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Artisan-made goods aren’t hard to come by in Birmingham. Thanks to a healthy (and very busy!) community of artists and makers, you can shop local for all sorts of things, from soap and shampoo to jewelry, candles, and ceramics. If you’re looking to elevate your style, several Magic City makers specialize in handmade handbags that combine form and fashion for a timeless accessory. Using hand-cut leather, vinyl, canvas, and more, these talented designers and artisans create one-of-a-kind wearable art that you’ll be proud to carry. So the next time someone compliments your purse, you can proudly report that it was made right here in the ‘Ham.
Hide & Hunter may have been born on the Gulf of Mexico and now holds its flagship in downtown Birmingham, but there’s no mistaking the Southwestern, desert-ready styles that inspired the brand. From leather fringe to gator-embossed cowhide and deer antler charms, there’s nothing subtle or subdued about a Hide & Hunter bag. Every bag is one-of-a-kind, handcrafted, and ready to make a statement. The same can be said for founder Hannah Christine, who decided to meld her two passions of outreach and design when starting the company in 2013. For every bag purchased, a portion of the sales are donated to help support domestic and international outreach trips. Shop online or in person at 2212 Morris Avenue.
Over the past five years, Talaya Champion has been creating minimalist bags of all shapes and sizes through her company Elidia the Label. Champion’s pieces were all created under the philosophy of doing more than less, which means her designs are simple, but still pack a punch through edgy or playful design elements, whether that be through a bold color, unusual strap, or dramatic shape. Using genuine leather and high-quality hardware, Champion says her goal is to create quality goods that stand the test of time but are still affordable. Her popular belt bags range from $80 to $110, while larger designs like the Melrose and Prospect Tote range from $240 to $300. Champion named the company for her grandmother Elidia, who had a spitfire personality, rebellious sense of style, and can-do attitude raising two girls as a single mom. See more here.
Photographer, maker, and all-around creative Becky Stayner is the founder and craftsperson behind Biscuit Leather Company, which specializes in functional leather goods, from bags and wallets to belts and writing pads. Each of Stayner’s soft, buttery bags are cut, sewn, punched, rubbed, and waxed entirely by hand. The designs are simple, but the workmanship and beauty are all in the details, like the intentionally visible waxed linen threads, smart clasps, and rich coloring. The tiny Riveting Two-Bite Biscuit starts at $250 with larger works like the Black and Tan Overnight Biscuit going up to $800. If you want something entirely unique, Stayner also offers a custom service where customers can choose their own leather and dictate a brand-new design. Shop here.
The dreamers behind this Birmingham company are husband-and-wife duo Alan and Kaitlin Rose Slattery. After graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2016, the couple brought their talents to Kaitlin’s hometown of the Magic City and opened a shop in Forest Park. Focused on accessories, stationery, and small gifts, the couple maintained a steady following for three years before shifting to an online-only business during the pandemic. Today, they continue to sell leather bags, totes, and clutches crafted by Alan, as well as illustrated cards and prints from Kaitlin. Each of Dreamers Supply Co.’s bags are classically beautiful with just a touch of whimsy. From the $225 Petite Handbag that comes in a variety of colors from Prussian Blue and Olive to Saddle and Sienna to the $295 big and bold moon-shaped Pleine Lune Circle Handbag, Dreamers’ creations inspire artistry and creativity. Shop online here.
Beth Overstreet’s love for sewing and creating began many years ago when she was a little girl growing up in Pennsylvania. Watching her mother, aunts, and grandmother make items like potholders, pillowcases, and hand-sewn quilts inspired her love for creating. When her kids went off to college during the pandemic, she rediscovered her passion for sewing and founded Modiste Designs. Using a variety of materials, from vinyl and cotton to waxed canvas, faux leather, and cork, she creates unique crossbody purses and bucket bags. Overstreet says she’s inspired by nature so many of her designs feature earthy tones, floral prints, and even animal prints. With purses ranging from $40 for simple vinyl designs to $110 for larger faux fur bucket bags, there’s something for every budget and style. See more on her Etsy shop.