Union Handmade is a boutique, atelier and consortium combined: a union of traditional retail, work space and a collaboration of makers offering timeless handmade goods.
The shop is anchored by Leigh Deleonardo's collection of separates, dresses, jackets and coats. She is joined by talented clothing designers, jewelers, milliners, knitters, paper goods artists, ceramicists and textile artists. Among these diverse collections are also found cloth handbags,ceramics, collaged one-of-a-kind cards and paper weights; vegan, gluten-free body products and chocolates; beeswax candles; sewing notions from England and hand carved wooden animals. The treasure seeker has plenty to choose from in this simple, inviting shop designed by Robert Rud and managed by the Union Handmade members.
Union Handmade is a re-union in a way of Leigh's first shop: Made To Fit, on Clybourn, which she closed in 1998 to focus on her new family. Many of the designers who were with her at Made To Fit are among the 11 members of Union Handmade. Together they offer an exciting collection of work united by a common love of trend-free design made with integrity, in small batches, by hand.
In many ways the seed for Union Handmade was planted years ago in Paducah, Kentucky where, as a teenager, Leigh fell in love with clothing design and visionary retail. She made monthly pilgrimages to Rosenfield's, her favorite clothing store, where she spent half of her babysitting money. The other half was spent on fabric.
Throughout her career as a clothing designer Leigh still remembers the excitement of walking into Rosenfield's hoping to find a treasure. She wants to offer that same hope to others at Union Handmade.