HAND-CRAFTED ITALIAN LEATHER BAGS MADE IN SPOKANE – MEET TEDDI JOELLE

HAND-CRAFTED ITALIAN LEATHER BAGS MADE IN SPOKANE – MEET TEDDI JOELLE

“Each piece meticulously crafted to order by our two hands to yours, with leather that only gets better with time.”

About Teddi Joelle: We create timeless bags that are built to last and only get better with time and wear. Crafted to perfection with our own two hands in Spokane, Washington, with the highest quality Italian vegetable-tanned leather (the oldest and cleanest form of processing leather without harsh chemicals). The goal of our work is to create bags that you can invest in for years and years to come, helping decrease excess and waste with true quality over quantity.

Our Mission: To create timeless bags that last a lifetime. We’re all about quality over quantity, mindful and intentional consumption, thoughtful purchasing, and investing in things with longevity in mind to decrease waste and excess.

We use the highest quality vegetable-tanned leather (the oldest and cleanest form of processing leather without chemicals) paired with timeless, minimal design to create bags for your life that withstand the test of wear and time.

Our ultimate goal is for you to love your goods even more after years and years of use – this is why quality and timelessness are at the forefront of everything we do.

Your background/story?

Growing up on a cattle ranch on the Western Plains of Eastern Washington, owner and founder, Teddi Cripps, understood the notion of quality over quantity at a very young age. From food to clothing to tending to the land, her family was rooted in the belief that quality over quantity is always better.

This belief is what TEDDI JOELLE is all about – using minimal, timeless design with the highest quality leather, paired with superb craftsmanship to create bags that truly withstand the test of time and wear – all the while maintaining a sense of sophistication and unique beauty.

Today, Teddi and her husband, Ty, work together full-time with their small team out of Spokane, Washington to create each piece from start to finish by their own two hands.

What brought you to Spokane?

We originally moved here from southern California for grad school. I (Teddi) went to school for marriage and family therapy at Gonzaga. I still do that on the side while running Teddi Joelle with my husband. The idea started as I began hand stitching with my grandpas old leather making tools. When my family and friends saw what I was making they all had to have one so I started an Etsy shop. I was actually featured on Etsy which was a real jump for the business. After that, my husband quit his job while I was finishing school and we worked 16 hour days out of a tiny house on Perry Street. Once I graduated, I didn’t want to let go of my license so we decided to hire a team to help with production. I graduated in 2017 with my masters, and we moved to a bigger space – where we are now.

How have things changed since your start in 2015?

The company has shifted and grown so much because we had such an organic start. We’ve evolved and established a core foundation of who we are and what we want this to be long term.

Last year was a pivotal year for Teddi Joelle. We got connected with company in Italy and traveled there to immerse in the craft and understand the machines and leather dying process. We learned so much that we now implement.

Our long term goal is bring our production back in-house this year. We’ve invested the bulk of our business into new equipment this year.

What makes your leather different?

We use the most incredible leather in the world. Italian leather is the oldest and has the most history. It comes from Tuscany where the tanneries have been passed down from generation to generation. They’re very big on community, traceability, and they replace all the water that they use in their leather-making process.

Your commitment? 

That your bag will last and take you through the years. We are committed to ensuring the longevity of your bag through rigorous research and design and a lifetime guarantee to fix it (free of charge) if its construction is ever compromised.

Our long term goal is not to grow in a financially driven way but mores in a community driven aspect. We cap out orders weekly so we can keep quality of life and quality of product.

Why is Spokane a great place to start/own a business?

We have had so much organic support from the beginning. People are so passionate about getting young people to stay in Spokane and invest in the city. The art scene is growing every day and people are seeing the value in staying in a small city and building it from the ground up.

What was your defining moment/inspiration?

Last year – our shipment was destroyed from Italy – we looked at each other and said – we either give up or we dive in and this is it. We decided there’s nothing we want to do more so we invested all of our savings and everything we had built to start a small manufacturing plant in Spokane. It was obviously a huge investment, but we look back all the time and say “that was the greatest decision we have ever made”.

How has COVID effected your business?

It’s been so unique for us. We’ve had our customers that have been with us since the beginning. They know and respect our value so they have helped sustain us. We’ve realized how valuable it is to build our customer base and take care of our customers and invest in people that choose to invest in us because that is how you build a business that last through the hard times.

How do I get a bag?

Visit website our website at https://www.teddijoelle.com/. We have a2 week production time with most bags then factor in shipping time. If you have questions, reach out on the website! All 2020 orders will be capped by November 20th. We will continue accepting orders but won’t ship until the new year so get your orders in ASAP. 🙂 

What sets you apart from your competition?

It’s been super surprising how collaborative the leather industry seems to be. We reached out to so many leather companies in our first couple years and we were shocked at how many companies were so helpful at answering our questions. We bring a lot of value in that we are making these in Spokane.

Our shop is right on the border of Spokane and Spokane Valley. If you’d like to visit their shop for an appointment or to see a bag in person, reach out to them directly!

Favorite piece you’ve made?

I love our signature clutch. It was one of the pieces that I hand-stitched when we first started. It’s been through the ringer when it comes to product research and design. It’s withstood the test of time and morphed into something a bit more refined. It reminds me of our roots and where we started. 

What’s next for you? 

Spring / Summer collection – we will be launching a soft leather line. We’ve never done anything like this. It’s going to be cohesive with our designs. Similar aesthetic but different wear which provides more options but still aligns with our classic, timeless aesthetic. 

I’m due with our first baby, December 11th.

Where do you like to eat around Spokane?

Luna – we go there once a week.

You’re on death row, what would you choose for your last meal? 

Ive had this dish on my birthday for as long as I can remember, mizithra, Italian & Greek combo pasta dish that I make.

What’s your favorite 90’s jam?

Bump n’ grind.

What are you currently watching?

Blue Bloods.

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