Costume Craftsperson turned business owner Katie Stack of Stitch & Rivet is introducing an inventive way to make and design leather goods. Her shop, located in Brookland, showcases beautiful handmade bags, wallets, keychains, and more all produced with sustainability in mind. Her products and business model embrace the unique — the leather scraps and imperfect patterns that most leather producers toss are lovingly incorporated into her product, “every piece we can find a creative use for, we do” said Stack.
Katie started off her career as a costume craftsperson and worked in costume shops across DC including the Shakespeare Theatre Company. A constant ‘maker’, she noticed there were large amounts of perfectly good, unused leather scraps left over from various projects and shows. In 2008, Katie found herself starting to reuse what would have otherwise been trashed leather. She started making small leather goods such as bracelets and wallets with no scrap left behind, she even turns the smallest remains into handy cord keepers. A little research revealed that leather has one of the highest waste rates in the manufacturing industry, making even more of a strong case for her sustainability focus. She has now grown the business significantly and creates even bigger pieces like day bags and duffels of American-sourced waxed canvas. Katie donates any leather that she really cannot utilize to the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts of America or local school groups.
Katie saw first-hand the demand for both unique and sustainable goods and has been able to grow her business both through the use of local markets and shops and through the power of social media. One of her bags was even featured on a ‘Virtually Indestructible Buzzfeed List’ which generated a substantial amount of orders and visibility.
Katie chose DC as the place to start Stitch & Rivet for the city’s walkability and access to metro, which was critical when making the choice to launch a brick and mortar shop. Being on the Monroe Street Arts Walk for 4 years has given Stitch & Rivet a place to grow and establish a good relationship with their customer base.
So what’s next for Stitch & Rivet?
Stitch & Rivet has been gaining a great deal of momentum and have been featured recently on Etsy, Pinterest, and Buzzfeed. They also make an effort to collaborate with other DC businesses and retailers. They are currently featured in Steadfast Supply and Made in DC, S&R also features other DC creatives and makers in their store. They attend markets and events such as theDowntown Holiday Market and Crafty Bastards. Their next venture includes purchasing additional equipment in order to expand the wholesale side of Stitch & Rivet.
Stitch & Rivet is able to keep up with their customers’ needs and wants in their shop and at markets in the DC area. They make amazing “close to indestructible” bags and accessories that will soon be a staple to everyone’s daily outfit!