make sure to enter at the bottom of the post after the interview. Enjoy!
Tell me a little bit about yourself!
My whole life I have been making things. When I was young my mom taught me to sew, and my grandmother was an amazing seamstress. We didn't have a lot of money when I was growing up, so we used to make clothing for ourselves. With my mom's help, I started branching away from typical patterns and fabrics, and was part of my first group "runway" show at a local mall when I was 13.
In my teens and twenties I focused on making jewelry, and had a small line in Portland, OR in 2006. I never really had the passion to turn it into a full time job, however.
I am surprised I hadn't worked with leather sooner, but when I started making bags I found it to be amazing. I really love working with it and every piece I make, I thoroughly enjoy each step.
Where did the name of your store come from?
Martine is a rendition of a family name (Martindale), my grandmothers' maiden name.
Why did you start making goods for Martine?
I initially started making leather bags because I couldn't find a bag I liked for under $500 dollars. I wanted clean lines and a simple structure, without all of the other bells and whistles one typically finds with less expensive leather bags. I found the more refined and clean looking, the more expensive. I bought some leather and made a bag for myself (the Portland Handbag was the original Martine handbag) Soon after that I was getting requests from my friends and strangers to make bags for them. After that I was determined to have a line of bags that are simple and refined, and with an accessible price tag.
What is your favorite item?
Everything I make, I make for myself. All Martine pieces are ones that I would carry, which does make it hard to sell them. Right now I am carrying the Granada Tote in Midnight and the Faro Clutch in Cadet Blue.
What is your most popular item?
The Faro Clutch is hands down the most popular, which is why I offer it in so many colors. I think people like the size, and the simplicity. I've heard from many customers that they use it either as a clutch for going to dinner and shorter outings, as well as using it as a larger wallet to put inside of their bigger bag. I use mine everyday.
What makes your store unique?
I don't make large batches of anything. There aren't 100,000 pieces of anything I make, so by default each piece is unique. I buy leather in small lots, sometimes rare colors that limit the amount of pieces I can make. My online store is constantly changing based on what is available and new items I offer.
What is the toughest part about making your goods/your artistic process?
There is never enough time in the day to do as much as I want.
Do you take custom orders?
I take custom orders on a limited basis, as creating patterns for new bags can take a while. I do however make larger bags for example, or "man bags" with thicker more rugged leather. Price is based on size and type of leather. Depending on the complexity of the bag, custom orders can take from 3 weeks to 3 months. If someone is interested in a custom project, the best thing to do is email me through the website.
Where can I see more of your work and buy a gift?
Don't you just adore every bag? As Sarah pointed out, the clean lines and simple structures are similar to the ultra-expensive handbags out there, but with the handmade details and limited runs, I think these are even better to receive as a present! I love that (like me) she had sewing inspiration from her grandmother and mother, which led to the creation of these beautiful leather bags.
Now are you all ready for the giveaway? Enter in the widget below, and as always...
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