We believe that beautiful art should be a part of your life.
Our fine leather bags and accessories are made, one at a time in our studios in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA and designed from scratch to allow you to express your personal style.
Lisa Stewart Designs is what happens when two designers get together and decide to actively explore what’s possible. Building from the foundation of Lisa’s calligraphic illustrations, we are always pushing ourselves and asking “What’s next?”
The simple answer to this question is that we found new and unique ways for people to take their art with them. Today we design, handcraft and sell luxury leather goods to customers around the world. Recently we opened our first Lisa Stewart shop for fine art, leather and gifts in Raleigh, NC.
For the past decade we have been developing and building our portfolio of leather bags and products while honing our craft. Today we have multiple lines of standard handbags and accessories in addition to the custom bags we develop and make for discerning customers. And we do it all in our studios in Raleigh, North Carolina using leather we hand select and source from a small group of domestic distributors.
Selling around the globe:
The countries where we have sold our leather goods – both standard and custom – include:
– New Zealand
– And many more…
Who We Are:
We are Lisa Stewart, CREATIVEGoddess and Andrew Hayden, CREATIVEAlchemist of Lisa Stewart Designs. We are also a very talented wife and husband design team, each with a passion for creating beautiful things and each with a very distinct design point of view. From the beginning the challenge was how to meld our aesthetics in the most effective way possible.
As an illustrator and artist, I started creating and selling greeting cards at a very young age and never really stopped. A decade ago I developed the CalligraphyPets line of cat and dog illustrations that quickly gained a global following, selling thousands of prints and greeting card sets around the world. With the success of CalligraphyPets came calls to create more designs and illustrations with my unique calligraphic lines, and as is my way, I ran with it, developing new animal and object illustrations, abstract designs and unique paisley creations for licensing vendors. Today I have an extensive and ever growing portfolio of images to draw on that spans the spectrum of subject matter, styles and sizes.
Wall art and greeting cards are great, but I felt that there had to be more to art than just hanging it on a wall or stuffing it in an envelope and sending it to a friend, there had to be a way to make art portable. People generally do not carry billboards with them and screen printed t-shirts, while an option, did not seem to adequately convey the sophisticated nature of my art. The logical route seemed to be handbags, but that was a skill set neither Andrew nor I had.
I am an industrial designer and fine artist who chose to defer his creative life for a more corporate one. After graduating college with a design degree and earning an MBA, I spent the better part of two decades developing and managing marketing programs for large, global corporations. Throughout this time, however, I never lost my passion for design and creativity, picking up new skills and abilities along the way. Wood working, home renovation, furniture design and the like were skills I was able to quickly master. When it came to helping Lisa develop leather products, I was confident that in a reasonable time we could gain the skills needed to produce handbags and accessories that met both our quality expectations and satisfy discerning customers.
Lisa Stewart Designs Today
Since it’s important to walk before you run, we started with a simple purse for Lisa that featured an abbreviated version of her most famous Bacchus illustration. It was a learning experience for both of us, but as soon as Lisa started wearing the bag around, people started asking where she got it. The bag had been somewhat difficult to make and despite Lisa having grown up sewing her own clothing, leather turned out to be a very different material than fabric to work with. For us it was, “Challenge Accepted!” and after spending a number of months learning to work with leather, we developed our first line of handbags , all of which prominently featured Lisa’s art.
In addition to developing the die-cut Bacchus, we were also working on a method of applying Lisa’s images to suede in a way that would stay color fast, not rub or wash off and yet still leave the suede feeling soft and supple. After several years of work, we had this magical process perfected to a level where we felt comfortable using it on products. Today, the imagery on suede is one of the hallmarks of a Lisa Stewart handbag and one of the key features that draws customers to them.
While working on perfecting the different techniques and crafts needed to create elegant, sophisticated handbags that featured Lisa’s art, we also developed a line of unique refillable leather journal covers featuring a die cut leather Bacchus image as well. These were also a hit and soon Lisa Stewart Designs was selling journal covers to customers across the United States and around the world.
As the handbags and journal covers started getting out into the market, Lisa started getting requests to customize or personalize bags and journal covers for customers. Since every bag and journal cover is handcrafted, one at a time in our studios in Raleigh, we were able to accommodate these requests and today customized and personalized leather goods are a key part of the business. The ability to customize and personalize beautiful, handcrafted leather goods for people is one of the things that sets Lisa Stewart Designs apart and has helped guide our product development as we have expanded our line and honed our craft.
After nearly a decade of doing a lot with a little, selling products on the Interwebs and travelling to art fairs up and down the east coast, we took the plunge in October of 2012 and opened our first Lisa Stewart Designs retail shop in historic CityMarket in downtown Raleigh. The shop includes both retail space and a workshop that effectively doubles our working space. Now, after a successful launch, we are getting ready to expand the shop, doubling the retail space and increasing the size of the workshop. The expansion should be ready in time for the 2013 Holiday season.