Want the hands-free IT bag for summer? Meet Chicago designer and founder of 84Rockwell– Bridget McDermott! After working in television and having three adorable children, Bridget wanted to be the boss of her next career. She launched her line of trendy belt-bags just this past October. They are available in boutiques throughout Chicagoland (VMR, Runway, Juniper, Enaz) and online at 84Rockwell.com. 84Rockwell bags are manufactured in her hometown of Chicago and crafted with luxe leather or suede and signature hardware. The ‘Daley’ Xrossover is 84R’s original and staple bag that Bridget launched this past October. The Xrossover comes in 8 colors to compliment any look. The ‘Gabby’ Fringe recently made its debut for Spring/Summer and also comes in 8 colors. This is the perfect bag to add to your look for festivals this summer! Want to know more about Bridget? Check out the interview below (along with images of her amazing bags)!
P.S.- Shop 84Rockwell and receive 10% off when you enter promo code: ‘trendsohard’ at checkout online at 84rockwell.com through June 30th!
D: What inspired you to start your brand 84Rockwell?
B: Well, I worked in TV for years and was ready to detox. I had my three children. I adore them, but I was itching to get back into the working world. I knew whatever I was going to do next, it would be for myself. I wanted to be the boss of my own life, my own story. I love fashion and I love a good belt-bag. I knew I had the drive and creativity, but I also knew trying to create a handbag line would be lots of work and patience. I have been working on this belt-bag for almost three years and finally launched in October 2014. It takes time to develop, and I wanted to grow the business organically. Belt-bags get a bad rep and I have been wearing them since high school. They really are so easy and smart. I just needed to get others to see what I saw. I thought if you could make a belt-bag look cool and edgy with clean lines, you are golden. 84Rockwell (the brand) was an easy choice. I grew up on the south side of Chicago, it’s my address. I am so proud of where I came from and it’s been great to pay tribute to my hometown.
D: What advice would you give to someone who is starting his or her own business?
B: Go for it! Don’t just talk about it. Many people love to talk. What sets the success stories apart are the ones who took action. Everyone has a great idea- it’s the ones that are turned into reality that make a difference! Be patient. Ask for help. Just breathe.
D: What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve overcome having your own business?
B: I love the fact that my bags are manufactured in my favorite city, Chicago! It has not been easy, but for quality control (and loyalty) I wanted to produce in Chicago. It really frustrates me when people say you can’t do that in Chicago. If we all continue to think like that nothing will change. If I can be a small part to keep biz in Chicago- I am happy to do so!
D: What’s been the best moment of your career so far?
B: I couldn’t say one specific moment has been the best. I truly feel that every accomplishment I have had (big or small) is a success. I really appreciate every moment. Nothing is too big or too small for me. 84Rockwell has had impressive coverage and partnerships, but I have a fabulous team that is pushing me everyday. I will say that being a guest on Windy City Live was a thrill! Love them!
D: Where do you see the brand in 5 years?
B: I try to look at 84Rockwell’s milestones month by month. What are my goals for this month? Next month? Is it landing an amazing boutique or online account? Is it hitting big sales during a certain time of year? What’s the next style of bag? I want to keep 84Rockwell fresh and authentic. I want to help build a platform for other Chicago-based designers. If I can stay true to myself as a person, it will only help myself as a designer. I want people to recognize the name 84Rockwell and say, “I love what they are doing.”
Images by: Deanna Sylvester