Did you wake up one morning with the idea that you wanted to make luxurious handbags?
I’ve always been an accessories girl, and when traveling I began noticing women all over the world carrying the same few top logo driven labels, which inspired me to create an understated line of luxury accessories with the unique charm of a boutique brand. You will not find my TE logo on the exteriors of any of my designs because I believe the craftsmanship, fascinating silhouettes and impeccable materials speak for themselves. My seasonless collections are named not chronology but rather after meaningful destinations because I design pieces that are meant to remain relevant for generations to come.
I’m thrilled you chose to highlight my signature Lee Pouchet, which is one of the most carried clutches on Hollywood’s international red carpets. What I appreciate most about this silhouette is its remarkable ability to transition from day to night. Wear it cross body with jeans and a tee-shirt or pair it with a super chic cocktail dress for a night on the town – both looks are perfection! It holds all the essentials – the large iPhone, lip gloss, keys, credit cards and mints and I love the hidden back pocket – it’s great for valet tickets or receipts.
How long did it take you before you launched your own company?
I launched my company under the Tyler Alexandra (my middle name) label in 2011 leaving off Ellis because I felt I needed to earn my last name rather than just use it. During the Alexandra years, I worked hard perfecting designs and hardware, building the right team and making sure the back end of the company was running like a well-oiled machine. In 2017, when I felt confident and proud of what I had built, I changed the name to Tyler Ellis, finally ready to create my own Ellis legacy.
You work with craftspeople in Italy, tell me more about these people, their skills, their passion?
It took me over three years to find my factory, which was the beginning of a unique partnership founded upon principles of genuine respect for each other and the thoughtful work that goes into designing and producing each handbag. My designs are handcrafted at a multi-generationally owned factory in Le Sieci, Italy. The intricate production process takes between two and three days to construct each handcrafted piece depending upon design details and the materials used. Satins and crushed velvets are manually backed to provide extra stability, leathers and skins are cut by hand to ensure ultimate precision and Swarovski crystals are heat-stamped on to obtain maximum durability. From the beautifully hand-stitched accents to the meticulously hand-painted edges to the striking hardware customized for each design, the highly trained indigenous artisans utilize their honed skills to bring my visions to life.
The term: ‘quality’, not only refers to craftsmanship, but also the importance of visual appeal and the materials used. In the elite world of true luxury, reputation is all you have and in order to obtain ultimate worth, a product must achieve levels of excellence in each of these areas. When you purchase a TE product you are returning to the purest form of luxury.
As a small business owner, tell me how the pandemic - virus has impacted on your business?
My factory is based outside of Florence, Italy, a country terribly affected by COVID-19. Thankfully, our artisans and partners are all healthy and have safely returned to work. As an independent luxury business, I understand the incredible economic strain this unforeseen pandemic has placed on millions of people. I will continue to pay all TE employees and contractors in full throughout this difficult time.
From the beginning, my business model has been to focus on direct to consumer sales and COVID-19 has confirmed my strategy. I am an independently owned boutique brand, yet most of my competitors are widely known fashion houses. My product can easily get lost in department stores and larger retail spaces, because clients need and deserve to understand who the brand is and what they are paying for. Brand education is of the utmost importance to new shoppers and the retail conglomerates do not have the bandwidth to provide detailed information about every brand they carry.
I recently launched Bespoke by Tyler Ellis, a service that offers our clients a personally tailored shopping experience, connecting you directly with a member of our dedicated concierge team to customize your one-of-a-kind handbag. This highly curated program allows you to hand select every decorative aspect of your bag including; skin/material, hardware, embroidery or engraving and will be delivered to your home in just a few weeks.
I was in London just after I met you , I went to Joseph’s and fell in love with a python silver gold bag , I left the store without asking who the designer was and the sales associate let me go without telling me! I discovered later it was your Jamie Doctor bag ! Why Jamie Doctor ?
All of my pieces are named after close friends, family and pets. Jamie is one of my British best friends, who I met traveling in Anguilla around 10 years ago...crazy how time flies! She’s a wonderful, ambitious woman, who just opened Jab, an incredible boxing gym located in London. Her mother Candy and sister Kelly also have namesake bags.
Tyler make us dream, Tell us about life in LA, red carpets and celebrities.
Hollywood has been very kind to my brand, as we have become the most carried bags on the red carpet. It means the world when talented, powerful, beautiful women like Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lopez, Oprah and Reese Witherspoon choose to carry my bags, as they have anything and everything at their fingertips. We are uncertain as to what the future will bring, but I have faith that we will be watching these fabulous women strut the carpets again in the near future!
My husband and are very thankful to be living in LA, especially during COVID, as we have phenomenal weather, a pool, green grass for our puppies to run around in and delicious local restaurants with new outdoor seating venues. We do pray every day that the illnesses will end, small businesses will get back on their feet and life will return to some sort of normalcy, but we must admit, we are very lucky to live out here.