Born Amish and raised in a conservative household, Regina Bauman, founder of the Tennessee-based Urban Southern, used her values as inspiration for the handcrafted leather bag startup.
“The focus was on simplicity, on not having a lot of things, only having the things that were necessary, that were quality,” Bauman tells Fox News. “When I am designing a bag I am thinking about ‘her,’ the everyday woman who is going to use the bag.”
Bauman, who married a third-generation leather smith, decided to open Urban Southern in 2016.
Despite her work ethic and clear vision for the company, starting a business was all new to Bauman. “The first year I really thought it might fail because I kind of had this idea that I would put up this website and put it out there and people would just find it and buy things. And that didn’t happen," she says.
It wasn't until Bauman's cousin, Meg Delagrange, called her up one day with an idea to work together, that the business really began to make strides. To help tell Urban Southern’s story, Delagrange suggested embracing their Amish upbringing. "We could tell this story of how we were born Amish and we can have a brand for women who have overcome some interesting things in life," says Delagrange.
Rolling up their sleeves, Bauman and Delagrange redesigned the website and focused on their new story. Their hard work paid off when they received an email inviting them to New York Fashion Week, changing Urban Sothern’s trajectory once again.
"Before we knew it, we were at our one-year anniversary and we crossed our first six-figure goal in sales. And we looked and thought, ‘this is unbelievable, we really have something here,’" says Delagrange.
A little more than a year from opening its doors, Urban Southern’s business is booming and thanks to a mix old school craftsmanship, Amish values and entrepreneurial drive, the brand has carved a space for itself as a leader in the leather space.
"In our business we are sharing our stories and being personal... and leather just kind of grows on you, especially if you take a piece of leather and you and carry it with you every day, it kind of takes on a part of your story," says Bauman.
Be sure to watch Urban Southern’s full story above.