Think about the most treasured pieces in your wardrobe. What makes them as special as they are? Style, aesthetics, quality — sure. But also stories. It’s why you love that dress you wore on your first date. The bracelet your grandmother gave you. That sweater from your big trip abroad. Stories help turn what we wear into expressions of who we are, and no one knows that better than Brit-Stitch, a brilliant handbag brand available in the US exclusively at ModCloth.
Until now, Brit-Stitch was only available in the UK, which is where their story began. Back in 1967, a craftsman named Peter Jones decided to diversify his saddlery and harness-making business and start making cash bags for local dairies and milk deliverers. One day, a milkman by the name of Toby asked if Peter would be interested in having his milk delivered. With a small business to run, Peter couldn’t quite afford Toby’s service. But Toby offered a trade — he’d deliver milk if Peter would make him one of his cash bags. The two struck a deal, and a friendship was formed.
Over the years, Peter’s business grew from supplying milkmen to manufacturing industrial leather goods worldwide. When Peter retired, the next generation joined the close-knit company. Just as Peter had been in the 60s, the forward-thinking company was eager to diversify into fresh new territory — they just weren’t sure what to make.
That’s when fate stepped in. “All of a sudden, Toby, our local milkman called,” said Morgan, Brit-Stitch’s director, and one of Peter’s children. (And yep, he’s talking about the same Toby from the start of our story). “He said, ‘Can you fix the strap, please, on the bag that your father made?’ My father made it in 1967, and this was 2013 or 2012 when Toby came in for a replacement. Now, Toby, I think he’s 82 this year. He works every day, and he still delivers milk to us.”
Inspired by the endurance of that well-loved bag and touched by this little reminder of the history behind their success, the team developed Brit-Stitch, a line of simply chic, exquisitely made handbags, all of which echo the charming design of Peter’s original milkman bags. “It’s a very relevant bag for the times,” said Brit-Stitch designer, Bek. “It still carries that lovely story and heritage, but it’s very modern and new.”
Needless to say, we’re totally smitten with Brit-Stitch’s pretty, practical designs, which come in an array of shapes, sizes, and eye-catching hues. “The bags are so clean and simple that people with any taste or any style can find something they’d want to wear,” said Bek. Plus, these beautiful bags are rife with thoughtful details to satisfy discerning gals on the go — carefully placed pockets, adjustable straps, and a quick ‘n’ simple clip fastener, to name a few.
And we love knowing the charming background behind this delightful brand. Their pieces may be au courant, but Brit-Stitch isn’t about following trends. Instead, they’re committed to honoring the clever craftsmanship of their founder and the stories that make their timeless styles so special.
As Morgan told us, “I love [our] story, because it’s true. It’s not a fabricated story that someone in a marketing office has thought up. It’s true. I see Toby every morning — he’s a real character. His bag from 1967 has lots of character. And I hope our bags, 45 years from now, still have lots of character.”
+ Shop the Brit-Stitch bags, and share your favorite styles in the comments!