Local Leather, International Inspiration | Meet Gillian Stevens of Dewdrop Designs
When she launched Charlotte-based brand Dewdrop Designs, Gillian Stevens' feet were anchored in the Carolinas, but her imagination was captivated by cultures outside the confines of the Southeast. Inspired, Gillian manifested the mystery and glamour of globetrotting into a selection of artisan accessories created and curated for the contemporary jet setter.
"I hope my line evokes a sense of wanderlust," Gillian says, describing her handcrafted bags, jewelry, and small leather goods. "I want to transport customers to the streets of Paris, the beaches of the Caribbean, or their favorite summertime farmers market."
The Queen City native, who craves the vibrant spirit of Rome, Italy with as much fervor as the comforting stillness of Beaufort, South Carolina, encourages exploration by embellishing her bags with wisdom and whimsy. Petite pouches, leather wristlets, and canvas totes from Dewdrop Designs carry stimulating inscriptions including "live intentionally," and "c'est bon," and "eat well, travel often."
"I love to travel – anywhere." Gillian explains. "I always find myself inspired on trips, whether stateside or otherwise. I created my brand because I saw a gap in the market for handmade goods that have a travel slant."
Pieces from Dewdrop Designs' current collection – from a leather passport case emblazoned with a compass rose, to journals printed with aquatic life and coastal landscapes – promise to enhance any adventure with style and sustainability.
"We love when our simple, elegant pieces make it into your suitcase for a long-awaited trip," Gillian remarks. "We hope that they bring a little bit of that faraway spirit into your everyday life."
Each original Dewdrop Designs creation is constructed in a North Carolina studio and shaped by locally sourced leather, hardware, and natural materials. Gillian, who once pioneered a capsule collection for Bloomingdale's and whose iconic wears are sold in five star resorts nationwide, has experienced monumental success. Forever humble, curious, and observant, Gillian continues to cultivate her craft by acknowledging tradition and embracing pride of place.
"Whether it's jewelry or dyed fabric, every country creates something precious. The craft of creating these items is passed down – it's tradition, and I love it," Gillian shares. "As a Southerner, I find myself especially inspired by the low country – a culture where handmade goods always seem to draw me in. People are so talented."
Shop Dewdrop Designs, including my "I Travel" Tote pictured above, at DewdropDesigns.com. Subscribe to brand emails to receive free shipping on any order.