Wednesday, 28 March 2012

HAUTE to trot

Rebecca Yuhasz Smith of Rebecca Ray Design started her unique equestrian inspired handbag, accessory business in her home in the picturesque Midwestern town of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. She has become the source for the hottest products for Spring 2012 with her retro-trendy bags, bracelets, belts. Here are her hot-to-trot new products now available at Rousseaus:

Rebecca Ray's Tote is hot hot hot! The bags feature vintage feedsack images with a twist... on a pop of rich color, equestrian orange or neutral! This roomy bag can be worn across the body or carried by its leather trimmed handles. All hardware is equestrian-grade nickle and it features nifty interior pockets, zipper top and fun lining.  Dimensions: 17" x 20" x 6.5"
Here is a closeup:

Below are her leather products.

The Bit Bracelet is a hand-made, chunky cuff, highlighted by the classic symbol of the equestrian lifestyle. Harness-grade leather is the platform for a polished nickel snaffle bit, with a peg closure and two holes for adjustability. Available in trendy colors... wear them stacked!

Complete your sporting life style with the Leather Key Fob.
 Reproduction glass bridle rosettes are custom-made by hand, using vintage images.
The key fobs feature harness-quality hardware and leather.
wrap bracelet
This cool Wrap Bracelet features a 1/2 length of leather that wraps approximately 4 times around the wrist. An elegant Glass Rosette is adorned with choice of vintage graphic.

Interview with Rebecca:
Q: I can see by your designs that you love animals. Did you grow up with horses and dogs?
 Yes, I grew up showing horses and my husband and daughter ride as well. Primarily Hunters. I also actively breed and compete with some of the finest English Setters in the nation. My mother is actually an AKC judge!

Q: When did you decide to turn your passion into a business?
I have a collection of sporting art and was inspired to start designing and sewing my first collection of bags for friends and family in 1998. But I've taken serious steps to build Rebecca Ray Designs as a lifestyle brand and collection over the past 5 years.

Q: I've read that you employ Amish women to help make these bags. I'd love to hear how that started.
Growing up in Ohio, I always respected the hard work and craftsmanship that the Amish are known for in this part of the country. That's why I reached out to work with a select (and growing!) group of Amish artisans. This aspect continues to be very rewarding part of our growth as we're able to contribute to ever growing skill sets -- as well as generating fair wages and contributing to a better life for these families. Many of our bags are still sewn in homes with no electricity using treadle sewing machines and fire heated irons. Our relationships with the Amish community are fostered to be long term -- which we're proud to say has been the case!

Q: What are future plans for the business?
To further build and curate our very authentic US brand and collection of goods, which remains inspired by an American Sporting Lifestyle. We'll be expanding our line of bags, as well as our smaller accessories, jewelry, tabletop - as well as growing our men's collection of goods. Also watch for our lovely new line of stationery called Seven Barks Fine Goods!

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