MiVT: Ma & Pembum

HINESBURG, Vt. (WCAX) What started out as a hobby has taken Phebe Mott to places she never expected.

"It's been quite an adventure," she said.

About five years ago, she started making jewelry but was also experimenting with sewing leather. Eventually, she decided to combine the two into handbags and pouches.

"We have really nice, beautiful leather, beautiful colors and, of course, leather is very durable. So, of course, as I sew them, I want them to be durable as well," Mott said.

Her company is called Ma & Pembum named for her grandparents.

She works in a tiny little space in the bedroom of her Hinesburg home.

"It's a little tight in here," Mott said.

Customers can choose the colors, straps and tassels.

"Personalizing everything like that is so rewarding, especially when I get to see the customer get to see her bag for the first time, knowing that it's exactly what she wanted and that nobody else is going to be carrying that same combination," Mott said.

Small, crossbody bags are $120 while the biggest one she makes is $260. A mother of two, Mott donates half the profits of every sale to organizations that fight to end human trafficking. Customers like Kathleen Pulling and Melissa LaMarche appreciate that Mott donates half her profits.

Next year, Mott plans to move out of her bedroom into a much bigger space, something she never thought was possible five years ago when she started making big leather bags.

"We'll have a combined office, workroom and customer area where people can come, have some coffee, look at the swatches, look at the different bags and order right from there," Mott explained.

Wherever Phebe Mott goes with Ma & Pembum going forward, you know she'll be carrying her custom leather bags with her.