Handbag, accessories shop Kindred Spirit Style
to open on Cooper-Young’s First Thursday Night Out
By Crystal Russell/MicroMemphis reporter
April 2, 2013 – One of a kind handmade handbags made in the U.S.A. is Patti Yancey’s signature.
Yancey, designer and owner of handbag specialty brand Kindred Spirit Style, is opening her first storefront shop at 2172 Cooper-Young, next door to Loudean’s. She has been a faithful vendor of the Cooper-Young Festival for the past two years, and decided the neighborhood is the best complement to her trade.
“I have found that people in this area appreciate a handmade product. Basically our bags are like art, except we use fabric instead of paint,” Yancey said.
And fabric she has. Hundreds of rolled up fabric swatches line the walls of her new design room, just one of the four rooms in the old-home-turned-shop location. Customers can design their own bags in-store with the fabrics, and one of Patti’s seven stay at home seamstresses will get to work on the product order.
Ready-made products are also on display. Kindred Spirit Style not only sells handbags, but also backpacks, prayer crosses, wall art, garment bags, aprons, chef hats, soaps, scrubs, lip balm, jewelry, headbands, brooches, button barrettes, sunglass pouches and more, all handmade. The most expensive item in store is $99, and is Yancey’s favorite of her handbags because it doubles as a messenger and backpack.
Ladies from a non-profit charity called Fayette Cares make the prayer crosses that are sold in store. The jewelry is made by Brooke Ward Designs. The soaps, scrubs and lip balms are made by a nurse who practices laser aesthetics.
“Our company is about providing jobs in America. If people believe in helping others get jobs, they should come buy a product,” Yancey said.
In February of 2010, Yancey dreamt up Kindred Spirit Style. She began selling her handbags through wholesale and retail to stores such as Paisley Pineapple and Persnickety in Mississippi, and Céleste in Arlington. Plans for a storefront never crossed her mind until a prospective retail vendor suggested it to her.
“She came to my door selling purses,” said June Taylor, co-owner of Loudean’s. “I wouldn’t say I talked her into it, but I certainly encouraged her. We really wanted a neighbor that complemented what we do at Loudean’s and it certainly does. You know, they can bring their outfit over and she can whip them up a purse, and I just know that we’re going to be good for each other’s business.”
Kindred Spirit Style will open its doors at 10 a.m. on Cooper-Young’s First Thursday Night Out on April 4 and will stay open until 9 p.m. Regular store hours are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.