ode boutique

Designer Feature

All Hands designer Jennifer Stilwell

March 14, 2014

Jennifer Stilwell, designer of All Hands, our newest handmade line of leather goods, is all heart and spirit. Traveler, artist, seafarer, adventurer, and do-gooder, her designs embody the way she lives. Both have a raw exhuberance for life and a reverence for the natural world. 

Stilwell recounts: "I was traveling the globe as an integral member of an artisan development fund aimed at promoting and supporting indigenous artisans. In order to combat the extreme solitude that sometimes comes with living at sea, I set up a portable leather studio in the bow of the ship."

Her handbags are unlike anything we've ever seen. So much love and time and craftsmanship have clearly gone into each piece. The leather is vegetable dyed, and every "imperfection" is testament to the fact that the animal from which it was made was able to roam freely throughout its life.  

"It is my goal to start with domestic production of goods," Stilwell says, "and over time to move at least 50% of production overseas to artisan groups and women’s collectives in order to help support a sense of purpose, pride, better wages and fairer working conditions. I feel more comfortable putting things out into the world that were constructed by hand and by limited means of production. I take great pride in helping people empower themselves through craftsmanship."


















Her promise: "All of my products are made by hand, whether it be in a small local workshop, in my studio in NYC, or in the portable studio I travel with wherever I may roam."