223 N. 6th St., Suite 10, Boise. 345-3361; bellamodi.com
Bella Modi customizable handbags (and the soon-to-launch shoe designing line) were born out of Kimberly Mitchell-Catlett’s journey to find grown-up looking shoes for her small feet. When a favorite pair of shoes wore out and she couldn’t find a replacement, she decided to rebuild her shoes’ broken parts in a way that they would be replaceable.
As she went through that development process, she learned more about fashion, function and fit. That education, Mitchell-Catlett says, “quickly evolved to handbags, because we often struggle to find what we really need and generally settle for ‘close enough’ in that area as well.”
But why spend your money on “close enough” when you can design exactly what you want? This concept is the future of shopping, and Mitchell-Catlett is one of its pioneers. After six years of research, design and development, Bella Modi customers now can configure and design their own leather handbags on a website or through a private, in-studio design session.
“I think what makes this business special is that it truly gives customers the ability to blend functionality, fit and fashion. And that’s a sense of control that most of us have never had. ... Plus, you get the experience of being ‘the designer’ and claiming it as yours,” Mitchell-Catlett says.
Bella Modi’s handbag line will be expanding over the next year to include men’s and women’s wallets, backpacks, laptop bags and more.
In 2017, Bella Modi plans to launch the item that first started Mitchell-Catlett down her path of invention: custom footwear for men and women.
Blue Fringe Boutique
3349 N. Eagle Road, Meridian; 921-4272, facebook.com/bluefringeboutique
Blue Fringe Boutique opened last year in the space previously owned by Bella Blue. Owner Keri Lee Kinzel brings a unique blend of Boho vibe and Western flair to her new boutique. In addition to trendy and affordable clothing in a variety of sizes and styles, the footwear selection includes quality brands such as Freebird by Steve Madden, Minnetonka, Toms and BED STÜ (an edgy, upscale line of shoes and boots).
Blue Fringe is nestled in the strip mall at Eagle Road and Ustick Road, and Kinzel enjoys cultivating a complete shopping experience for her customers — from the stylish clothes on the racks to her shop’s displays and décor, which are mostly reclaimed and hand-built.
5777 Glenwood St., Boise; 991-7044, ricochetboise.com/ricochet-rack
Ricochet Home Consignment has been selling furniture and home decor in the Treasure Valley for nearly a decade. Now, Ricochet is also home to Ricochet Rack, a women’s consignment shop offering new and used clothing, jewelry, purses, scarves and more.
“Our primary demographic (for Ricochet) is women shoppers. … What better way to add to the shopping experience than to offer women’s consignment clothing, too?” owner Marcia Schaumburg says.
In just the year that it’s been open, the Rack has grown so much that it now spills over to the furniture showroom floor. And customers love it. Earlier this year, Ricochet Home Consignment was voted 2016’s Best of Treasure Valley in the consignment shop category.
Cindy Kirk Designs
Cindy Kirk has a passion for handbags and a love of fashion design stemming back to high school. When she couldn’t find the items she wanted, she began designing, altering and making them herself, later expanding her skills to include children’s clothing when her two daughters came along.
In 2012, following a frustrating search for the “perfect purse,” Kirk decided it was time to launch her own leather handbag line. She works with premium leathers and hand-stitches each piece with wax sinew.
Kirk is a longtime Sun Valley resident who adores Idaho, pulling inspiration from the unique culture and topography. “The landscape and lifestyle in this magnificent little mountain town informs my design sensibility. Working with leather has also brought me back to my upbringing on a ranch in rural Southern California.”
Kirk’s handbag line can be found in the Treasure Valley at both Walla Walla Clothing Co. locations (Downtown Boise and at The Village at Meridian), and online at cindykirkdesigns.com.
Trend Forgetter Gallery
While growing up in the Midwest, Luna Michelle found her creative and expressive fashion style early on. And while she has been in the business of reworking and reselling vintage fashions for quite some time, it wasn’t until recently — following an unexpected job loss and some inspiration from Sophia Amoruso’s book #GIRLBOSS — that Michelle’s latest vision began to take shape. Trend Forgetter Gallery is now open in the Alaska Center on Main Street, a marriage of vintage pieces, local art collections, grunge, punk and eclectic fashions.
Michelle aims to help people find their “inner uniqueness.”
“When you forget about the eras, styles and trends, your wardrobe options become limitless,” she says.
Trend Forgetter Gallery is filled with men’s and women’s fashions that range from vintage to modern as well as several lines by upcycled clothing designers. There is also a growing children’s section and shoes, jewelry, handbags, art pieces and décor.
Know about a new store, a store relocation or local clothing/accessories designer that Treasure readers should know about, too? Email Tanya with your ideas and questions for Treasure at email@example.com. Visit her blog, stylespygirl.com, for more Treasure Valley shopping news. Some of the information for this feature comes from company websites and other news-release information.