Meeting other business women and creative minds is one of my favorite things about running this site. The Designer Spotlight series introduces us to the lovely Cigdem of Cibado – a collection of handcrafted leather bags and goods based in Colorado.
Naturally this business had me at “leather” but if you look closer, you will notice something more detailed and unique – Cibado uses antique horse tack hardware for closures and bag details.
Lets jump right into the questions!
Q. Cibado was formed in 2008 and you had prior experience working with buffalo leather for a furniture company, what made you decide to create handbags? Tell us about your career background.
Cigdem – I studied Fashion Design & Merchandising in school and worked for a few years in small apparel companies in the production side. I long had dreams of starting a clothing line. Working with leather or making bags was not on my radar. This changed when I purchased a very handsome suede messenger bag for an ex-boyfriend. His friends wanted one too but we could not find any more so he suggested we try to make some. The idea stuck long after the relationship ended. In 2007 in Philadelphia, my home town, I finally signed up for a class on how to work with leather and make leather bags. This coincided with an opportunity to attend a yoga teacher workshop in Hotchkiss, Colorado for 5 weeks. Realizing I could take the leather class in the Fall, I made my way out to Hotchkiss, Colorado in the Spring of 2007.
It was there that I met a woman who was hosting many other yoga students in her house. She is an artist/painter & we had an instant connection when meeting. It did not take long to realize we had a shared aesthetic and love for design. When I told her of my leather interest she ran into another room and came back with some leather bags she had designed and had some local people sew for her. It was here we spoke of joining forces. Currently working for a leather furniture company that needed someone to sew for them she suggested I move to Colorado and sew for this company and together start our bag venture! With scraps from our projects we learned to work with leather and developed our vision over the course of a few years before feeling comfortable enough to attempt to sell our creations.
Q. What made you choose to incorporate antique horse hardware and tack into the bags?
Cigdem – This was truly an inspiration from our surroundings. Many trials and attempts at using new and shiny hardware were not the look we were after so during a frustrating design moment we took a walk and wandered into a saddle shop & an antique tool shop that had a huge stash of vintage horse tack and hardware. No words were needed between us. It was decided – old horse tack brought it all together and would be an important element to our bags. I am proud to say that all tack is still sourced exclusively from Colorado, especially my backyard of rural Western Colorado.
Q. Running a business can be one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs, if you could go back five years and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Cigdem – I used to try and force an idea to work. After hours upon hours of trying new ideas and the results being less than desirable I used to get VERY upset and would try forcing things….which didn’t usually work! After walking away from it and coming back to it with fresh eyes is usually how I was able to tackle the obstacle. Sometimes the answer was to scrap the idea altogether for the moment and move on. These days I spend far less time fighting what isn’t working.
Q. Being a one woman show requires a lot of organization skills, do you have any tools or tips you would like to share?
Cigdem – Really sharp scissors and lists. I need to write down what needs to get done in a day or that week and prioritize. Old school lists work best for me – pen and paper.
Q. What is your favorite thing about running Cibado?
Cigdem – Constant learning and growth. I am constantly finding that I can do things that I never thought I was capable of doing before.
Q. Who are your customers and the typical woman who carries a Cibado bag?
Cigdem – Getting to know the women who wear a Cibado bag I realized a few things, they value quality crafted goods, attention to detail and one of a kind unique elements that are not seen in mass-produced products. They have an interest in investing in a bag that is built to last and that goes beyond fleeting trends.
Q. Do you create custom bags or bags for customers using their own tack if requested?
Cigdem – Yes I do…most recently I incorporated 100-year-old tack into a bag for a local woman. The hardware was incredibly interesting – I had never seen anything like it.
Q. And just for fun, what is your favorite brand of cowboy boots?
Cigdem – I must admit…I have yet to own a pair of cowboy boots but it IS on my list of wants. I definitely love the look of cowboy boots with skirts. I am on the search and would welcome any suggestions. One of the first people in Colorado that gave me some guidance on leatherwork was an incredible boot maker out of Delta, Colorado. Meeting him and seeing him work was truly inspiring. Being from Philadelphia and relatively new to the West, it was watching him at work that gave me a true respect for the art and skill that goes into creating cowboy boots!
