A Fresno business that hand-makes bags is growing its' line and its' customers base

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- "This bag has been through Sweden, England and we tested it," said Chief Creative Director, Bibi Bielat.

A lot of miles and a lot of work has been put into Iron+Copper+Bronze's newest creation.

"For the past four years, people have been asking for them: backpack, backpack, backpack. I've been making all the other bags and we have not had time to design the backpack, so this was the year where we were like, this has to get done," said Cathy Caracciolo.

Cathy Caracciolo is the Chief Bag Lady at the Fresno based company, where she handmakes and hand stitches bags from waxed canvas and leather.

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Fresno business's journey to make the 'perfect bag' and why they are passionate about keeping it here in the Valley.

Cathy says it took time to sew the perfect backpack to make sure it was the right fit and the right look. She and Bibi Bielat are proud of their designs.

"What I love is this outside pocket is easily accessible," said Bielat.

In addition to their new backpack, which they will be unveiling at the Old Town Flea Market, they have also expanded their line of bags with a new all leather clutch.

In the past four years, the small business has grown its' line to include nine handcrafted bags.

"Cathy's still making most of the bags, we have some help here in the Central Valley, a small family shop is helping us make some of the bags and we hope to expand that," said Bielat.

The demand for the bags caused them to look at other manufacturing locations, but they remain passionate about keeping jobs here in the Valley. They also have long-term goals for their business.

"Maybe someday we'll have our own bag making factory here in Central Valley and a storefront. We'd like to have that combined, but its when the time is right, " said Bielat.

For now, the owners say they are committed to growing their business slowly and keeping it as local as they can, so they can keep crafting what they love.

"We started this as a hobby we thought we might make 20-30 bags a year and now we're making thousands of bags a year. Its grown into something we had never imagined," said Bielat.

A dream that has now taken their American and Valley made creations around the world.
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