My Seattle: KACY YOM

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The name Kacy Yom, if not already familiar, will soon be a household name. Inspired by her gorgeous Korean garments, her background in technology, and her passion for streamlining the customer experience, Kacy Yom has stormed the fashion scene with the most bright and luxurious, yet highly functional leather handbags. In just 3 years, Kacy has turned her dreamy mood boards into a reality through endless designs, patterns, materials, and factory trials.

Kacy has an eclectic and immensely impressive background in design as well as technology that acted as a platform for her to start her own business and accessory line. Originally from South Korea, Kacy and her family moved to Portland, OR where she fell in love with the Pacific Northwest.  She attended Seattle U and the Art Institute shortly thereafter. Her passion for design and technology led her to a career with Expedia where she focused on designing for and bettering the user experience; something that translated quite well to the fashion world.

Growing up, Kacy would admire the designer handbags that her mother and other women would carry. However, once she reached the point in her life and career where she was able to afford one of her own, she found herself wanting something much more unique than the bags that today’s well-known luxury designers offer. Her love of fashion, and her desire to find the perfect handbag never left her, even through her tech-heavy career. Because of this, she decided to make a change.

In an effort to help jumpstart the fashion scene in Seattle, Kacy opened her own luxury handbag boutique in Ballard. She worked with many up-and-coming designers with unique styles and sold their designs in her small shop. Unfortunately, the turn of the economy in 2007 / 2008 brought the shop to a close. Kacy jumped back into her tech background, working for some notable companies in Seattle, but it wasn’t too long before that desire to find that impeccable handbag knocked once again. This time, she was going to develop her own designs, and it would be HER name on the bag. Then, just as she did years before, Kacy quit her corporate job to set out to create her own line.

Kacy wanted a versatile bag that allowed the user to effortlessly switch for day to night. This was a feature that Kacy and not yet seen in the handbag scene. Kacy honed her skills through a class in Manhattan, NY, taught by a famous Italian pattern-maker. She then began developing her own handbag patterns out of paper bags to find the right pattern to send off to a factory to be manufactured. Similar to her journey of starting her own line, finding the right factory was a long, but ultimately rewarding process. Once she had a design she was happy with, she searched coast to coast to find the perfect factory to carry out her designs. Unfortunately, from LA to New York, nothing quite lived up to the quality she was hoping for. Sample after sample, Kacy would find things she loved about each iteration, but in turn would also find things she knew could be executed better. She wasn't going to stop searching until she found the factory and the team who could carry out her vision just as she had imagined.

After expanding her search to outside of the United States, she finally found a family-owned factory in Florence, Italy that far exceeded her expectations. She spent a month in Florence meeting the family, discussing her designs, and making any necessary changes. The family worked with Kacy to further refine her already spectacular design to ensure that every cut and every stitch was just right.

Fast-forward 3 years and Kacy has 4 gorgeous styles, a wallet, and 5 vibrant colors in her very own accessory line. She is constantly working on new accessories and patterns for her future designs and will eventually be expanding into additional materials. In 3 short years, Kacy has designed, developed, and manufactured her own handbag line, and on top of that, has become a coveted name in the design industry. Her story, her work, and her endless commitment to her craft are more inspiring than words. Kacy said “this is just the beginning … design is never done”. If in 3 years, she can accomplish something this beautiful and awe-inspiring, the next 3 years will be an exciting adventure to watch unfold.

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Handbag - KACYYOM