Tools of the leather trade used by Kahlil Johnson.

Tools of the leather trade used by Kahlil Johnson.

Kahlil Johnson – Leather

In 2001 Kahlil Johnson was living in New York City working as a Footwear designer during the day and taking Handbag Construction classes at night.  One day while struggling with a shoe fit she realized she would much rather make functional handbags than shoes. Since 2004 living in Truckee she does just that. Leather handbags and belts, wallets and bracelets Kahlil creates edgy yet timeless one of a kind pieces that make the perfect fit.

Were you cautioned or encouraged to follow through with your art as a means to make a living?

I was always encouraged. Why, I'm not so sure! I look back on some of those early bags and I think: Boy, have I come a long way.

What made you stick with it?

My shoe teacher encouraged me and I love what I do. Seeing my bags around town and out of town makes me smile. Someone is wearing something I made and it is working for them.

Is there a single purpose that keeps you focused?

I love making beautiful functional bags for men and women to carry their "life" around with them. I love going into my workshop and creating a three dimensional object out of two dimensional products.

Is there something the world should know about you and/or the leather work that you do?

My bags are made to be worn and worn out if possible.