CHEYENNE – After working out of her garage for four years making jewelry and leather handbags, Cheyenne’s Lexie Garrett has opened a studio downtown.
Her business, Alexis Drake, features modern accessories that encompass the heritage of the West. According to Garrett, everything they make is simple, which allows the personality of their customers to be what shines through.
“Your personality is the essence of who you are, and the accessories take on that style,” Garrett said. “It’s effortless style for everyday wear.”
Garrett certainly knows what it means to be going in many directions. She continues to be an art teacher at McCormick Junior High in addition to opening her downtown shop Feb. 8. She also has an Airstream she takes to locations throughout the region that serves as a pop-up shop, allowing her to spread the word about Alexis Drake.
It was actually a holiday pop-up shop downtown that prompted her to open her current studio location. She and her team usually hold a several-day holiday shop for their customers, but decided to have a longer event in the Finishing Touches business this year. It lasted from November to January.
“We fell in love with the energy down here,” Garrett said. “We’ve always known that this would be our next step. We were just trying to find the right place, and this space was just right and the timing was good.”
Her building includes work space in the back where her team makes all of her custom creations, and in the working studio, customers get to be part of her design process.
“I want that connection to the customer so we can make them happy,” Garrett said. “The idea behind our studio is it’s a working studio so the customer is part of the process. That’s pretty unique as far as handbag and accessory creation.”
Alexis Drake offers 25 different purse styles, and each one can be fully customized by customers. Clients get to choose many parts of their bag, including the color of the leather, fabric for the lining, interior pocket colors, stitching color and hardware style.
When customers come into the studio to make these choices, they get to see the bag creation in person as well as meet with Alexis Drake team members.
Production manager Sarah O’Donnell helps clients with the customization of their handbag, while seamstress Rachel Allen is in the studio sewing the leather bags on one of two large German industrial leather sewing machines they have affectionately dubbed Bertha and Helga.
For those who are overwhelmed by the prospect of choosing every aspect of a bag, the shop offers bags that are already designed and ready for purchase.
Garrett has several ideas for how to maximize her studio space. She said they are hosting birthday parties and wedding and baby showers in the studio, and they are also getting ready to offer workshops where people can make and customize their own leather bracelets.
Looking to the future, Garrett hopes to someday open a second retail space, possibly in Jackson. She is also launching home parties in places like Colorado and Texas as a way to increase awareness for her brand. She plans to bring in other retail items like sunglasses and hats as well as other small branded gift items.
The new studio is located at 307½ Lincolnway. Business hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.