"Every bag has history and story. The people I meet and the landscape, they all provide inspiration. Modern enough to carry in the city, rugged enough for a horse ride."
In a historic Glenwood Springs studio...
Nestled amidst the mountains and valleys in the heart of the Western Colorado Rockies, designer Cigdem Aritan sketches, cuts, and hand-sews local buffalo leather into sensational one-of-a kind bags.
Her company is inspired by a “love for design, obsessive attention to detail, and age-old handwork techniques.” Born to a Turkish father and American mother, Cigdem lived in Turkey until the age of three, when her family packed up and moved to Philadelphia.
When speaking of her old hometown of Philly, she muses, “I sometimes miss the Italian markets, the art museums, the cultural diversity.”
But she also loves her new life in Colorado, surrounded by other creative people working out of the same historic building where she keeps her studio.
Cigdem enjoys the supportive environment, friendly conversation, and occasional trade-for-service deals that sometimes only life in a small town can bring.
She honed her leather working skills designing and sewing for a local buffalo leather furniture company. After that, “there was a lot of research and forming friendships with boot and saddle makers and other leather experts” before starting Cibado.
A passionate advocate for “buying local,” she relishes digging through the nooks and crannies of local antique shops, carriage repair facilities, and farm auctions, ensuring that her bags are constructed from locally sourced materials.
Cigdem describes the hunt for these treasures as an adventure: “People want to give their old goods to a place where they will be re-purposed and given new life.”
With each new source, she walks away with a wealth of often hilarious, inspired anecdotes from the characters she meets and that “bundle of good energy” is infused into each and every bag she makes.
To Cigdem, that is the essence of her craftsmanship... and also the main reason we first fell in love with her work.