Thursday, November 06, 2014

Hand-Crafted In Brooklyn: A Visit To Lolafalk's Gowanus Workshop

Lauren “Lola” Falkowski  of Lolafalk in her Gowanus Studio
It is always a great pleasure to make the acquaintance of young Brooklyn designers and artists. It is an even greater pleasure to be invited into their studios. Last week, I visited Lauren “Lola” Falkowski, of Lolafalk in her Gowanus workshop to learn about her line of handcrafted leather goods for both women and men.

You may already be familiar with Lolafalk.  By Brooklyn on Smith Street carries some of the line's items and Lauren regularly attends some of the weekly outdoor markets in the City.  She also recently welcomed visitors to her work space as part of "Arts Gowanus'  Open Studio Tour"

What sets Lolafalk leather bags, clutches, wallets, and toiletry bags apart is the beautiful workmanship and the attention to detail as well as the unique color combinations and bright accents.

Lauren, a Detroit native, began making bags seven years ago. "This started completely as a fun hobby," she explains. "My background is in marketing and advertising, but I wanted to do something creative." She taught herself how to sew, bought some scrap fabric and "began to play." She sold her first cotton, satin and taffeta bags at outdoor markets in Dallas, where she was living at the time. "I was not thinking about starting a business back then," she says. "But it was fun and it started planting the seed of starting a business. All I knew was that I loved doing this and that I wanted to do it more and more."
Lauren also began selling her women's bags and wallets on Etsy. Over the years, her creations became more polished and refined. 

Eventually, Lauren decided to turn her full attention to the business and moved to New York five years ago. "If I was going to take this full time, this is the place where it was going to happen," she says looking out of her studio's window at the spectacular view of Downtown Brooklyn.

The business really took off when Lauren started working with leather in 2010. "I pretty much shifted the line to all leather over the next year."
By 2012, Lauren introducing some men's items . She began offering a custom color option for bags and wallets. "Everything just kind of exploded from there," Lauren tells me. "At this point, the men's like is probably my strongest seller. Guys want color. They are sick of black and brown being their only options."

Lauren continues to expand the Lolafalk line.  She started working on a men's messenger bag in a rough textured nubuck leather that she hopes to sell soon.  Judging by the prototype she showed me, it is bound to be a popular item.

If you would like to purchase Lolafalk handcrafted leather goods online or on Etsy.

You can also find Lauren at outdoor markets around New York City.  Check Lolafalk's website  or stay in touch via Facebook to find out where you can catch up with her.


LOLAFALK said...

Thank you for this beautiful post, Katia! It was such a pleasure to have you visit my studio. I'm so proud to be a Brooklyn-based business, thank you for sharing my story :).

Katia said...

It was entirely my pleasure, Lauren. Wishing you continued success with Lolafalk.

Agnes said...

Beautiful work! and great Brooklyn light in her studio!