Leighanne Littrell may be known for being a wife to Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell, but recently she embarked on a project that’s all her own. Wylee Bags is a new California made high-end line of backpacks, diaper bags and purses handmade by Leighanne and her assistant, Miguel Torres.
Originally an actress (film credits include “Olive Juice“, “Wild America” and “My Fellow Americans”), Littrell never even owned a sewing machine. “I avoided Home Economics in high school and took shop.” She explains. “I literally just bought a sewing machine and taught myself how to sew.”
The inspiration behind Wylee Bags came from having to lug around her son, breastfeeding pillow and diaper bag. As a traveling wife to Brian, the airport was quite difficult to manage while trying to juggle everything as well as go through security checks. Leighanne first created a simple bag with a strap made out of a sheet to keep the breastfeeding pillow in. “It just dawned on me that there was nothing like it.” And before she knew it, she upgraded to real fabric and started designing backpacks. “I’m not a huge diaper bag person.” She says. “I don’t like the big, square, hard bags that seem to never fit right on your shoulder and they move around a lot. There’s so many compartments that you can’t remember where you put what.”
Littrell evolved the style of her bags as her son grew and now she even uses it as a purse. Unlike most lines who think that adding multiple pockets to a bag will improve organization, Wylee Bags are expandable and contain two hidden pockets in the front. Littrell boasts her bags are both functional and stylish. Along with the bags, Wylee also carries jewelry, hats, and soon to come, T-shirts. Portions of the proceeds from any of the jewelry that features a heart will be donated to Brian Littrell’s Healthy Heart Club charity.
Even Leighanne’s husband sports one of the Wylee Bags! Brian Littrell helped to design the Cross Body Bag, which is available to purchase on the website as well as on the 2008 Backstreet Boys Unbreakable tour. Other celebrities Leighanne has given her bags to include Kelly Ripa and Ellen DeGeneres. Littrell even named a backpack after DeGeneres. “The Ellen Bag” is a brown patterned backpack Ellen picked out from the Wylee Bag collection. Though she is not specifically aiming her products at solely celebrity clients, she is hoping that they will be helpful in getting the Wylee name out to the public.
For now, Leighanne Littrell’s main goal is to keep expanding Wylee Bags. She will be looking for specialty shops to place the bag line in and see how they sell. And with the line already getting such a positive response, Littrell hopes to have “a big ol’ shop” of her own in the future.
Members of the StarShine staff are already big fans of the line. From girly to elegant to convenient, there’s something for everyone. Though the line may not be affordable for all, (backpacks and diaper bags are over $200) the quality can’t be beat because it’s all handmade and not mass produced. “I like making people happy and giving people a really good product.” For those looking for a Wylee Bag that won’t hurt their wallet as much, check out the mini-backpacks and the totes. Staffers also love that most of the backpacks are reversible! It’s like you get two bags in one! These bags are absolutely beautiful and though Wylee Bags items are mostly for women, there’s a few products appealing to men as well. Check out the site: www.wyleebags.com and see for yourself! For the upcoming season, Wylee Bags now carry beach bags and totes with fun, summery designs on them.
“Thank you for anybody who has gone on the site and I hope you enjoy your bag. We enjoy comments. We have t-shirts coming soon that’ll be really cute. I’m going to test those out. Thank you to everyone who’s given me support.”
–Leighanne Littrell, Wylee Bags