About our company

workshop of crystalyn kae handbag desig

We are driven by the spirit of discovery:
seeking out beautiful textiles and leather to create thoughtfully-designed bags and accessories

crystalyn kae bags hanging on a hook

For nearly 20 years, Crystalyn Kae has created original handcrafted bags and accessories made from ethically-sourced and reclaimed materials here in the USA.

Founded in Seattle in 2001 by Crystalyn Kae Brennan, who had become disillusioned by mass-production in the fast-fashion world. In the era of Prada knockoffs and cookie-cutter Coach bags, she saw a need for unique yet practical bags that didn’t look like everyone else’s.

Her first collection of handbags was made from a warehouse-stash of vintage plaid pants, which she sold to stores in Seattle, San Francisco and New York. Ahead of her time in sustainable fashion, Crystalyn had unknowingly established herself as a pioneer in the sustainable fashion movement.

Crystalyn Kae Accessories is one of few companies in the world that incorporates up-cycling practices into their design process. We create for those with socially-conscious style and a passion creating stories of their own.

Crystalyn's bags can be purchased here on her website, in her Seattle studio and at boutiques across the USA and internationally.

PEEK INSIDE OUR WORKSHOP

crystalyn's mood board and plants in her studio
hands sewing crystalyn kaes leather bags
patterns hanging in crystalyn kaes handbag studio

We invite you to take a virtual tour of our handbag studio, via our blog:  to meet Crystalyn and her team: where we make bags start to finish.

MEET THE FOUNDER

“I am inspired by repurposing luxurious materials into designs that will stand the test of time”

I was first introduced to the magic of repurposing in my teens by my Dad, where I learned to upholster vintage muscle cars.  After earning my degree in Fashion Design, I went on to design for major corporations, where I promptly became disillusioned by mass-production.     

So, in 2001 I  quit my day job and with my Mom and intern's help, made my first batch of hobo bags. I filled a suitcase with these purses and sold them door-to-door to boutiques in Seattle, San Francisco and New York City.

Nearly 20 years later, you'll still find me in my workshop sketching, designing, sewing, photographing and selling my limited-edition bags to customers all over the world.


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Founder image

Sustainability

Sustainability is a word that can get overused, but to us it means striking the balance of using the best materials available, making long-lasting products, that will make the least impact on our planet.

We consider:
1) how our designs are made
2) what materials they're made from
3) who makes them
4) how long they'll last

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Work(wo)manship

We are a woman-owned company making high-quality, reliable bags that fit into busy women's lifestyles.

We believe in paying women a fair wage, sourcing materials from other women-owned businesses and mentoring the next generation of female entrepreneurs through internships and speaking engagements.

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Made with Love

All of our bags start and finish in our Seattle studio, where we also offer customizations and repairs of our bags 

We are committed to local manufacturing and personally collaborate with sewing contractors in New York City's Garment Center, and a Seattle's SoDo neighborhood.


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