Today we’d like to introduce you to Kimberly Nowers.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Kimberly. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I have been making bags a little over three years now. At first, it was just a hobby and a great gift for friends and family when I was in college. After graduating from Massachusetts College of Design I worked in corporate design for two years but still continued making bags. In those two years I started to dip my toes in fairs and shows. To my surprise people other than my friends and family actually really loved my bags. I decided to really go for it in January and launched my website. Launching your own website feels amazing- but a little scary. I remember my fiancé and I staring at the website minutes after we went live and waiting for my bags to sell out- needless to say, it didn’t happen that night, ha! It is important to remember that things do take time but with a lot of effort and determination they improve. I am so excited where my brand is today and can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Gale and Hayes has been a pretty smooth ride but as we know launching a new brand is never easy. Each day there are learning curves, but these are expected with starting anything new. Coming from the design, I think the hardest thing right now is the focus that needs to be on the business side of the company. Some days I want to be designing and creating but I need to focus on the business itself and not the products. I will say it is really fun starting a new business because it doesn’t feel like a job but a passion. We have been steadily growing and really trying to build our online presence- give us a follow @gale_and_hayes
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Gale and Hayes – what should we know?
It is our mission at Gale & Hayes to design and create products that are one-of-a-kind, innovative in design, and driven by high-quality standards. We celebrate individuality and the artisan’s touch that so much of the industry lacks today. All our products are hand-crafted from fine leather and premium materials, and we take great pride in those minor imperfections. Natural marks on leather? Yes! The more, the better. Made with love and care, your Gale & Hayes may have minor scars, folds, scuffs and marks which are natural characteristics of genuine leather and are not considered defects, but rather, beautiful. These minor marks make your Gale and Hayes perfectly imperfect, one-of-a-kind, and individual: just like you.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
At Gale & Hayes, our passion lies not only in design, but in our commitment to being one-of-a-kind, sustainable and environmentally conscious. We believe in less waste and make it our priority when we are sourcing our materials. When we are not utilizing up-cycled raw materials, we are using USA vegetable tanned leathers that are chemical free to create our unique products, no two of which are alike. Supporting local business is also very important to us, which is why we source our hardware and other products within our community. This helps us to ensure the quality of our product is of the highest caliber. Never thought you could shop and exercise social responsibility? Consider controlling the companies you support through meaningful purchases or “shopping with a cause”. This can be done by supporting Gale & Hayes and other brands that follow the same business model of transparency, those who are advocates of “slow fashion.” Today’s mainstream fashion industry relies on globalized mass production, where garments are transformed from the design stage to the retail floor in only a few weeks. Slow fashion is about being purposeful and making the deliberate choice to buy higher quality items, less often. When purchases are made, they’re environmentally and ethically conscious rather than trend-driven. At Gale & Hayes, we’ve combined unique high-quality items with the artisan touch, that will never go out of trend. We are a timeless brand dedicated to a more conscious future.
Amanda Ambrose Photography
Jesika Theos Photography