Thank you Cigdem for sharing your time and knowledge with us! For more work from Cibado or to order something please visit Cibado.com.
Photos c/o Cibado
I’ve held off posting about fall for a few weeks now and I can’t hold back any longer! When I discovered Tory Burch’s Pony Tale Collection, I knew it was over. Featuring equestrian inspired accessories, pony prints and bridle motifs this line is fabulous and a tribute to The Year Of The Horse. Some of the items I am sharing are available now and a few others must be pre-ordered.
You can find more great pieces at Tory Burch online in her equestrian shop, happy shopping and I’m so glad I can finally start bringing up fall again.
Photos from Tory Burch
My love for making soap continues! See my first batch of Homemade Poppyseed Citrus Soap Bars on the blog if you are new here. Shortly after making the first batch I made Coffee Mint Soap Bars – they look and smell like a delicious candy bar. I learned a few things along the way, less coffee grounds is more and fine grind is best please!
These bars are also great for exfoliating and are the perfect morning soap, don’t you think?
Two-pound block of melt and pour soap base (sold from local craft stores or on Amazon). I only used a pound for my soap bars and used the first pound on the Poppyseed Citrus.
1-2 Tablespoons fine coffee grounds (emphasis on fine coffee grounds).
20 Drops of Spearmint essential oil.
Soap molds, silicon are the best but you can get creative and use cupcake lines or any other mold you desire.
Microwave safe bowl.
Wooden chopsticks or popsicle sticks for mixing.
- Cut half of the soap block up into cubes, again I only did a one pound batch of soap and used the rest on this soap batch.
- Add the soap to the bowl and microwave in 30-second increments, stirring with the wooden stick each time until the soap is completely melted. You do not want to burn your soap!
- Add coffee grounds, and essential oil. Stir well.
- Carefully and quickly pour your soap into the molds. The soap does harden fast so you don’t have a lot of time.
Give the soap at least 3 hours to harden before popping out of the molds. I like to do 5 or 6 hours
There is nothing quite like the smell of luxurious coffee beans.
As you can see, I sprinkled some additional coffee grounds on top of the soap after it was poured into the molds. This gives it a nice gritty side for the shower.
I also let some bars plain on top, these cute “cupcake” coffee soaps are made just from cupcake liners and are a cheap and easy alternative to a silicon mold.
Once your soap is done wrap it up for gifts or store it in your bathroom in a pretty clear glass jar so you can admire your work. It really makes your bathroom feel more “spa like” in many ways.
Also see Homemade Poppyseed Citrus Soap Bars
I have made this recipe twice in the past two days, one day we had it for breakfast, lunch and dinner – it’s that good. Most people wouldn’t think of trying this flatbread recipe with swiss, they would go with mozzarella because it seems logical. But the flatbread has sweet honey butter baked into the bread and it compliments the swiss cheese oh so nicely.
Speaking of honey butter… it is so good! I make my own with a stick of room temperature butter and two tablespoons of raw honey. Whip it together with a fork and you have one amazing combination; it’s great on toast, flatbread and everything in between. I always keep it handy in the fridge.
A loaded flatbread with honey butter, sweet basil, swiss, tomatoes and bacon.
- The Dough:
- 3 cups self-rising flour
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup and 1 tablespoon warm water
- The Toppings:
- Honey Butter (1 stick of butter + 2 tablespoons raw honey)
- 2 cups shredded Swiss Cheese
- 1 cup crumbled Bacon (I use Turkey Bacon)
- 2 cups diced Tomatoes, seeded and drained
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh shredded Basil Leaves
- Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Add flour, oil and water to a bowl, mix well.
- Lightly flour a counter surface, knead, flatten and roll out the dough into the shape of a rectangle.
- Place the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and generously spread a thin layer of honey butter on top.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and add another layer of honey butter to the bread.
- Sprinkle with cheese, bacon and tomato evenly.
- Drizzle olive oil lightly over the entire flatbread.
- Bake for another 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven top with fresh basil leaves, cut and serve warm.
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