About the designer
Leather Bag Maker, Alexz Sandoval, has always wanted to pave her own way in life as an artist. She has always been inspired by her hard working family who relocated to America from Mexico in the 1960’s, her adventurous father, her supportive mother, the troubles her and her family have encountered and the prosperity they’ve reached through survival.
As a child, Alexz enjoyed all mediums of art. She spent a lot of time being babysat by her grandparents and watching her grandpa sew for a living. Her supportive parents gifted her the first sewing machine in high school because she excelled in independent fashion design class. Alexz continued to study fashion design at Harper College in Palatine, IL.
Alexz dropped out of college early and moved to the Bay Area, California for a much needed change from home. While she was there working full-time, Alexz opened a Bird Trouble Etsy shop in 2009 to sell her handmade wallets and bags she made using thrifted and repurposed materials. She was just 20 years old then but already had experience in marketing and selling vintage clothing online during high school for extra cash.
After 2 years of living in California then living for a short time in West Chester, PA Alexz moved back to Chicago. Still focusing on Bird Trouble while working full-time for other companies in the beauty industry but lacking inspiration at home, Alexz moved to Mexico when she was 25 years old. She lived with her dad in a small mountain town and then with her mom in the city of Guadalajara.
Experiencing her native culture first hand for almost 2 years and feeling the freedom from America’s “ran race”, inspiration hit like a wave when Alexz discovered a specific neighborhood in Guadalajara, Mexico where she sourced her first leather hides. She realized then that creating made her the happiest and it is a dominant purpose in her life.
After Mexico, Alexz moved back the USA. The Bay Area first and then eventually back to Chicago to settle her roots even further. She purchased a 1978 Dodge Sportsman RV, fixed it up, and used it as a mobile store. She sold her own handmade goods as well as other maker’s goods for a year until electrical issues weren’t worth the fix. She worked out of a local boutique called Ad Hoc for a 2 years before opening her own store front workshop in Logan Square in October of 2018. Presently, Alexz focuses on custom vegtan leather goods and hopes to relaunch a mobile store one day.
Alexz’s favorite part of running a business is being apart of such an inspiring creative community and maker community. Supporting other creatives and sharing what she’s learned brings her joy just as much as making goods does. She loves learning how to be her best self, creative entrepreneur, and handmade goods enthusiast.