Arkansas designer makes handcrafted bags, accessories
By HELAINE WILLIAMS
Nov. 12, 2017
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — That gorgeous, clean-lined satchel bag with the contrasting stitching looks like it might be a Kate Spade or a Michael Kors, right?
It may be a Dower.
Dower is the brand name of the line of carefully handcrafted bags and other accessories produced by Jack Lloyd, a Little Rock leather artisan who sells his work online and at special events such as Holiday House, the Junior League of Little Rock holiday market that runs Wednesday-Saturday at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.
Lloyd cuts and sews his products by hand, working mostly with vegetable-tanned English bridle leather from Wickett and Craig, a 150-year-old Pennsylvania company. Among the collection of Dower belts, wallets and bags is Lloyd's most popular piece: the sleek Alie Handbag ($425), the elongated satchel named for his mother and, Lloyd says on his website, "directly inspired by a vivid time in my youth spent at the local bowling alley." Other products include the One of a Kind Tote ($325), the Zipper Pouch ($75), several unisex wallets ($48-$128), and two men's belt styles ($75-$85).
Lloyd comes from a fashion background. He was an associate designer for G-III Apparel Group Ltd. in New York, working with the head designer in the Kenneth Cole division for women's outerwear. The job, however, "felt a little too cookie-cutter." Lloyd acquired his leather crafting experience while working several years with the late Joe Brogdon of Little Rock, maker of JoeB vintage-leather belts and bags.
"I had been wanting to make accessories for a really long time," Lloyd told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette , "and then once I started learning what I learned working for him, it translated into things that I wanted to do." His first public showing was at Art in the Bar a couple of years ago.
Since then, the Alie bag has earned him a runner-up spot in the Style category of Garden & Gun magazine's 2016 Made in the South Awards.
The compliments Lloyd gets on his creations fall in line with the things he loves most about them — their clean lines.
"That's exactly what I'm going for ... clean and simple," he said. "I'm also trying to make things timeless."
The bags carry a lifetime guarantee.
This year will be Dower's second year at Holiday House. Lloyd will also appear with his goods at: The Little Craft Show on Nov. 24-25 in the Fayetteville Town Center and Art of the Bar on Dec. 10 in Little Rock.
Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com