What: Marge & Rudy is a small business that designs and creates eco-conscious handmade leather handbags, clutches and accessories. They are made using locally sourced leather and remnant leather. Owner Rachel Dortch says: “My favorite bags that I make are my raw-edge bags. These are made from the raw uncut edges of the hide, making each bag one-of-a-kind. This is also the most wasted part of the hide – usually thrown away. I love to save these remnants and turn them into fun/unique statement pieces.”
Who: Dortch is originally from Nashville. She married her high school sweetheart, and they have three teenage children. While working in the furniture and interior design field, she realized the enormous waste that can created in projects. Her first handbag was made out of scrap leather.
On the name: Marge and Rudy are her parents.
What sets these apart: Dortch designs and makes each piece in a small studio in NoDa. She considers waste and carbon footprint and says she pays great attention to the details in each product. And “because I appreciate people supporting handmade, I lovingly gift-wrap each piece with a handwritten thank-you note.”
On starting a business: “Trust your instincts. Don’t try to be or copy anyone else. There will be peaks and valleys along the way and each can bring opportunity for growth.”
Find more CLT Made goods by searching the Observer website for that title, or on the “CLT Made” Pinterest page.