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  • Blythe Leonard

The Woman Behind the Bag: Melanie Tote

Meet Melanie.

         She works at High Point University supervising student interns in High Point, North Carolina. This occupation requires her to be on campus as well as visiting schools within several surrounding counties. Like some jobs, every day is different, which means that each day has a different requirement of the materials needed to complete certain tasks. For instance, in my job, I have to carry my laptop every single day, where she might need her journal to jot down notes or carry her laptop. 

          Over the past year or so I have gotten to know this amazing, inspiring, and very personable woman. She is very passionate about American made, buying local, and supporting companies that have that same vision. This is something that Melanie and I have in common. She is a huge moral supporter of my company as well, visiting my flagship store in Thomasville, North Carolina frequently just to say hello and to see the new designs. Many a time I have said “what do you think about this color with this?” or “will this look right?” Melanie has been there unknowingly from the beginning of my brand, giving me guidance and valid opinions along the way.

          When I set out to design a new bag, I immediately thought of her. I knew that Melanie would never carry her laptop in a crossbody bag; it’s just not something I can see her carrying. So, I set out to design a laptop bag with Melanie in mind, and it became the Melanie Tote.

          A must for her bags is for them to have interior pockets. Like all of us, we love to have our lives organized…or at least try to be. The Melanie Tote Bag has two leather patch pockets on one side of the interior space, while the opposite side has a larger pocket for a tablet, iPad, etc. The base of the bag has hand dyed vegetable tanned leather feet instead of solid brass hardware. The size of the tote bag is 14 inches wide, 17 inches tall and five inches in depth. The handle drop is typically 13 inches from the top of the handles to the top of the opening of the bag. This can be altered per custom bag we produce. The leather used in Melanie Tote bags is a 4-6 oz. leather, making the bag stiffer without the need for interior stiffening. The bags stand up on their own, which is the best thing ever...or so I think. The design of the bag has curves, functionality, straight lines, hardware, hand dying, textiles, leather, and the words embossed in gold, "MADE IN USA;" all the right ingredients to make an outstanding bag.

 Tan Melanie Tote Bag

 Navy Melanie Tote Bag

        “I fell in love with the Blythe Leonard bags when I began shopping in her store over a year ago. A huge draw for me is that every bag she creates is basically one of a kind. When purchasing in the big chain stores, you run a huge “risk” of seeing your bag hanging on someone else’s shoulder. Not with the BL bags, I carry mine proudly knowing that this is “my” bag, created especially for me. I receive compliments on my Melanie Tote almost every time I use it. Actually, I receive many compliments on most all of the BL bags I carry.” -Melanie

Melanie Totes are available per request. Customization, material usage and color are all variants per client. 

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