Meet Karie, the maker behind our most recent Makers Alongside collection–fun and casual waxed canvas and leather backpacks. Karie has been designing and making ever since she could grasp a pencil and scissors when she was young. Because both of Karie’s parents were artists and craftspeople, she was always exposed to the creative lifestyle. “My father was a painter and worked on a wooden canoe at night for years, and my mom would make quilted purses and travel around selling them at fairs. There was always something creative to do in my household.” Her creative household only encouraged her more to pursue something in the arts. In high school, Karie and her closest friend started a small clothing company and sold to boutiques in and around Washington DC.
It wasn’t until 2009 when Karie started her current business, Shelter Protects You, in Vermont. “My partner Rob and I wanted a way to house our generalist tendencies under one roof, so Shelter was born. Shortly thereafter, we moved to Asheville and once the handbag side of things started to take off, Rob started his own design/build architecture firm.” This past April Karie and Rob collaboratively opened up their studio as a retail space as well, called Shelter Collective.
Most of Karie’s inspiration comes from people and travel. “There are these incredible fleeting moments that we all get to experience from time to time where everything feels lined up and just right. The sun shines a certain way through the trees and you feel your feet in the grass. They are simple, but they are what count. I’m always hoping to capture the feeling of that in any work that I do."
We as designers know what Karie is talking about, and that is something we value in our own work. When asked what her favorite HDH pieces are, Karie responded, "All of them! Though I really love the Shomu dress and Anko Top.” We love them too 🙂
You can find their bags on their website, and a few boutiques around the world. Any design work they do outside of handbags can be found here.
Don’t forget to follow them on Instagram. Make sure to like their Facebook page as well!
Photos by Nicole McConville.