A World Apart: VerverWerks' Handbag Straps

Hello! For those of you know me personally, thank you so much for your interest & support! For those I’ve never met, my name is Caroline Verver!

In the past, I’ve sat down to blog about the travels that inspired VerverWerks & especially the special efforts that go into the making of our unique, high-quality leather goods & accessories (for more on that, see The Making of a Verver Bag). For this blog post & to celebrate the long-anticipated launch of our NEWEST straps, I’m thrilled to take a deep dive into the making of our increasingly-popular handbag straps, and to tell you what it is that sets them a world apart from others on the market.

2019 loom-woven handbag strap by VerverWerks.

2019 loom-woven handbag strap by VerverWerks.

#1: VerverWerks works directly with weavers & leather workers in Ecuador to design & create the handbag straps you know & love. This is my first point of focus because I started VerverWerks to provide a mechanism through which to support artisans in the practice of their trade. When I say we work directly with artisan weavers & leather workers, I mean our team meets with artisans in their own homes to hammer out details on input materials & final products. For handbag strap design, this means sitting down one on one with weavers to choose the individual thread colors that will make up a final strap from the sea of colors available. From there, our leather-working team meticulously stitches & adds leather to woven strap material to create our final product. Our efforts have resulted in both a high-quality product & consistent work for our leather-working team for over 2.5 years now. Not only that, since we source our materials & labor directly, we also pay our artisan partners directly (there’s no middle man involved). Because of this, more of what you spend supports the artisan in the practice of his craft. Knowing this, you can be sure that when you adorn your favorite handbag with a VerverWerks statement piece, you’re making a direct difference in the lives of our partners as well.

At work on strap design with one of our partners.

At work on strap design with one of our partners.

#2: Our authentic handbag straps are STILL woven by hand on a loom. If you’ve read about the inspiration behind VerverWerks before, you know the material we use to make our camera, guitar & handbag straps is traditionally used for belts in Ecuador. I remember being so drawn to the authenticity & vibrancy of such materials from the time I first set foot there. Not only that, but I felt (& still feel) that the process of production through loom weaving made our input materials THAT much more special, especially from a cultural perspective. As VerverWerks strives to create modern products that support such artisanship, we’ve sought to preserve authenticity in our production processes as much as possible. Especially in today’s world where competition with China invites production automation, it’s become increasingly hard to continue to find our loom-woven straps but that we have! You might have noticed our struggle to source the right materials caused a delay of our new strap launch, but we think that makes the end result that much sweeter - our new collection is the result of a tireless months’-long search for the right partners to continue to bring an authentic product to the market. This alone makes me, at least, that much prouder to sport our straps.

Sample VerverWerks strap material in production.

Sample VerverWerks strap material in production.

#3: Our color schemes are, by and large, our own. I touched on this briefly above, but we love the process of hand-selecting unique color schemes for the design of our woven straps. Much like with our earrings, we usually start the design process with an already-available pattern & make color-scheme tweaks until we’re sure to have arrived at something we know you’ll enjoy. For example, with neons trending for Summer 2019, we’re ecstatic to have various neon purse straps currently available. Whether our design meetings happen sitting at home with an artisan partner somewhere off the beaten trail or are facilitated via FaceTime, laying eyes on the end result is so much fun for all parties involved. We hope to bring this fun to you in the form of truly unique pieces that set you apart from the crowd.

The purse strap that resulted from the design process shown in the second photo above!

The purse strap that resulted from the design process shown in the second photo above!

#4: Going forward, all loom-woven straps will be Limited Edition. Now that we’ve worked out some production kinks, I’ve made the executive decision that all straps will be offered to the public on an extremely limited basis going forward. All woven straps (whether for camera, handbag or guitar) of a particular color scheme will be limited to 50 units. This way we continue to preserve the uniqueness of our offering & you can be assured that your statement piece is just that!

Thanks for reading & we hope to share even more with you at one of our next pop-up events!