We discovered VereVerto
at one of our favorite NYC tradeshows a few years back, and it has since become one of our favorite lines in the shop. LA-based partners Consuelo Chozas & Paige Smith, are talented, thoughtful, and so fun to chat with. We were thrilled when they agreed to spend some of their valuable time (in the midst of pre-market madness, no less) answering questions for us.
We love that the line is based on the mantra, “Good for the planet, good for you,”. By using only bi-product from the food industry, their vegetable dyed leather is natural and contains zero harsh chemicals. This process results in leather bags that evolve & add character over time, creating a story that is unique to the wearer. Be sure to shop our selection of VereVerto bags here.
+ What is the inspiration behind starting VereVerto, and what were your first few steps you took in opening your own business?
Paige: I had the initial idea behind the concept of the brand while living in San Francisco. I was biking and walking every day and couldn’t find the perfect bag to fit the lifestyle—something that would bridge the gap between luxury and functionality. After moving to Los Angeles, I met Consuelo a few months later and we instantly became friends. A few years later when I decided I wanted to move forward with my concept, I shared my idea with Consuelo.
Consuelo: At the time I owned a retail store in Manhattan beach and we produced leather jackets of our own. Paige needed someone that was adept at finding materials and working with manufacturers, as well as someone that could run the business end of things. We bonded while discussing the project over some wine and decided we would be a great partnership. Our first steps after that were hours of conversations, brainstorming together, and talking with other women in our community to slowly form the brand.
+ What is something we may not know about your process?
Consuelo: VereVerto is a Latin phrase we created and every single bag is a Latin word. Each season, we comb through our special list of pre-selected Latin words to find the best one that feels right for our new bag. Everything means something—a little nod to the functionality, or the quick and light style, or large and bold shape. It’s like naming a baby!
+ We’re completely obsessed with your new spring collection, and are especially dying over the Demi Macta Bag. Which piece(s) are you currently swooning over?
Paige: We really love both sizes of the Macta, the Demi Macta
is so cute for every day. I’m especially in love with our new circle bag, the Miro. I cheated on all of my other bags for too many months with this new one. It’s a playful addition to the wardrobe!
+ We appreciate the classic, yet intentional design of your bags. Tell us a bit more about what inspires you?
Paige: I really love playing with the classics as a base and then twisting them into something modern and of course, functional. I’ve always had a very clean aesthetic in everything I do (and am maybe a little OCD). A lot of what I work on and admire has to do with perfect geometry and polyhedral shapes. I’m ever the graphic designer—organizing, drawing perfect lines, and finding composition.
(Dita Bag in Honey
)+ Tell us about your studio space. What does a typical day at the office look like for you?
Consuelo: I usually start pretty early in the morning; our manufacturer is located in Spain and we are often communicating at this time. We usually get in around 9 and start with the strong cup of pour over coffee and some emails. We have a little cottage studio office we work from in Echo Park, Los Angeles. It’s a little LA gem surrounded by fruit trees, grape vines, and passion fruit vines. Most days we are managing our site (business for me, design for Paige), planning our campaigns, and organizing shipments. Sometimes a walk for lunch or a post day happy hour drink nearby.
+ VereVerto bags are unique due to their handcrafted nature. It was inspiring to read that you partner with a family run business in the south of Spain. Can you tell us a bit more about this relationship?
Paige: We traveled to the south of Spain for the first time a couple years ago and had set up several meetings with factories there. Our current partner is someone we instantly had a great feeling and great exchange with. He understood our vision and seemed willing to work with us and help us grow. He knew we were small! We left a few samples to get made with them and when they were delivered to us in LA we were absolutely thrilled at the quality we received. We immediately started making new samples and designs together.
Consuelo: Now we try and go to the factory in Spain once a year at least and we work hard with them but also really enjoy spending time with the factory owners outside the factory. We’ve learned a lot about their history as well as the town history while we are out for drinks and tapas at special locals-only spots for lunch. Its a relationship we are super grateful for and preserve with great care.
+ We love the versatility of your convertible bags. Can you tell us about a time when they’ve come in handy for you?
Consuelo: This is definitely an every day occurrence for us! I walk to our office and love the handbag to backpack conversion. My Alo tote needs to carry a lot to and from the office and it’s always so heavy. I just switch it up and use it as a backpack and it’s so much better for the walk. Same goes for traveling through airports and the long distance from ticketing, to security, to the gate. I’ve got even weight on my shoulders and am much more quick and comfortable with my bag.
+ Life as business owners can be insanely busy. What do you do to unwind at the end of the day?
Consuelo: We are both really active people and need exercise to feel good. You can spot me in the yoga studio or either of us hiking in the East LA hills.
+ What does your perfect Sunday look like from start to finish?
Consuelo: Well Sundays are for sleeping in and not setting an alarm. Paige and I both enjoy a good long brunch with friends. The kind where you start at 11:30 and don’t finish until 3 or 4pm. And then napping is usually necessary for Sundays, we are big on siestas. I’d close out my Sunday going out to the movies and a great night sleep.
Paige: I’m pretty much the same, but almost guaranteed to take a long walk. And I love to finish my night by the fire pit with some pals and a movie on the couch.
+ What’s next for VereVerto? Where do you hope to see the business in 5 years?
Paige: We are currently in market for our new Autumn/Winter collection where we have a few new styles that are a slightly new direction for us. We are super excited about these—and our bright colors for winter! We’d love to keep honing our design, perfecting what we do, finding more beautiful leather, and adding more bags that are perfect for every woman.
Consuelo: We’d love to see the business grow and cover more markets in the next five years. Mainly expanding in Europe and Asia. Hopefully we have a much larger studio hustling and bustling with Vere Verto employees and we keep providing a great product that we are proud of.
(image via Ofakind.com)