The Wild West takes on NYC! Meet Blythe of Lythe Leather, the winner of Weebly’s Portland Makers to Merchants competition – we sat down with Blythe to talk growing up in the back country, craftsmanship, and the importance of shopping small. Find her beautiful products in our Soho Marketplace December 10th through the 16th.
A&F: What inspired you to start your own company, Lythe Leather?
Blythe: In a disposable age where products are made to last a season of use, Lythe Leather goods pay tribute to a time when craftsmanship mattered. Meticulously hand crafted for strength and durability, they reflect functional elegance and old-world beauty. Our products defy the status quo, and endure to tell the story of their use. Slow fashion, time-tested craft methods, and conscious consumerism are what inspired the genesis of Lythe Leather.
Growing up in the back county of the Pacific Northwest, having quality everyday tools and equipment was of great import. With little access to urban amenities or store-bought fixes, hand-craftsmanship was a way of life. Hunting season brought a bounty of deer and elk hides, and so I began my journey in leather craft, making custom pouches, bags, and holsters. As my craft has evolved into a business, I am continually reminded of the value in a hand-sewn product. I believe that integrity marks the difference between success or failure. It is in this spirit that I continue to make products that bring beauty and ease into daily life.
A&F: Why should shoppers consider shopping small this holiday season? What do you think makes Artists & Fleas a great place to do that?
Blythe: There is nothing quite like gifting a one-of-a-kind special item to those you love during the holidays. Instead of purchasing a mass-produced ‘department store’ product (most likely assembled and manufactured in China) why not actually meet the creator and learn how your gifts are made? Artists & Fleas offers a thoughtfully curated shopping experience. It stands out for shoppers in its variety of artisan products, and guarantees a personalized touch you can find no where else. Shopping ‘small’ for gifts at A&F SOHO is the best was to finding something truly unique, that stands out beyond the mainstream.
A&F: Can you tell us a little more about your leather-making process?
Blythe: First, I hand-select every leather hide for grain, texture, and desired weight. I use only the highest quality European vegetable tanned cowhides, and source my leather from only reputable tanneries in the US, Italy, and Belgium. Every Lythe Leather goods is constructed, cut, and saddle stitched by hand. Heritage leather-craft tradition is the hallmark of a Lythe Leather product, and because of it each product is guaranteed for life.
A&F: What types of products can shoppers discover at Lythe Leather?
Blythe: I sell a well-curated collection of small and large goods designed for both men and women. Products range from leather key lanyards, coasters, bracelets, uni-sex wallets, clutches, and tote bags.
A&F: What excites you most about your residency at Artists & Fleas Soho?
Blythe: I’m most excited to share my rugged yet refined products to a the New York market. I’m introducing a piece of the slowed down Wild West to one of the the fastest-paced fashion capitals of the world.
A&F: Anything else you'd like to share with our community?
Blythe: I believe the future trend in fashion is a movement back in time to our heritage & roots. Slow fashion, conscious consumerism, and buying from your own back yard is exactly what you’ll find at Lythe Leather.