Hello my friends and happy Saturday!
If you follow my Instagram feed, you know that one of my favorite handbag designers is Armadillo Leather Handbags. Their bags are high quality leather and the designs are so unique and very original. The company has been founded on the idea of one of a kind bags and now the ability to have yours custom made for you.
I’ve sat down with Yoana Wakeford, founder of Armadillo to chat about the company, her mission and the vision behind these beautiful bags.
1. Tell us about Armadillo.
Armadillo is a brand made with love. Simple, fresh and vivacious. I believe every woman should own a bag that she truly loves, for this reason I wanted to give them the opportunity to take part of design process to build their own handbag. I created Armadillo for this purpose.
2. Can you tell us about the history of the business?
I love DIY projects so one day I was playing around with some old leather swatches that I found at home and thought of making my own coin purse and although I didn’t complete my project I discovered what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Some years later I founded Armadillo with the purpose of making high quality unique pieces against mainstream production made under ethical standards. I started making handbags for family and friends and later more people where interested in my work. I had the opportunity to work with well known local artisans which provided me with further experience in the field.
3. How does Design your own handbag work?
It’s very easy, you can do it in only 5 steps which I will explain to you:
Step 1: Choose your style – You can either pick from my designs or you can give us an image of the style you want.
Step 2: Choose Leather type – We’ve got you cover! We have soft leather, suede and Calf hair in colours, textured, animal print or natural.
Step 3: Choose a Color – We can offer up to 43 colors.
Step 4: Choose Hardware color – Silver or gold
Step 5: Check out and Shipping – Proceed to pay and we will ship it to your address.
You can find more details on my website.
4. What is your favourite piece?
I love the night fever pouch with the zip top tassel, I feel free when I’m wearing it and helps me to keep things simple while I can still carry my most valuable essentials.
5. Tell us about your design process? In few words, first I meet with my clients to work together in the design of their handbag. Second I place the order via email to my workshop and hand pick the leather and hardware from our suppliers, Third we manufacture, Fourth we ship it to Edmonton and at last we deliver to our customers.
6. Have you always had an interest in handbags? Yes and it’s becoming stronger.
7. Where there ever a time you wanted to give up? Absolutely! many times, but I never listen. I’ve had people telling me, that’s difficult for you, you can’t do it or maybe it’s not for you.
I would always fight back saying -and How do you know? See, I am a very positive minded person, I am also very social and overall I love helping people. I like to give wings to people to fly further to reach their dreams, so I give wings to myself and take risks. I’ve learned more from failure than for not trying anything at all, besides I like challenges.
8. Why leather? Leather is a natural product that is also expected to last a very long time and it’s hardly wears out nor fades in the sunlight.
9. Where do you source materials? I found our tanneries and the best atelier, hand selecting the best quality leathers and raw materials, and working with talented craftsmen under responsible sourcing standards, in the city of Bogota in Colombia.
10. Tell us more about How do you use responsible sourcing of your leather and materials?
I went to the tanneries in person and made sure that their production chain is in compliance with quality standards. Another factor that I consider very important is the human resource, I made sure that the people I work with are payed a fare rates. I have also destined a percentage of the profits towards improving the life conditions of many artisans.
11. Why Edmonton and what do you love here?
I am married to a lovely Canadian man born in Edmonton and after living for few years together in Colombia, we decided to try living in Canada so we moved here a year ago. I wanted to start Armadillo in Canada and Edmonton was the perfect place to do so because of its many fashion boutiques and multicultural environment. People are very kind and opened. I feel that Edmonton is home for me now.
12. Do you ever work on projects outside of bags or have any other projects in the future?
I am currently working in a line of accessories that goes from leather tassels to belts and make up cases.
13. Describe the woman who carries an Armadillo bag.
A woman that likes simple but elegant, that likes to be trendy and loves colours as much as she love life. A positive minded boss woman!
14. Where can we find your products and contact you? You can find my products in armadilloleatherhandbags.ca or visit my stockists in Edmonton and Calgary (See list below). I am currently in negotiations with boutiques in different cities to distribute Armadillo Canada wide. If you have an special order or any other question please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: +1 780 447-9964
Address: 10106 124 Street NW, Edmonton, AB T5N 1P6
Phone: +1 780 966 5322
2 10240 124 Street NW, Edmonton, AB T5N 3W6
Phone: +1 780 482-1200
Address: 18336 Lessard Rd NW, Edmonton, AB T6M 2W8
Phone: +1 403 287 0442
Address: #101-1019 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2T 0A7
Bamboo Ballroom YYC
Phone: +1 403 454 1088
Address: 1218C-9 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0T1
Check out her site and see all of her lovely bags and use code Lindsey10 to receive 10% off purchases over $150!
Also a huge thank you to Steinhauer Photography for taking the amazing photos in this post and to Floc Boutique for providing the clothing ❤️
Enjoy your weekend everyone!