Creative Introduction: Mill & Bird Bags

{Images: by Gretchen Mathison}

“the quest for the perfect leather bag”

How delighted was I when I stumbled across the absolutely and positively divine hand-stitched leather bags of Mill & Bird. I am a huge handbag girl – so now am pitching major hints at the Husband (birthday soon and all !)

When I emailed Krissy, she was so excited at being my very first Creative Introduction: – a new fortnightly series where creative entrepreneurs will be sharing what makes them tick.

So, welcome Krissy!

1.  Tell me a little bit about yourself.

I’m a wife and mom of three who makes leather bags and loves fashion and style.

2.  How did you come up with the name Mill & Bird?

The name Mill & Bird comes from my two daughters’ nicknames. My oldest is named Kat but has been called Katbird since she was a baby (wonder how long she’ll let us continue with that!), and my middle child is named Millie, which is often shortened to Mill. My girls thought they would be famous when they heard I named my business after them!

I decided that my youngest wouldn’t mind that I named the business after the girls, since he’s a boy!

3.  How long have you been in business?

Since January 2010.

Cheryl Pouch

{Image: by Gretchen Mathison via Mill and Bird on Etsy}

4.  Where do you find the inspiration for your designs?

My inspiration comes from everyday life. I try to make bags that are functional and serve a purpose and look really good while doing it! Many times, my inspiration comes from the leather itself and trying to find a way to make it look its best.

5.  How would you describe your style?

Simple and classic with a modern twist.

6.  What are your favourite materials/techniques?

I really love leather and simple nickel and brass hardware. Right now, I’m primarily working with oil tanned leather that scuffs with use and develops a beautiful patina over time. I like the juxtaposition of classic bag shapes and the rough quality of oil tanned leather.

My designs are all about showcasing the natural beauty of the leather and the quality of the craftsmanship in hand stitching.

7.  What does being creative mean to you?

It means doing things in a manner that is not prescribed. For me, being creative has to do with making something with my own hands from scratch, starting with a leather hide that is hand cut and a needle and thread.

8.  Can you describe the time when you first realised that creating was something you absolutely had to do?

I really got into more creative pursuits when I had my first child and became a stay-at-home mom. It was during my daughter’s long naps that I first had the urge to try something creative. I have tried knitting, pottery, and sewing and really enjoyed them, but it was bag making that stuck.

I have always loved bags, from my first canvas tote bag for my soccer team to my first real leather bag. When I had trouble finding the particular leather bag I was looking for, I decided to try making one on my own.

Messenger Bag

{Image: by Gretchen Mathison via Mill and Bird on Etsy}

9.  What’s your favourite thing that you’ve ever created?

The first Gretchen tote I made. I really like the simplicity of the design, the functionality of the bag and how the leather has worn. I received so many nice comments about this bag that I realized I might be on to something and decided to start Mill & Bird!

10. What medium would you love to pursue but haven’t as yet?

I would love to try oil painting and plan on taking a class at some point. I also want to try other materials for my bags, like canvas, but probably will always incorporate leather into the designs as well.

Thank you so much Krissy!

Want to see more of Krissy’s work or shop for her designs?  Check out the links below:


PS. Inspired by what you’ve just read? Subscribe to the blog and never miss another post!

Contact me View my portfolio Visit the shop

, , ,

2 Responses to Creative Introduction: Mill & Bird Bags

  1. Krissy March 16, 2011 at 6:05 AM #

    Thanks so much for the wonderful post, Tasha! Your blog is amazing!

    • Tasha Chawner March 16, 2011 at 6:48 AM #

      You are most welcome Krissy, and thank you for the blog-compliment!

Blog design and development by Crimson Pear