LAWRENCE (KSNT)- A Kansas woman has taken fashion design into her own hands by starting a leather business and running it all on her own.
Kristy White grew up in Topeka. After high school, she went from the Sunflower State to the Golden State of California. She enrolled in fashion school at the Brooks Institute where she learned a side of the industry most of us might not be interested in.
“It was a lot of construction, fabrication, history of design,” White said. “I only attended there for a year, and that’s when I realized I kind of wanted to move directions.”
For a while, she lost her passion for fashion and picked up photography. But somehow, fashion kept calling her back. While in California she spent some time in the countryside surrounded by horses and saddle shops. That’s when it hit her that she might have a future in fashion design.
“I met someone in a coffee shop and I said, ‘do you know where I can get some leather?'” White said. “I kind of started to do it just because I wanted something for myself. And then I realized, with the comments that I kept getting of people enjoying it, is that I realized that I could make more.”
White got so many compliments on the small bag she made for herself, she just decided to make a business out of it. In 2012, Faith by Kristy White Leather Design was born.
“The faith part of Faith by Kristy White kind of implies that I stepped out in faith to do what it is that I really wanted to do,” she said.
There is a lot that is different about her brand. She does everything on her own from taking orders to shipping them. She picks the leather from her distributors, crafts the designs and even sews the fabric to make the finished product.
“They’re all hand stitched,” she said. “They’re all punched and hand punched. I think there is just a quality that you can tell in that over the machines sewing.”
A part that’s important about this Everything Woman is the hard work doesn’t stop at her company. White is also a single mother to her 5-year-old son Kason. While she is hoping to be an example to other moms and business owners, she realizes how much the busy days can mean to her son.
“He can see how hard I work and that he can pretty much step out and do anything that he decides that he wants to do,” she said.
From start to finish, Kristy White has put her all into her leather business making sure every stitch, punch and piece is made with care and faith.
She hopes to expand soon to get out of the smaller room in her home and move to a bigger space. She also plans to add a team to the company in the future. But for now, she is a one-woman band for the business.
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