Welcome to Stitch & Shutter! I'm Megan, founder of S&S. I started creating leather goods in mid 2014 when I was asked to create a handmade leather baldric (because I'm the "crafty friend"). With a fine art background in photography and fabric design, I've always enjoyed dabbling in various mediums but found "home" while working with leather.
I truly love the timelessness and durability of leather. I particularly love things that force me to slow down, things that take a great amount of patience and attention to detail. Leather work offers this in many ways.
The cutout collection, the first collection offered by S&S, plays off of my mantra- "a delicate strength." This has been a recurring theme in my creative work and I apply it to the collection by creating abstract, hand cut pieces that combine fine, delicate lines with the strength of leather. Really, every step of the process being made with my hands is a nod to the mantra, it not only presents itself in that specific cutout work but in all areas of my personal and professional life. After all, I'm pretty tiny and I spend my days schlepping cowhides around and swinging mallets. I like to think that I'm "a delicate strength" and that every woman is as well.
My goal with the products I offer is to combine traditional craftsmanship with modern yet timeless designs. I'm always stuck somewhere between modern and classic and I think that's just fine. S&S may be offering leather goods, but these aren't your traditional leather goods. The pieces in the Stitch & Shutter collection aren't inspired by a Western style but rather they are informed by my fine art and fashion background.
So if you're like me and your closet is filled with classic, structured clothing, these pieces are meant to become staples that pair perfectly with that clean, minimal sense of style. After all, the contemporary woman has "a delicate strength" and her look should celebrate that in every possible way.
A little about the process:
All items in the collection are handmade by just me from start to finish in Denver, CO USA. Pieces are created using vegetable tanned cowhide leather of varying weights. Each item begins as a simple concept which is sketched by hand. After the initial sketch, the design is broken down into each component and a new drawing is made showing the exact number of pockets, panels, cuts, snaps, rivets, etc. needed to complete the sample. Next, materials are sourced and the sample is created by hand which involves hand cutting, hand dying, and saddle stitching. Each item is finished at the edges with beeswax from my father's bees. However, the process doesn't end there. After the first sample is made, I will personally wear or utilize the item for a period of time until it's ready for the consumer. This period could involve several redesigns before the final product is available.
For example, the O-Ring Shoulder Bag which launched as part of the Spring/Summer 2018 collection was initially designed and made in November 2017. I then carried it (packed to the brim!) with me every day until it launched in March 2018 (side note: I'm still using it as my every day carry), making notes along the way of what worked and what didn't. The launch of that bag was nearly 5 months after I made the original sample and it involved several key changes to improve functionality and the overall look (adding an adjustable strap, stitching the strap hangers rather than using rivets, getting rid of the saggy loop closure, etc.). Each one of those bags takes about 3 hours to complete--when I say handmade, I mean HANDMADE.
So, by the time I make an item available for purchase, you better bet I'm proud and confident in what I've created. For you, only the best.