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Behind Boutonné

Erin Pechtel’s golden hair actually falls in perfect golden waves around her shoulders.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to have my own line, design pieces and run my own business,” she says.

Her minimalist, achingly clean studio has white floors and ceilings and a stylish, papier-maché-esque feature wall (white, of course) and is housed within a historic San Diego warehouse. Her brand, Boutonné, means ‘stylishly put together’ (from the French ‘buttoned’) and she spends her days conceiving clean, classic bag designs which she then makes herself - stitching raw denim and oiling leather late into the warm San Diego nights.

She’s humble, her immaculate fingernails are painted shades of grey and she doesn’t even come close to taking her success for granted.

I mean, come on. Can someone really be this flawless?

Despite an excruciating lack of imperfections, Erin is exceptionally likeable.

Before the “leap of faith”, she was studying fine arts and running a stationery shop in Nashville while she quietly plotted her first foray into retail.

“I arrived at a place in my life where I was able to take a leap of faith, so I just did it!” Erin says, when I ask her about starting up her own graphic, web and product design business.

“It most certainly was a bit of a leap and has been the most wonderful adventure.”

Her dream took time to take shape, and ultimately took her back to her hometown of San Diego. Throughout the process though, Erin remained adamant about one thing: whatever she made would be clean, simple and timeless.

Boutonné began life as a graphic and web design company, and was just over four months old when they launched their first range of bags. Their classic totes made from vintage fabrics and leather were the talk of San Diego. A subsequent collection was a no brainer, and the new aesthetic a natural progression.

“I wanted the collection to be beautiful and rugged,” says Erin. “The indigo denim and oiled leather combine to make pieces that will wear over time and become more beautiful as you break them in.”

Elegantly sturdy and perfectly put together, Boutonné’s latest bags are as flawless as their designer. Speaking of which, I’d almost given up hope on finding Erin’s imperfection when she finally comes out with: “Though I grew up at the beach, I don’t like swimming in the ocean.”

And I realize that this is as badass as Erin Pechtel gets.


Boutonné bags are available here, here and here.