Leather Crafting, Textile Design & Artistry

Kimberly Joy Trathen

Backstitched Design, founded in 2008, is a one-woman textile design studio born from the love of sewing, second-hand shopping, and upcycling. At the heart of the studio is the commitment to designing and creating unique leather bags, accessories, and quilts out of reclaimed materials. The work is inspired by vintage and contemporary designs, particularly mid-century and surrealist art motifs, geometric and abstract patterns and stark color combinations. Each piece is individually designed and sewn from the materials at hand, predominately repurposed leather coats and second-hand textiles. This process makes Backstitched Design pieces one-of-a-kind and illustrates a high regard to individuality and sustainability.


I am a leather and textile artist originally from Okemos, MI and currently living in Thomas, WV and Brussels Belgium. I run a one-woman design studio – Backstitched Design – where I create unique handbags, accessories, and two-dimensional wall hangings out of reclaimed leather jackets and textiles. I started working in textiles eight years ago with a deep commitment to designing and producing in an environmentally and socially sound way. Since my humble beginnings, I’ve sold my work in various capacities and have shown my work at numerous venues nationally and internationally.

Since 2011, I’ve divided my time between Brussels, Belgium where I study under Eric Beauduin, a master fashion and accessories designer, and Thomas, WV where I help run the White Room Art Gallery.