BEHIND THE BRAND
Kedzie Avenue was created by me, Sofia Perez in 2016. Its focus has been to create eco-friendly, colorful, and waterproof accessories. All items are handmade in Chicago with ethically sourced materials.
With a degree & background in dance, I've always felt a pull towards sewing and dabbled in it since I was young, but never fully pursued it. KA emerged from the aftermath of at devastating bike accident that left me unable to work for a hot second. Through that time, I only had use of one arm and was suffering a bout of depression. Figuring a way to pull myself up and out, I made use of my trusty sewing machine, a vague idea, and a crap-ton of time on my hand(s).
I had already made a few waxed canvas bags and played with the idea of hand dying the fabric beforehand, but wanted more of a hands on process to the coloring of it. So with one arm, I figured out a way to paint my fabric, sew it, and seal the color in with the beeswax. Having no formal training in painting or pattern-making, I approached drafting patterns with the concept of chance operations until coming to my current final patterns.
I started making bags with nothing but canvas fabric because as much as I loved the look of leather, I couldn't bring myself to use it. I also didn't want to go down the road of faux leather because of how poorly it is for the environment. I originally used canvas and figured out a way to imitate the look of real leather with only canvas and was successful! The trade off of making my own straps from scratch vs using cut faux/real leather was worth its weight in gold to me.
With figuring out how to's off of youtube and artist pictures for (only) inspiration, I created my own technique of painting and waxing my own bags with some hefty trial and errors. All of that led me to what you currently see in my shop now!
First waxed canvas prototype circa 2015.
First KA waxed canvas purse circa 2016.
First KA purse with brown canvas straps circa 2017