Farmers Market Spotlight: Elizabeth Grace | SteamboatToday.com

Farmers Market Spotlight: Elizabeth Grace

This week's Farmers Market Spotlight features Judy Cummins as she launches her Elizabeth Grace, leather bag company.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Get acquainted with the flavor of the Main Street Steamboat Farmers Market from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays at the corner of Yampa and Seventh streets through Sept. 15.

Each week, 150 local and regional vendors bring their bounty to the market, featuring fresh produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods, canned and prepared foods, handcrafted art, lotions, soaps, jewelry, furniture, clothing and much more.

Don’t know where to start with this many vendors to choose from?

Meet Elizabeth Grace, this week's highlighted vendor.

Years at the Market: First year

What started as an idea to create something from leather for a friend's fundraiser quickly evolved into something Judy Cummins never saw coming.

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"It fed my creative and entrepreneurial spirit," said Cummins, who created a leather bucket bag for her friend's event eight years ago while living in Montana.

The bag led to more sales and, soon after, Wild for the West — the initial business venture that she brought to Steamboat Springs when she moved to town with her husband in 2014. Cummins sold the distressed leather bags under the Wild for the West brand at Ohana as well as Art in the Park and the Farmers Market last summer.

Last spring, she started to consider outsourcing the construction of her bags that she designed and sewed herself.

"I started to experience a shift in my design inspiration," Cummins said. "I'm originally from New York, and I guess I started to feel a stronger connection to my urban roots."

The new brand, Elizabeth Grace, took form this summer after she started working with business coach Jane Hamill and product development specialist Briana Hartsock, who she said inspired her "to go big."

Specialty: Elizabeth Grace is the new line of luxury leather handbags that combines fashion with function and provides simplicity with style, using soft leather sourced from Florence, Italy, where the bags are also constructed.

"The designs are minimalistic and streamlined with minimal hardware," Cummins said. "The decision to outsource my bag construction gave me the freedom and courage to rethink my entire business plan, which, in turn, opened the door to many new opportunities."

Cummins will also launch Elizabeth Grace next month at a Chicago trade show and was invited to Milan Fashion Week in September.

Specialty: "The bags are designed to be constructed primarily from a single piece of leather and contain minimal hardware making them light and comfortable to wear," she said.

Signature features of the brand include gently sloping top and side edges, hidden magnetic closures, black-painted exterior seams and inside-outside vertical pockets.

Her premier line features five designs, which are all available in five colors: pearl, white, twilight, blue, warm gray, sunflower, yellow and russet orange.

Signature bags include the "Belt Bag," "Flat Shopper," "Shopping Tote," "Shoulder Pouch" and the "Crossbody."

Factoid: The company is named for Cummins’ daughters Elizabeth and Grace.

The bags will be available online at elizabethgracebags.com.

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