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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – If at first you don’t succeed, turn that purse into a dress!
That’s not actually how the saying goes, but it rings true to one local business owner.
With a sewing machine as the instrument, the needle’s sharp pulses as the music, Wendy Downs orchestrates success to her own tune.
Wendy Downs built a successful bag company out of a terrible looking dress.
“I was a young teenage single mom and I was on welfare and working myself through school,” said Downs.
A creative soul, she grew up fast, and wanted to get into the business of making clothes. She started by attempting to make a dress.
“It didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to because I didn’t know how to make a dress and I ended up turning that in on itself, folding it in half, putting a handle on it and making a bag and it became the first bag I ever sold.”
And then she realized she had something.
“I would say that the 20-year-old me never could have imagined that the 40-year-old me would be in this place,” said Downs.
From welfare- to well-made minimalist bags.
“I don’t really feel that we fall in the luxury market. we make a bag that’s intended to be used day in and day out rain sunshine snow- drag it around with you until it dies.”
She called her company “Moop” for no particular reason.
“The name is completely arbitrary. I needed a website.”
She produces basic-colored bags that both men and women can use. Her workshop is nestled inside a store-front downtown.
“It’s cool its different,” said Jesse Caggiano, employee.
Caggiano is one of her workers.
“They see us making the product that they are hopefully going to be walking out with.”
Unintentional intimacy and a commitment to quality goods.
“Our leather that we use comes from a shoe manufacturer in upstate New York and we use his scraps,” said Downs.
Downs and her coworkers believe the company’s philosophy attracts the curious.
“When you come in here we are the people behind the product you are purchasing and everything we make, we make right here.”