Richard Lossing doesn’t need to outsource much. When it comes to his growing business, Mode Populour, he’s done an incredible job of handling almost all the details. His touch can be seen in M.P.’s sleek webpage and all the way down to some of the store’s furniture he designed and built.
For the past six years, Lossing has been making his own one-of-a-kind wallets and handbags. It all started as a personal project to create something handy.
- PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
“One day I decided I wanted to make a messenger bag, which I did, and it was a lot of fun doing that,” he said, “so I just kept going.”
Soon, Lossing was able to sell his creations at farmers markets in the summer. That venture proved to be very lucrative, so Lossing put up his own Etsy shop. In November of last year, he decided M.P. needed a physical location and moved into the basement of Old World Rugs, which is owned by Lossing’s father.
Now the shop features more than 120 wallets, which Lossing says are investments in your accessory-future.
“The vinyl holds up great. I always use my own wallets, and I’ve been carrying this one around for a year,” he said, reaching into his back pocket to pull out a near-pristine example of his own work.
While his focus may be on wallets, Lossing has produced a number of unbelievably original handbags, messenger bags, iPad cases, and totes. Some products feature such unique materials as Batman sheets from the 1970s or re-purposed vintage sweaters. One bag in Lossing’s repertoire features a large, hand-sewn ragdoll.
“I kind of just made this one for fun,” he said. “I occasionally like to make things that are really just visual pieces.”
Some of Lossing’s other work includes repurposed sunglasses and vinyl dangle-earrings.
Whatever the product, he makes sure it carries M.P.’s one-of-a-kind feel.
“I get most of my materials from thrift stores,” he said. “This wallet has a cool badge from Kenya on it that I found in a thrift store.”
All of the bags and wallets are designed and sewn by Lossing, with some help from his sister-in-law. Lossing took a few fashion design classes at Cuesta College, but his craft was completely self-taught.
“It took some practice,” he said, “but it’s been really fun experimenting with materials. I’ve been getting into making stuff with leather now.”
Lossing has opened M.P.’s new location to a few other artists to showcase their work and is participating in Art After Dark. The new store’s location makes it a perfect hangout for people to share a few beers and enjoy some great, handmade, local products.
“When we moved in, it was a dirt floor. I bought few hay barrels for $8, threw them down on the floor, put a couple of couches down here, and now it’s a great place to listen to some tunes, have some beers, and just chill out,” Lossing said.
His wallets are priced around $20 to $25, depending on the style. That’s a far cry from some of the more outrageous and outlandish price tags normally seen on Esty.
Mode Populour’s products can be purchased on Etsy at mpwallets.etsy.com. For contact info, pictures and more, check out Lossing’s website, modepopshop.com, or visit its Facebook page.
The California Transplant Donor Network has spent the last week promoting the significant role organ and tissue donations can play in saving lives. The donation drive was coordinated by anatomy and physiology teacher Jon Paul Ewing of Paso Robles High School, resulting in nearly 140 students registering as organ and tissue donors, a sufficient number to potentially save more than 1,000 lives. For more information about registering as a donor visit ctdn.org.
Contributing writer Maeva Considine compiled this week’s Strokes & Plugs. Send your nonprofit and business news to email@example.com.