As we prepared to celebrate the launch of our new collection of streamlined handbags – crafted with artisanal leather and subtle details – we caught up with the in-house mind behind The Point endeavor, Vice President of Accessories Design Allison Engel, at her inspiring bungalow in Long Beach, California. A Michigan native, Engel grew up in an artful household – her mother was a painter, her father a woodworker – and spent her free time stringing bead necklaces together on the family couch before gravitating towards painting, drawing and pottery classes in college.
At 22, Engel packed her bags for sunny California, a place she’d never visited in reality, but had often gone to in her mind. Lucky us – she hasn’t looked back since. Still, the blend of artisanal craftsmanship she surrounded herself with as a child and the California ease amidst which she now lives have found their way into our latest labor of love, a collection of handbags we call The Point.
How would you define your style?
I’ve always been a jeans and white t-shirt girl, through and through. I think that’s how I originally gravitated to accessories…I guess I prefer a super simple backdrop that I can switch up with a necklace or tons of bracelets, easily.
What would the average person not know about Long Beach, your chosen neighborhood?
Long Beach is a secret gem and a little bit out of the way. It’s got the edginess and grit of Venice Beach with lots of original craftsman-style homes and bungalows, architecturally. Most importantly, for me, it’s got the Long Beach Flea Market once a month on a Saturday, my favorite thing in all of LA. I’ve found so many great Native American turquoise pieces there, all kind of vintage finds, really.
Favorite Long Beach spots?
Alamitos Bay for weekend paddle-boarding.
Restauration for seasonally grown local fare.
Urban Americana for design treasures.
The Potholder for a great, divey diner.
Panxa Cocina for Latina American deliciousness.
The Long Beach Flea Market for everything under the vintage sun.
Last but not least, favorite Point Collection details?
The leather, first and foremost, all of which is hand-finished and sourced from a family-run tannery for its incredible quality and rich characteristics.
A little hammered collar pin we used to close the tote for a refined, old world feel while remaining purposeful and minimal.
The streamlined shapes, because why can’t a bag be simple, clean and anti-clutter? But then, I love everything about these bags…