Liz Frandsen grew up in southern Pennsylvania, and sewing dolls and crafts was a big part of her childhood, so it made plenty of sense to branch out into leatherwork while she was studying fashion design at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Liz started out making bags for herself, and in 2014, she packed her, um, bags and headed back north post-graduation, settling down in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with her photographer husband Jeff.
That same year, the two took a road trip, and, while kicking around business ideas, Liz realized she held the key: the tote she’d made for her adventure had the potential to grow into a line of minimal leather goods. She immediately began laying out slim shapes, sewing everything by hand, and selling them under her maiden name, Liz Riden. Working from her home-slash-studio (with easy access to her young daughter, Emmeline!), Liz still handcrafts her smartly constructed pieces. “The high is seeing the product come to life,” she says. “It never gets old seeing a flat piece of leather turn into a beautiful bag over the course of a few hours.”