“My process is most on track based on the ambiance of my environment. It always begins with my setting because I am very present in whatever I'm doing; I'm all in.”
In a few words, describe yourself and your practice.
I am a creative conductor with an unrelenting obsession with leatherwork and a drive to bring integrity to my industry through conscious consumerism.
When did you start your practice?
As a leather worker, I began around 2007. But I have been a handbag maker since 2001 (my high school years, where it all began)!
How does where you live affect your work?
Living in Chicago provides a platform for an immense amount of inspiration right at my fingertips. The lack of influence Chicago has on the fashion industry can be challenging but I take it on as a way to stand out....people are delightfully surprised when they find out that CHC does luxury leather goods here.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE ASPIRING TO DO WHAT YOU DO?
Be self aware in remaining a student; in craft, in business, in process. Know what you are great at and what you are challenged by and be willing to ask questions and learn from anyone. Growth only happens when the space is provided for it.
How do you start your process?
My process always begins with my setting because I am very present in whatever I'm doing; I'm all in. Whether it’s a production day full of leatherwork, a planning day of calendars and emails or an inspiration day full of gathering and furthering ideas; my process is most on track based on the ambiance of my environment.
Is your practice how you support yourself? If not, what else are you working on to do so?
Yes, I went full time with CHC in 2013!
What would you be doing if you weren't doing this?
(Hahaha) There has honestly never been a "Plan B".
I truly do not know.
WHAT IS THE MOST USEFUL TIP OR ADVICE YOU'VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
I remember asking my dad, a successful businessman, what is the best investment I can make. Without skipping a beat, he said "Invest in people....they are of greatest value and highest rate of return."
WHO (OR WHAT) INSPIRES YOU?
Setting and ambiance are a great influence on all of our lives whether or not we realize it. I am also consistently inspired by dance and movement. Also, hand movements so anything that involves handwork or watching others use their hands in everyday life.
What are some challenges you're facing in your practice?
At this very moment, my business structure is shifting which provides its own length of challenges. In general, the ways in which CHC focuses on conscious consumerism create a cost and convenience challenge.
What makes your work unique?
We are a leather goods company focused on conscious consumerism in this age of fast fashion. We practice this in three specific ways:
– USA Sourced
– Chicago Made
– Giving Company
How would your audience describe your brand?
Refined. Quality. Generous.
HOW HAS YOUR PRACTICE CHANGED OVER TIME?
In remaining a student of my craft, I am constantly looking for ways to better the quality, use and appeal of my product. I see it continuing to get more innovative and refined.
Are you comfortable sharing all aspects of your process? if not, why?
Of course, in fact, we have actually made it a tab on our website in order for people to get more of a close up.
What are you currently working on?
In adjusting our business structure (as mentioned above), this means a relaunch aiming for July. This will include an updated site, all new product and adjustment in processes!