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Profile: Shana Luther Handbags

Shana is a handbag designer; I met her long ago in Brooklyn and sold her line of handmade bags, SML Bags, at Rare Device. Shana recently contacted me because she is rebranding and also launching a new line, Shana Luther Handbags, with the help of Kickstarter. Here is Shana’s story about the impetus for starting up (and starting over). I find it interesting that after almost 7 successful years of DIY, she is choosing embracing small-batch manufacturing – on her own terms.

The (Re)Start
Several years ago I began a line of handmade bags, SML Bags. I was a one woman operation and did every part of the production process- first sketches, making prototypes, drafting the patterns and final sewing- oh not to mention marketing and selling! I’m obsessed with handbags so I always loved what I did but I grew tired of the endless amount of production from my home studio. I’ve always wanted to branch out and begin talking to manufacturers but I was always held back by the amount of funding it would ultimately take, especially manufacturing here in the US. I wanted to manufacturer here for several reasons but mainly because I wanted to maintain that quality control that I’ve had for the past several years by producing my own work.
I decided that 2012 was the year to design the Shana Luther Collection and I’m happy to say that after several months of hard work, I’m ready to go into my first production run. The line I created is a line of contemporary leather handbags with a little bit of NY toughness thrown in and I believe that my designs will appeal to wide variety of women. I worked with only US based vendors when sourcing my collection and the results are true quality. In order to go into production, I just need the proper funding.
I was introduced to Kickstarter by my husband and I was very intrigued. I love how Kickstarter allows the pledgers to actually be part of the project, a concept that I think engages people and makes them want to help others out. Before creating my project, I backed a few other campaigns just to get the feel for how it actually works. I found myself going back day after day to check the progress of the campaigns and was cheering them on! It’s great to listen to the stories behind the projects and seeing how much work and passion went into creating these campaigns just makes me want to be part of it! 

My campaign has been going for 14 days so far and I’m just over 50% of my final pledge goal! If this momentum keeps up I will get the funding I need in order to get my new collection produced. The experience has been great and the amount of positive feedback has been wonderful. It’s a full time job promoting it, but I’ve been having a lot of fun with my campaign thus far! 
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  2. rosie says:

    Thanks for sharing this! I too have been a DIY maker of my own line for three years now and am considering taking the plunge into real production by OTHER PEOPLE… imagine that. It’s hard to break away from doing it all yourself. I am in the processes of starting rebranding and starting a new line of organic / naturally dyed totes and backpacks…limited funding is problematic .

    I wish you luck with Kickstarter. My colleague Mandy Kordal was in the NYTimes (print ) showing off her knitwear line via Kickstarter… It really does work!

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