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Designer Spotlight: Brenda Geiger Designs

logo-retinaBrenda Geiger Designs is an independently owned, Michigan based shop that specializes in one-of-a-kind leather purses, jewelry, and accessories, each handmade and embellished to create unique and individual pieces for any audience. We were delighted by the opportunity to chat with owner, Brenda Geiger, to discuss her journey on how she got started.

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Two Toned Leather Wallet

{SS}: Brief background on career, and how Brenda Geiger Designs was established? 

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Fold Form Brass Earrings

{Brenda}: I always have been a “Maker” of sorts. When I was a little girl, I would string beads and make Barbie clothes. In my 30’s I designed and sold a small clothing line, but it wasn’t until I discovered leather that it all came together. I fell in love with all the beautiful textures. Every time I saw a unique hide I’d say “That would make a beautiful bag,” eventually I made one! Three years ago, I began taking metalsmithing classes. The skills I’ve learned now allow me to make a lot of the metalwork and embellishments on my bags. I am forever learning and experimenting with new techniques.

{SS}: What is unique about your brand/designs?

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Bison Leather Tote Briefcase

{Brenda}: What makes my bags unique is how I use the leather. Most designers cut off the raw leather edges, I use them! When I select a hide, the first thing I look at is the edges, and how I can incorporate them into the design. No two hides are alike, so no two bags are alike. I like to add vintage buckles, leather flowers, and some metalwork to my pieces, these give my designs an organic urban feel.

{SS}: Can you share one of your favorite pieces?

{Brenda}:  I’ll share two because it’s a tie! First would be the clutches I make using the vintage shoe buckles. Most of the buckles are circa 1890 -1920, they are beautiful pieces and it’s hard to believe they survived this long. The combination of the buckle and leather is stunning, and it’s a great way to re-purpose . The second is my Bison Tote, the leather has unbelievable texture, and it’s a beautiful unique piece.

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Leather Clutch with Vintage Shoe Buckle

{SS}: What do you enjoy about the design process:

{Brenda}:  What I enjoy most is that no two pieces are alike. I would get bored with re-producing the same item over and over. When I start cutting into the hide, I can’t wait to see how the design turns out because each hide is so different.

 

Basketweave Tote

{SS}: Who is the lady wearing your collection?

{Brenda}: The woman who carries my bags appreciate “handcrafted,” and is drawn to the vintage and handmade elements. She wants classic style with a modern twist. More important, she likes that each bag is a one of a kind, and that her bag is as unique as she is.

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Bezel Stone

{SS}: Favorite current favorite piece?

{Brenda}: I am excited about my new bags featuring the bezel set stones. It’s a way for me to combine my jewelry making skills and leather-work. Bezel work is very popular in jewelry, and I love how I have been able to incorporate the technique onto my bags.

 

{SS}: Which pieces do you personally carry most often?

Beautiful  Bezel Stone Clutch

{Brenda}: It’s no surprise I change up my personal bags a lot, and depending on what I’m wearing, sometimes everyday! The one piece I am never without, is my wristlet/wallet. It’s just so practical, when I’m doing errands or don’t feel like carrying a purse, I slip my cell in and I’m ready to go.

 

 

African Opal Bracelet

 

{SS}: Do you have a signature look or accessory?

{Brenda}: I usually gravitate towards the clean lines of Eileen Fisher. For me, when I start with a great simple piece, it’s so easy to combine it with a trendy shoe, jewelry, and of course a great bag.

{SS}: A few items in your closet you can’t live without?

{Brenda}: That’s easy, my boots! I think I easily have 15 pairs. Fortunately, living in Michigan gives me a lot of opportunities to wear all of them. My personal favorites are my Bedstu’s, they are so soft and rugged looking.

 

{SS}: Style Archetype?

classic

 

{SS}: Where can we find you on Social Media?

{Brenda}: You can find me on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram!

gkihl{SS}: Favorite fashion, lifestyle or jewelry blog?

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Vintage Buckle Clutch

{Brenda}: I subscribe to a lot of blogs, and sadly can’t always keep up with all of them. The two I always make sure to read though are: YoulookfabI love all the pictures and styling  options and AlabamaChanin– One day when I can sit still long enough I would love to complete one of her pattern kits!

{SS}: Favorite boutique?

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Leon and Lulu

{Brenda} I recently discovered a great shop in Holly, Pigeon in the Parlour. It’s actually several shops under one roof. One of the shops, the “Rags” boutique, is full or trendy clothes and jewelry. I also like Leon and Lulu in Clawson, it’s a fun eclectic shop of home accessorizes , clothing and jewelry. I travel up North a lot, and always make sure I stop at Cali’s in Traverse City, they carry one of my favorite brand of shoes, Cydwoq.

 

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Great Lakes Coffee Roaster

{SS}: Favorite local restaurant?

{Brenda}: Living where I do, there is such a variety of great restaurants and coffee shops, it’s hard to choose just one. Most of the time, I just like keeping it simple, and enjoy Miller’s Bar in Dearborn, they have the best burgers, and it’s just nice casual place to meet up with friends. Choosing my favorite coffee shop is much easier, Great Lakes Coffee in Midtown is the best.

 

 

{SS}: Words to live by or favorite quote?

{Brenda}: Because of what I do, I get to meet a lot of women. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have heard, “I could never wear that,” “I am not the size I use to be, so I don’t pay much attention to fashion any more,” and “When your over 40, fashion isn’t fun.” I think this is so sad. I’m in my 50’s and still love to experiment with fashion. The challenge is to accentuate what you have NOW and not what you had in your 20’s! That said, one of my favorite quotes is by Coco Chanel:

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More About Brenda Geiger

“My journey has taken me down so many roads.  As a little girl, I would sit with my grandbrendamother while she sewed.   I was fascinated as to how she could take a stack of fabric and turn it into clothing.  She had no patterns, and always said “The best ideas and patterns are in your head.”  Years later, her words  stuck with me.  I created my own designs, drafted some patterns and started a small clothing line. 

 It wasn’t until I discovered leather that things began to change.  I fell in love with all the natural textures and began designing and making my bags.  Wanting an even more unique look, I began metal smithing, this skill enabled me to design and create one of a kind metal work to add to my pieces.  I am forever learning and experimenting with new leathers, metals and techniques. ” -Brenda

 

 


You can Shop Brenda Geiger Designs Collection on Styleshack:

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Click to SHOP her collections!

 

 

 

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