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Making It In Edgewater, Pine and Plastic TOTES For All

View More: http://gcbphotography.pass.us/photosA little over a year ago, Andrew Wayne had a vivid dream in which he was wandering around a pine forest opening glass boxes that contained illuminated canvas bags of bright colors and minimalist designs. When he woke, he knew what the next chapter of his professional path would be. He vigorously began making intricately designed canvas bags and hasn’t looked back since. Such was the beginning of Pine and Plastic, a high-end, handmade tote bag company that resides here in Edgewater. Partner and co-founder Brett Aaron Marlow is the business’ branding, marketing, and communications extraordinaire, and the dynamic duo are changing the style of our everyday accessories and making waves in the fashion world.

“Both of us are perfectionists, and everything we make, every last stitch is done by hand,” says Andy. The couple prides themselves on having both the creativity and work ethic necessary to grow the business as they make quality handbags that can be seen in every Chicago neighborhood. Pine and Plastic was recently asked to sell their merchandise at Chicago’s Lollapalooza, and they couldn’t have been more thrilled to sit next to more well known designers as they listened to some of the their favorite bands.

The couple lives and works in Edgewater at one of the FLATS buildings. They use one of their rooms to live in and a second room for production. They are constantly re-inventing their totes and have new lines designed all the time. Typical fashion has become what Andy refers to as “fast fashion” — it comes out quickly with minimal quality control.

Andy and Brett consider each one of their bags a piece of art as they look to museums, home decor, and other interesting places for inspiration. They believe in supporting stores and artists that make things by hand. They feel a part of a larger movement of people who work tirelessly as they create authentic, quality and unique lines of clothing and accessories. They are very customer-centric and listen to them when creating new work because they know their consumers are central to their success.

The couple considers Edgewater their home. They contemplated many other neighborhoods in the city to maintain their booming business, but they can’t find any other area that compares.  “We love the people in the community and they have been so important to our careers. The support we get is above and beyond. We had a launch at the Swedish American Museum in November 2013 and have had many options of which independent boutiques can sell our bags. We are selective because we want to support other business owners who believe in the handmade movement. We want to keep it local in our hood and don’t want to over-saturate,” says Brett.

Check out their creations online and know they were made in Edgewater!


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