After meeting on Instagram, I knew I had to sit down with Melissa George, creator of W&G, and talk about her success as a local maker. The two of us met over coffee (of course...wink). We talked about networking, our shared obsession for good coffee, and what it's like to grow up in San Diego. Mel filled me in on her childhood and how she has always found herself working with her hands in one way or another. Having been raised from a crafty mum and a hands-on dad, Mel was made to be a maker.
In 2013, Melissa decided to go the affordable DIY route with her friend's Christmas presents. She whipped together her first clutches made from Mexican blankets and posted them on Instagram. Soon after, everyone wanted one! From then on, Mel knew she had something special.
I am driven by something that belongs to me. — Melissa George
Thinking long term, Mel knew she wanted a brand name that could eventually extend into the retail space. She needed something that could transition and would be timeless. Keeping this in mind, Mel thought, what better name to start with then her family name? Eventually after she combined "Walter" with "George" and Walter & George was born.
Once I started telling people about it, it was real. — Melissa George
Mel acquired a seller's permit and found a few vendors from which she could get supplies at whole sale. During this time she noticed how well a leather bag from Argentina held up over time and decided to make the switch to leather goods. She started with a few basic tools and began to make the items her friends requested. Being the #GIRLBOSS that she is, Mel quickly taught herself to stitch and the requests kept coming in!
If your looking for a way to give a little this holiday season @westelmsandiego has a great event going on tomorrow night!!! 👉👉 there are some amazing goodies that you can bid on at West Elm San Diego's Silent Auction!!! 🙌🙌🙌 For only $5 you can join the fun and every single dollar goes to St Jude Children's Research Hospital. They will also have food, drinks, music and raffle prizes! (Tap photo for vendors) #westelm #sandiego #stjude #silentauction #charityevent #local
After being asked to join in on West Elm San Diego's Silent Auction and their 24 Days of Christmas pop-up shop, W&G started to become a well-known name to local fashionistas. Since then, Mel has launched their website, and continued to expand on the variety of their leather goods, from key fobs, to bracelets, coasters, and more!
Each item in the W&G shop is a labor of love and "made entirely by hand, from the cutting, dying, stitching to the burnishing of the edges." Mel's work is impeccably crafted and designed with a clean and simple esthetic that stands the test of time.
In love with Mel's goods? You can find Walter & George online or in person this weekend at Makers Arcade from 11am-5pm. She'll be offering a few special items that aren't yet on her online shop like these darling card holders from above.
photos c/o Melissa George