Handbags are a statement of personal style, fashion, and function. Mim & Ray, a new handbag company featuring luxurious Italian leathers and fine wool panels, is adding another element to the must-have accessory: PURPOSE. Mim & Ray handbags feature fine wool panel detailing, expertly and lovingly hand knitted by a senior adult artisan. Until the launch of Mim & Ray, the young-at-heart knitters had a passion for their craft but no outlet for their artistry.
Each Mim & Ray bag is the vision of mother-daughter design team, Toby and Jennifer Strogatz. Finished in Italy, skilled artisans add fine Italian leather to create the completed work of art you see today. TobyStephen Designs Inc., a non-profit entity, pays a license fee and ensures that net profits raised through the sale of every Mim & Ray handbag is earmarked specifically for KleinLife’s 35,000 recipients ages 2 to 102.
“Mim & Ray handbags are not just an expression of great style. When a woman carries a Mim & Ray bag, she knows that she has made a difference. It’s an expression of great humanity. This collection is a culmination of design inspiration, love of high-end accessories, and the need to support the work of important organizations,” says Toby Strogatz, designer and company founder.
The knitters are part of KleinLife, a non-profit organization that provides essential services, friendship, and support. The program is now giving these older craftspeople a renewed sense of purpose and pride, as well as financial support for their retirement. The seniors knit in groups, strengthening life-long ties with some and making new friends with others. That friendship and camaraderie is woven into each and every stitch of the Mim & Ray bags. When the bags are sold a licensing fee and net profits are returned to KleinLife to fund life enhancing services and programs for its 35,000 recipients.
Photo: Steve Klein and Toby Strogatz pose for a photo in front of a portrait of the late Raymond and Miriam Klein.
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