How we began…

kristy lash handbag designer beginning

Dave Crabtree and Kristy Lash hold their first leather side to be used to make the “Kristy” tote bag.

The history of “The Kristy Bag by CG” written by Sandi Crabtree.

Everyone loves a story. Ours is real and we think it’s definitely worth sharing. We are Dave and Sandi Crabtree and we own Crabtree Gardens, LLC a private garden located in a very picturesque agricultural area in Northeastern PA. We started out with some land and many “one day” future plans including developing a garden clothing line as well as a line of syrups made from the botanicals grown here. We are always looking to expand!

As we went along the universe began sending some amazing things our way and we were smart enough to be open to all of the possibilities. One of the many things that presented itself to us was a yoga community and through it came so many new friends and wonderful people.

One woman in particular, Kristy Lash who had just returned to the area following a divorce was a regular at yoga class. Kristy was crocheting yoga mat bags on consignment for our new gift shop. (Kristy by the way is our henna tattoo artist.) Her bags had crocheted shoulder straps. Dave suggested using leather straps that could be tooled with some designs for another option. They struck up a conversation about leather shoulder straps, each one of them having a good bit of knowledge about the subject. The conversation led to how Kristy had a passion for collecting designer handbags. Dave mentioned that he was a leather craftsman who himself had designed and fabricated leather bags in his earlier years. Kristy and Dave then began to discuss the possibilities of creating a line of custom made leather bags that were made here completely by hand. They decided to call their endeavor “The Kristy Bag by CG”. (CG represents Crabtree Gardens.) They agreed that Kristy would design a CG for their logo which would be hand tooled onto each bag they made.

It isn’t with any lack of design knowledge that Kristy hailed through the logo design. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Design and worked as a graphic designer. She has over a decade’s worth of time and dollars invested in collecting fine handbags. She even had a spare room turned into a handbag room where her prized possessions were stored in glass cases. When it comes to handbags, she knows what works and what doesn’t. She is astute to the design details that either make or break the bags. She doesn’t just use the bag she becomes connected with it. She beams about the nuances of each of her bags just as if they were cherished friends.

The opportunity for Kristy to design a handbag for herself was presented and she catapulted into it. She came up with The Kristy Bag design based on her ultimate wishes for size, leather weight, hand, color, stitching and hardware. The Kristy Bag by CG is just another chapter in the Crabtree Gardens ever blooming and changing business model. We are really looking forward to this!

All About Me

Kristy Lash handbag designer passionate about handbags

So you want to know all about me and my handbag line? Here is my interview with my friend and garden writer Sandi Crabtree.

Sandi: You have the largest collection of handbags of anyone that I know. How did you develop your love for handbags?

Kristy: I have always loved them. I was a girly girl from the beginning and knew you always needed accessories. What better accessory than a bag? From an early age, my mom fed into my obsession by promising me a new bag every month. It snowballed from there. Bags were now my thing. Everyone I knew waited for my newest bag and I couldn’t wait to show it off.

Sandi: What part of handbag collecting delighted you the most?

Kristy: It started as something pretty that made me happy then it went on to become a status symbol. As the years went by, I became more interested in all facets of the bag, from the design and the designer, to the materials and how it was made. I can’t imagine not being interested in bags or following the latest trends.

Sandi: Why are you so passionate about your bags?

Kristy: My bags have been with me through everything. I’ve celebrated different occasions by buying a new bag and when times were low I would buy a new bag to cheer myself up. I change bags based on the seasons as well as my moods.

Sandi: It sounds to me like handbags really are your passion. Where do you see your passion leading you?

Kristy: My love affair with bags has led me to design and develop my own line. I currently have six styles all in different phases of development. The tote is currently being constructed and my crossbody is still in the design stages. The satchel, clutch, wristlet and garden tote will be on the drawing board for 2015-2016.

Sandi: What are the specific selling points of the tote?

Kristy: This fine leather line is upscale. The leather has been European sourced. It retains its natural color and waterproofing has been hand applied to each piece prior to assembly. All parts of this bag are individually hand-cut, punched and stitched. The lining choice is unique to this bag as it is pigskin rather than fabric. I really wanted to stay with all natural materials for it but the stitching thread is synthetic and was chosen for its durability. I’ve also developed a special technique for the stitching but I can’t reveal that as of this time due to patent pending.

Sandi: When will the tote be available for sale?

Kristy: Orders are currently being accepted but finished product will not be available until mid-late fall. Just in time for the holiday season.

Sandi: What is the price point for the tote?

Kristy: Currently, the tote is the largest bag in our line and since we are a boutique business we sell direct to the consumer. $525 is the baseline for the tote. Modifications to the bag will directly affect the cost upwards.

Sandi: What do you mean by modifications?

Kristy: My goal is to work directly with the client to develop the right bag for him or her. My original design for The Kristy Bag can be modified to please even the most discerning client.

Sandi: Did you name your other bags?

Kristy: Great question! I’ve come up with something really unique. The other five (crossbody, satchel, clutch, wristlet and garden tote) will be named by the first client who places the order for that particular style. What man wouldn’t want his girl to have a bag named for her? I’m really looking forward to this whole process.

Sandi: One last question.

Kristy: Certainly.

Sandi: Do you have anyone interested in the garden tote yet? I think Sandi is a great name.

Kristy: If you buy it you can name it anything you want!

Kristy Lash handbag designer handbag collection