// Meet Our Metropolis.

12. April 2016

Marissa here, founder and head designer. In a few short days we are soft launching the new brand and I can’t tell you how excited it makes me to say that. I want to lead this launch by introducing you first to the newest member of my product family; the Metropolis Clutch. Really the idea simply came from not being able to use a clutch or a wallet successfully enough so that it could function as either. I needed that! I wanted something that would not only organize me for every day – running to meetings and going for drinks with the girls – but something that I could simply put my passport into and hop on a plane with. So how does a graphic designer go from paper to leather? Here’s how…

There are a lot of passport cases out there but most don’t also function well for every day or have enough storage for what I need. Why was I buying these clutches that had no compartments and really no purpose at all? It didn’t make any sense and I was still a mess when I was travelling. It’s not fun for anyone.

So about two years ago now, a friend of my moms came to visit us from Switzerland and under her arm she was carrying this pouch. I immediately asked her about it and inquired about what she loved about it and why she bothered carrying it. To paint you a picture, this ‘pouch’ was far from fabulous – made from padded fabric and a Velcro closure – it wasn’t something you’d want to take to dinner with you after arriving at your hotel. But this concept had potential and she seemed to love it regardless of what it looked like. I asked her if I could keep it and she reluctantly agreed. I then began sketching out a new design using the same concept and compartments. I wanted something that was more compact. Something sleeker, more feminine and minimalist. And yes, this needed to exist in a beautiful soft pebbled leather. I knew this was going to take quite a bit of time to figure out so I decided to table it until I had a break from planner mania. 

After our third successful production of the Design Love Planner I decided to tackle this again and pull out my drawings. I threw myself into research and a lot of reading material on manufacturing with leather and important things to note when doing so. I knew I wanted to manufacture in the US. “Made with love in LA” – yes this had a good sound to it. I held multiple introductory Skype calls with technical designers and people who had experience designing, cutting and sewing handbags. One discovery call lead to another and I found a leather manufacturer in LA that was capable of taking on a custom project of this scope. I sent them my tech pack and in my mind this was it; it was all happening. It wasn’t. Quotes I got back were sky high and it was a hard pill to swallow. I wasn’t sure I could even go ahead with this now. What to do? Back to the internet. I found a way to design my own sewing pattern and revamped my tech pack and printed out the sewing pattern to create a real life prototype.

I called my mother to help me for a day to sew and cut some faux leather into what was going to be my second invention after the DLP. I almost lost my mind when it was done. I haven’t been this proud since I opened my first prototype of my planner. We ended up making a second version that made more sense the next day and improved on a few things. I then took to the streets and invited friends over to get their feedback. Everyone was thrilled and they all had bits of advice on things they would like to see. I’m really glad I went through this process and I even used the clutch for 2 days myself to figure out what was working and what wasn’t. I then took back to the computer and re-designed the entire thing, considering all the new opinions I thought really mattered. I had to put the entire project on hold in LA and they were waiting on my drawings. I took me another week to perfect it all. I then sent it off and truly (truly truly) hoped that what would come out of all this in the end is going to be incredible. After my prototype, in my mind there was much less room for error now and I was right. My sample arrived and I cried pure tears of joy for 5 minutes straight because it was absolute perfection. I’ve already started thinking about the next leather product we are going to introduce and this one will complete our working woman set. First, however, we are launching the new brand and I will follow with a post on why we decided on a new name and elevated face.

Starting Monday you will all be able to pre-order your very own clutch that will then be delivered to your door this Summer.

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