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Less is more for Carolyn Misterek, the D.C.-based designer of handmade leather accessories line Matine. With minimal hardware and just a few careful details, like a little tassle or an understated scallop, Misterek's designs are so simple yet still feminine. "I'm definitely on the simpler side of design. I don't want it to feel super trendy, like 'Oh, you'll carry this for a summer and be done with it,'" Misterek says. She says of her stripped-down aesthetic: "It's a little gold edge, it's a scallop, these little feminine things but it's treated so simply, that I hope it's understated." Matine bags can be found locally at Salt & Sundry, and in stores as far-flung as Paris, Kansas City, Seattle, and San Francisco. Misterek recently moved here from Minneapolis, where she started Matine two years ago, and she's still getting her D.C. bearings. "I'm working on carving out that niche of people who don't work in politics," she said. Luckily, she's found a creative community in Old Town, where she shares space in a studio that's occupied entirely by female small business owners. Misterek was nice enough to let Racked DC photograph where she hand sews and machine sews each and every Matine bag.
· Matine [Official Site]