Learn about a Miami University grad who’s making the world more fashionable — one American made, hand-crafted bag at a time — all based right here in Ohio.
For just over three years, FOUNT has been designing, cutting, and sewing beautiful and unique leather goods from their Ohio-based (downtown Cleveland to be specific) studio.
The company is headed up by Phillip and Jackie Wachter — Jackie is a Miami University alum who graduated in 2005. The two started FOUNT out of their apartment in Cleveland Heights in 2014, and named the business FOUNT, which means an abundant source of desirable quality, from an old hymn performed by Sufjan Stevens.
“What began simply as a passion project quickly grew into something more,” explains Phillip. “After a few months of starting the company, we moved FOUNT to a studio downtown and began bringing people onto the team.”
Since their launch in 2014, the team has grown from two people to 36 people, and recently celebrated the opening of a new location.
FOUNT has two showroom storefronts, one in the Cleveland neighborhood of Gordon Square on the city’s westside and another location in The Short North of Columbus.
The ultimate inspiration for FOUNT was to be creative and celebrate their love for quality goods. “Both quality crafted products that are heirloom in nature and quality work environments for our team members,” says Phillip. “Also, classic clean lines and simplicity are design cues that we gravitate toward as a company.”
When you shop FOUNT you’ll find all forms of leather fashion accessories, including totes, handbags, cross body, bags, duffels, backpacks, wallets, hair accessories, jewelry, and even leather turbans. According to Phillip, prices at FOUNT range from $22 to $1,440, while the average price of a bag is $400.
According to Phillip, the design, cut, and sew of everything sold by FOUNT is done in Cleveland and made from fine Italian leather. And that’s what makes the company unique, he adds. “We follow a direct-to-consumer business model, allowing us to sell a higher quality product at a much lower price point than our competitors who are producing their bags overseas and selling through department stores or boutiques,” says Phillip.
Phillip and Jackie are looking forward to what’s to come in 2017. “We have several new designs in the works including a few smaller cross body designs and small accessories are excited to launch soon,” he says.
Belts, dog collars, and leashes are also in the near future. Phillip says FOUNT hopes to open a combined retail and production facility so that the public can tour the studio and watch the hand crafting of leather products on a daily basis.