Panhandle Craftswomen

Local News

This is a question for the ladies. 

What’s in your handbag?  Take a minute;  think of all that you carry.  The contents are the lifeblood of your day, but have you ever thought about the story of that bag– The leather, the stitching, the art that goes into constructing a piece of your life you probably couldn’t do without?

Becca White and Libby Lane have.  They do every single day. 

“This leather had a story before it became a bag and now it’s going to have a whole new story once you start carrying it,” Amarillo native and owner / designer of M Street Studio, Becca White said.

Her love for creating started years ago at Amarillo High School in metalsmithing classes.  Fast-forward many years later.  White lived on the M Streets in Dallas; while living there, she decided she would start designing bags, jewelry, and accessories.  Her studio is named after that first studio she worked out of in the M Streets. 

For Bushland-raised Libby Lane, owner / designer of Libby Lane Studio, the love affair with leather began while studying Fashion Design at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago during a private tour of a tannery there. 

“I got to see the steps, smell everything,” Lane explained.  “I bought leather.  I took it back to school and I just started making stuff.”

“I connected being raised on a farm in Bushland.  My dad raised cattle- so I immediately connected the saddle makers, boot makers here,” Lane continued.  “Just going from the meatpacking plants to seeing the final product in hide form is extraordinary.”

And for both ladies, necessity was the mother of invention.  Neither could find a bag that met their needs, so easy enough– they just made their own. 


“I call them working bags because they’re not like your fancy bags that you’re taking out once a year,”  White said.  ” They are bags you carry every day.  You put all your stuff in it, and you’re lugging your life around town.”

Lane expressed a similar sentiment.  

“We’d be gone from 8 in the morning to 10 at night,”  she said.  “It had to be sturdy, stylish– something to take to work, to workout, to dinner, and for cocktails.”
 
Now, both designers, from right here in Amarillo, have created and sold thousands and thousands of bags.

Their markets– literally– the world. You can see M Street bags in Switzerland, France, New York and California.

“A lot of times, I don’t know them personally, but I always want to go up and introduce myself– I don’t do that– my husband tells me not to,” White laughed. 

Libby Lane bags have been featured in Vogue, Vogue Japan, Martha Stuart Living, Texas Monthly and beyond.


“I think what really interested people was that it was made in Texas from American-tanned leather.  There’s just a story in itself there,” Lane said. 

A story handcrafted right here in the Texas Panhandle.

Both Libby and Becca said there is more failure than there is success, but that they continue to be inspired by the customers who carry their designs.  They’re hopeful for the future of their houses– expansion is on the horizon– all while maintaining that special handcrafted Panhandle feel that makes their pieces so unique.

You can visit Libby Lane’s storefront at 1402 SW 15th Ave in Amarillo or give them a call at  (806) 414-7269

More information from Becca and M Street Studio is available at www.mstreetstudio.com.

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