Libertyville bag-maker ‘Kickstarting’ new label
Updated: April 22, 2013 2:46AM
LIBERTYVILLE — A custom purse purveyor is aiming for the other half of the market with the launch of their new label for men.
LexiWynn has been around since 2006, allowing female customers to design a handbag to their own specifications. All the bags are manufactured in Libertyville.
The brainchild of Alexa Holzwarth, the company has had her husband, Seth Holzwarth, on board since 2010.
After years of watching Alexa struggle for years to produce prototypes of her bags, Seth said he is happy to be going through the process with their newly-minted label for men, Cross Bags.
Cross is Alexa’s maiden name and also a play on words, because the men’s messenger bags have cross-body straps.
Having seriously committed to the project in the middle of 2012, the Holzwarths are now running a campaign on Kickstarter, a popular website used by all sorts of companies and people to raise money for a new business, a non-profit endeavor and other fundraisers.
Supporters of the campaign can pledge as little as $1, but pledges of $10 or more come with a reward from the LexiWynn and Cross Bags team, including actual Cross Bags products.
The goal is to raise $20,0000. By Valentine’s Day, more than 50 supporters pledged over $6,000 toward the campaign, which ends March 6.
Though they only have a short time to raise $15,000, Seth said that it will be a worthwhile process even if they don’t hit their target.
“Our goals are more marketing goals,” he said. “It’s pre-selling. Can we find 500 customers here where it might take us six months to do it otherwise?”
Whether or not the money is raised, Seth said the Cross Bags brand is a go.
Customers have been asking for a men’s product for a few years now, he said. Two years ago, Alexa made a messenger bag as a gift for Seth and he still uses it today.
“I’ve grown up fairly addicted to gear, really good gear,” he said. “My father was in the military, my brother is an engineer, my sister is a scientist and we always do a lot of stuff outdoors.”
Now Seth and Alexa are both hoping that a Cross Bag will become a must-have piece of gear for their customers.
But Alexa, calls herself the more pragmatic of the two, says she is realistic.
“I give it a 50-50,” she said. “Most of the backers will probably still want to order a bag. So the worst case scenario is that we’ll have 30 orders in February and that will make it a good month for us at an otherwise slow time of year.”
Seth said he is more emotionally invested, but added it is a positive campaign no matter what.
“It’s been a great experience,” he said.
To back the campaign on Kickstarter, search for Cross Bags at www.kickstarter.com.