OUR STORY + TIMELINE
Alexis Drake was developed in 2003 as a jewelry company. Hand-cast + fashion forward, the concept of creating a collection of effortless style paired with the heritage of the west began to take shape.
While living in Chicago, we (my husband Tyler + I), enjoyed adult life + city living, it opened many doors + provided some amazing experiences. Tyler went to law school + I shlepped my collection all over town to art fairs + shows to gain any + all exposure. The jewelry collection found its way to over 30 boutiques in + around the Midwest. Additionally, a few pieces of the collection made its way to Macy’s on State Street, in downtown Chicago.
In 2007, the joy of parenting took the reins + allowed for us a slower pace. We moved back to the wild west of Cheyenne, Wyoming (our hometown) to raise a family.
I set Alexis Drake aside while being a mom + getting a masters degree. The company kept simmering + I kept scheming when the next collection would appear to launch the company back into the light.
In 2013, while teaching elementary Art education, I decided it was time to relaunch Alexis Drake. The excitement of the new collection was well received, but I knew that it was just the beginning. It was time to expand the collection + the product offering into something bigger.
The first handbag was designed in 2014. Rough + unrefined aside, the prototype sold while I wore it while in line getting coffee. (Crazy, right!!)
In 2015, the company mades its first major investment to keep all production in-house. We purchased “Bertha”—the first industrial leather sewing machine. The amazing adventure of designing + handcrafting handbags begun.
As quickly as handbags were sewn, they sold + orders started flowing in. Web traffic increased as well as customer word-of-mouth. Customers could choose their stitching + hardware color to customize their handbag. This was NEW!—-an affordable way to customize your own handbag. (What!?)
We began hosting Pop-up Shops in historic vacant spaces around downtown Cheyenne. These temporary shops created a retail venue, since all production was happening in our garage. Seasonal events continued as demand increased. In 2016, Amelia, a 23’ vintage Airstream was purchased + we renovated her as a rolling showroom.
In 2017, after doubling production + purchasing “Helga” —Bertha’s twin, the need for additional “woman power” was essential for growth. We hired some amazing employees to help take on demand. Additionally, the launch of the Every Day Collection allowed for complete customization. Choosing leather, lining, hardware color + stitching was available to customers. Again, a unique + affordable way for customers to be part of the process.
We opened our flagship retail store + working studio in February 2019, this finally allowed customers to experience the process in person—(a little fancier than the garage!) The addition of 2 more industrial leather machines, “Dirk” + “Lars” allowed for more handbags + employees as well as being part of the historic downtown Cheyenne community!
Today, not only can customers shop the current inventory + customize any of our 26 plus styles, but they can see our production team at work making AND be part of the process.
Customers can also participate in various workshops to experience making in other creative ways. Scrap parties + bracelet making parties + more can be experienced while making in our working studio.
We are so grateful to our customers + supporters of our small business. The opportunity to share the custom experience + process is what we love + will continue to expand on. Virtual appointments, in-person appointments, + personal shopping are always available as our retail landscape continues to change + grow.
Come visit us + be part of the custom process!
XO ---- Alexis