These gorgeous bags are the handiwork of Jess Goehner, the mastermind behind the label Directive, a line of bags and accessories for men and women - each made with unique, hand painted canvas and faux leather.
Jess has been sewing since she was a little girl and she had always thought she would go to school for fashion design. In high school, she changed directions and headed toward fine art. A few years later, her black army surplus messenger bag was on its last legs and Hover Craft's deadline for call for vendors was nearing -- she became inspired, bought fabric and made the two samples she submitted to Hover Craft.
Hover Craft, of course, accepted her. Those bags were amazing. This was in 2012.
Jess is one of the artists we are insanely happy to have back consecutive years. Her ability to diversify her product line, while acquiring new skills in order to consistently offer a higher quality item is pretty great. She is one of the makers in Milwaukee Hover Craft was able to witness the birth of her line and then watch it as she continues to develop it.
Jess explains, "From the beginning Directive was fully hands-on for me. I draft all of my bag designs by hand and I hand paint all of the canvas as well. My hope is for Directive goods to be special to someone because of the personal, wabi-sabi of each item. In a dream world I would make all my own hardware - though I am currently talking to some local metal smiths about producing custom hardware designs with them. Directive is also constantly moving forward, as a self-taught maker I've had a lot of mistakes, but the feedback I get from customers and the pep-talks I get from other makers and friends really keep me going."
Lately Directive has been expanding into furniture as a collaboration with Hounds Tooth Wood Werk, who will also be at Hover Craft tomorrow.
"I see mass consumption slowly dwindling - anyone can find a candle, some earrings, a scarf, or a bag from a chain store. But the originality and quality of these items is also dwindling. I think the world is growing keener on durable, handmade goods again especially if we know the source of these items. To me this means that all of the makers in Hover Craft are in a perfect situation to appeal to the public and help us move away from mass produced items and get involved in our community again," says Jess.
The four ladies who put on Hover Craft couldn't agree more. See you all tomorrow for the 5th annual Hover Craft. Thank you for following along these past few weeks - we are excited to show you all what we have in store.