This past fall I went to Chicago for a blog conference. The bonus was that I was able to visit my niece Jenna. After the conference, she took me to charming Lincoln Park where the streets are lined with one boutique after another.
We stumbled upon a unique shop where you can custom design your own purse. Jenna and I walked into this lovely boutique and we were immediately in awe. OMG, we could play designer and end up with a purse that we designed ourselves. My birthday was around the corner and my husband kept telling me to treat myself to a birthday gift. This was going to be it!
The Meaning Behind the Name
The staff at our new-found favorite store was so friendly. During our conversation, I asked if the name of the store, Laudi Vidni, was the name of the owner. To my surprise, it had a much more clever meaning.
The store name comes from the word “individual“ spelled backwards, divided into two words. Hence, Laudi Vidni, where you can design your own “individual” purse or handbag.
Another bonus is that the bags are Made in America. The materials may be from overseas such as Italian leathers, but the craftsmanship is all local!
I couldn’t wait to begin the design process which was fun.
Step 1: Select Your Style
The first part of the process is to select the style of your bag. Do you want a clutch, a shoulder bag, wristlet or one of the many other styles? They had a display of each one in white leather for you to sample.
They also had samples throughout the store of different styles and color combinations to give you design inspiration.
I wanted a clutch that was large enough to carry my essentials during the day but small enough to be used as an evening purse. I settled on this style shown in the photo below and then went on to choose my leather and fabric liner.
Step 2: Choose Your Materials
There were large leather samples displayed on the wall .
They also had smaller samples for you to work with.
Once you selected the leather for the exterior of your purse, you then had to select a fabric liner and also the hardware.
Those of you that follow my blog on a regular basis won’t be surprised to know that I picked their beautiful leopard design.
Your Custom Designed Purse
Once you select your materials and place your order, the bag will be custom-made to your specifications and shipped to you within four to six weeks.
I was thrilled when my purse arrived. I loved the selections I made and the quality of the work.
The purse arrived with its own black storage bag and a nice note from the shop.
My Interview with Co-founder of Laudi Vidni
I had the pleasure of interviewing Laura Kofoid, Co-Founder and CEO of Laudi Vidni, for this post. I love hearing the story behind successful and creative businesses and wanted to share this one with you.
1. How did you come up with this concept and how long did it take you from dream to reality?
My business partner and I didn’t want to carry bags that everyone else was carrying…and we knew that when you said to a woman, “I love your bag” she said, “I love it but…I wish…”. We thought that was a problem we could solve. It’s taken a LONG time. We spent 3 years researching before we even created our website. Then we opened our design studio in 2010. Since then, we’ve been adding products, updating materials, and building a new website. It’s so gratifying now to hear how women love our bags and our site. That keeps me going!!
2. Where do you find your designs for the purses and how often do they change?
It’s a team effort! We’re always looking for what’s new…and most importantly we’re always listening to our customers about what they need! We take everything we’ve heard and seen and then create the designs. Our manufacturer also has an amazing eye, so we get his opinion too. Overall, our designs tend to be classic shapes that stand the test of time. Though some times we have to go crazy…wait until you see the little fringe crossbody we’ve got coming this spring!
3. I’m also curious on where you source your leather and lining fabrics from. How often does that line change?
Our materials are sourced from the US and Europe. We bring in new leathers every season, depending on the trends and our needs. Lately we’ve been obsessed with black that’s not boring. We get a lot of requests for that. But for spring, we also have these gorgeous pale shades: Blush, Beach Stone and Light Storm. We’ve always had white leather, and now it’s such a trend. Gorgeous! But don’t ask if white gets dirty…it does! You just have to deal with it.
Linings don’t change as much. Our linings are 100% cotton, which is very unusual in the industry. I won’t settle for anything else because I like the way it feels when I put my hand in the bag. We’ve been searching for a great royal blue and elegant purple, but we can’t find the right color in the right fabric, so we keep looking.
4. Do you plan on opening other stores in the states?
5. I love the name and what it stands for. So clever! Are you interested in pursuing any other lines in the future besides purses?
Thank you!! It’s hard to pronounce at first, but once you know what it stands for, you never forget it! And I really love that Laudi Vidni is about being an INDIVIDUAL. So many fashion brands talk about that. But they still want you buy what they tell you to buy. Buy a piece of Michael Kors or Tory Burch. We want you to be yourself. We always say we’re a mirror back to the customer.
Yes, we can see Laudi Vidni being a lifestyle brand for custom products of all types, especially leather. But first we have more work to do in handbags!
6. Lastly, if you could give me a brief description of where the purses are made and any information that you would like for me to include in my post.
Our bags are made by an experienced team in Chicago.
If you would like to custom design your own purse, you do not have to be in Chicago. You can visit the Laudi Vidni site to begin designing your ideal handbag. Have fun with it!