“I want my designs to work as hard as the people that wear them,” says Becca White, a 34-year old leather and jewelry artist.
Her company — M Street Studio — includes slouchy leather shoulder bags to gemstone and geode earrings that she designs and makes by hand in her Amarillo, Texas studio. Her luxury label sells readymade as well as made-to-order items for people looking for the perfect custom carryall from more than 100 leather options, varying strap colors and dreamy details from hand-stamped brass monograms plates to horsehair tassel accents.
“Making things that are both beautiful and functional is a driving force behind my design process,” says Becca. “It has to stand the test of my lifestyle before I will put my brand on it.”
Here’s a glimpse into the working mom’s daily routine and creative process. Meet her in person October 21st at our Dallas show!
7 a.m. After pressing snooze on my alarm too many times to count, I usually start my day by reading through emails and new orders that came in over the night (I ship worldwide). Then I wrestle my five-year old out of bed and into school clothes, feed her and then out the door.
8:30 a.m. After dropping my daughter at school, I pick up my necessary morning latte and I’m in the studio by 8:45 or 9 a.m. I spend a few minutes reading through and answering more emails then off to the cutting table.
10 a.m. I cut the leather for any new orders that have come in as well as new bags needed for readymade inventory and organize them in my production queue before I start sewing.
12:30 p.m. I pick up where I left off the day before in the production queue. I get super busy this time of year so there is a lot of work to be done. I prioritize the made-to-order pieces then work on readymade stock for inventory. I also am about to launch my new collection of bridal designs so I’ve been working hard to make new design samples for the release. I pack up orders that are ready to ship and drop them off at the post office on my way to pick up my little girl, LuLu.
2:30 p.m. School pick up. The carpool line is one of my most productive places to work. I answer emails, schedule trunk shows, update my website and order supplies while waiting in line. After I pick LuLu up, we usually take a bit of time to do something special. We get a snack from our local coffee shop or get a pedicure. I carve out this time after school as our special time together to talk about her day and mine. Then she’s off to after school ballet lessons and I’m back at the studio.
5 p.m. I finish up any leatherwork for the day and set rivets, attach straps and add the details.
6:30 p.m. I take some time to work on jewelry designs. This is always my little treat for myself at the end of the day. I’ve been making jewelry and doing metalwork since I was 14 years old. There’s something really relaxing about it for me. I don’t even have to think about it because the movements have become second nature for me. I share a warehouse workspace with my mom and uncle and I talk with them and LuLu (she’s usually back at the studio with me by now) while I clear my mind by setting stones, bending wire, and using a little flame every now and then. Metalwork is a lot more forgiving than leather (one wrong stitch and you’ve punctured the leather and ruined the whole piece). So I tend to be a lot more focused and tense when doing leatherwork than metalwork. Metalwork is like my daily meditation.
8 p.m. During this time of year, I work late. LuLu usually stays with me and my husband brings us dinner at the studio so we can all eat together. Sometimes my parents and my uncle eat with us too. If it’s close to a deadline for a big order (I’ve had several wholesale orders in the past months that number in the hundreds for each order) everyone joins in and helps me pack or sort or inventory. I am a one-woman show, but I have a big stage crew of people that help me behind the scenes.
10 p.m. I’m hopefully in bed by now dreaming of new designs (some of my favorite designs come to me as I’m falling asleep). But this time of year sometimes I’m still in the studio working and listening to very loud music!