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Interview with Ellie Lum of Klum House Workshop

Ellie Lum with Fremont Bag
Klum House owner, Ellie Lum, in the wild.

On May 12th I had the awesome opportunity to interview Ellie Lum of Klum House Workshop. She fit me in during a busy day, which was thrilling because she’s the kind of cool, brilliant, and interesting person that has to work hard to fit people into her schedule!

Ellie started Klum House Workshop in her adopted home of Portland, Oregon, after 20 years in the bag-making business. In her own words, Klum House provides, “All the Goods, Lots of Support, and Badass Results.” 

We carry all the Klum House bag patterns, plus zippers, leather straps, waxed cotton, and double-capped rivets for finishing the bags, but you can also get everything you need on the Klum House website. Ellie’s mission of, “empowerment through hands-on skill-building,” is remarkably similar to The Confident Stitch’s mission to “uplift and empower people through sewing.” We agreed that learning to sew not only helps people feel powerful, it also helps them realize that workers who sew for a living are skilled artisans whose toil is worth more than we pay for fast fashion.

Tap 'er Light

In Butte, Montana, aka The Mining City, “tap ‘er light” means, “take it easy.” Its literal meaning pertains to the handling of dynamite when loading it into holes drilled in the mine walls. A light tap meant you and the others on your shift wouldn’t be blown up. 

Ellie has a degree in adult education, and when she explained when to use a mallet, when to use a regular hammer, and when to tap ‘er light in regards to rivet insertion, I understood!  Hint: it’s because of physics. 

We love Klum House Patterns here at The Confident Stitch, and we love learning, so this was a great interview. Watch it to learn more about the amazing Ellie, and how to hammer a rivet to perfection!

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