Leather Bags Designed and Made in Kansas City
This past October I had the privilege of receiving an invitation to tour Madison Stitch, a local handbag studio here in Kansas City. To say that I was blown away during my tour would be an understatement. There was so much beauty in the studio. The beauty was not just in the bags and the merchandise in the shop. The true beauty was seen in the owner and the designers in the studio who were all beaming with pride as I gazed at their lovely one of a kind creations and listened to the story behind this local brand. Keep reading to come along on the tour. You will be glad that you did!
A Tour of the Storefront
When you first walk into the storefront of Madison Stitch and look to the left you will see their Wall of Designers. The bag that each designer has designed and made is displayed along with the designer’s photo and their name. John, the owner of Madison Stitch told me the story behind each designer. One designer is a local teacher. Most of the designers are from our local refugee community in Kansas City. It’s so inspiring to see this lovely display of beautiful bags with the photos of the individual designers beaming with pride who share each of their stories behind their designs.
The beautiful Madison Stitch storefront is light and airy. It has a welcoming feel as soon as you walk into the front door. This is the retail side of the studio where you can shop bags that are available to purchase. You can also buy face masks, which is how Madison Stitch started. More on how they got started is next!
The Story of How Madison Stitch Got Started
John, the owner had a furniture store next door where he made beautiful wood furniture. When the pandemic hit early last year, John had to make a shift in his business. He halted his furniture making and started making face masks to sell on his website. He couldn’t get the face masks made fast enough. John reached out within the community to find stitchers who could help make the face masks so that he could meet the increasing demand. He contacted Catholic Charities, Refugee Employment Services, and Brightfully Sewn. Amongst these three organizations he found the help that he needed to get the face masks made.
During the summer of 2020, John opened his bag studio, Madison Stitch next door to his furniture shop. Through this journey of pivoting his business during the pandemic, he found talented individuals within our refugee community who are leading the way in the designing and making of leather hand bags right here in Kansas City.
The Designers Making Their Creations
Now I would like to take you behind the scenes where the magic of the bags being made happens! Every day these two ladies, Khaw and Jaroi are in the studio bringing their designs to life. Every bag that is sold by Madison Stitch is made here in the studio by these local artists. When I toured the studio and met Khaw and Jaroi, I immediately felt their pride and joy for their work. They are constantly working on current designs as well as creating new designs. It really is inspiring to see the love of their work coming through in the end result of a new bag.
The leather that they use to make the bags is sourced in the state of Missouri. There are so many beautiful colors of leather. Each bag is designed with a one of a kind look to it. They truly are designer bags but without the high designer price. I love the variety of colors. If you like to change your bag out each season, there is a color here for every season! There are also so many different designs. While most of the bags are made from leather, some designs are made of hand dyed linen with wooden handles.
Madison Stitch Has a Bag to Fit Anyone’s Needs
If you are local, I would encourage you to go and see this lovely bag studio. You will be overwhelmed with the beauty of the bags and the story behind the studio. You will even get to see the employees who are grateful for the opportunity to share their talents and gifts of designing and making these beautiful leather bags. If you are not local, you can shop on their website Madison Stitch and your bag will be shipped to you! I’m certain that you will find a bag that you love!
The story of how Madison Stitch got started is so inspiring. Starting a business at any time is quite an accomplishment, but doing so during the year of Covid-19 is truly remarkable. I hope you enjoyed reading the story behind the brand. Please visit the store in person or shop their online store to see their beautiful one of a kind bags for yourself.
Yours in Style, Tina