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Dealing with Devin: Columbus native peddles vegan handbags


Devin Edgar

Devin Edgar



Devin Edgar/Dispatch Staff



A Columbus native and Mississippi University for Women alumna is adding a new concept to the retail world -- vegan handbags.  


Bridget Brown, who spent her childhood and young adult years in the Golden Triangle, now lives in San Francisco, California -- which is where she launched Filbert -- a company that sells luxe, 100 percent cruelty-free handbags and purses. 


Brown said she came up with the concept of Filbert about four years ago, which was when she officially transitioned into a vegan lifestyle. She became vegan for "compassionate" reasons, she added, realizing her previous diet and lifestyle didn't match with her beliefs that animals should be loved-- not eaten.  


Before the shop officially launched, Brown said she spent nearly two years developing the bags. With animal bi-products normally snuck into so many facets of conventional design, even the glue used in production, she said it was not an easy undertaking.  


Similar to how some cosmetic companies test on animals, other clothing and handbag designers can use materials that come from animals, such as snake skin and fur.  


However, Filbert sources cruelty-free and vegan fabrics to make handbags. Think vegan leather and cotton canvas for the main fabric, solid brass for the hardware-- such as handles, chains and straps often seen on handbags-- and organic cotton for the interior lining.  


"Ethical and luxury shouldn't be mutually exclusive," Brown said. "Ultimately, we want to bring awareness of why using cruelty-free fabrics is the kinder option."  


Although Brown's retail shop is based in San Francisco, handbags can be purchased on their website, Bags can also be purchased at, which is another San Francisco, cruelty-free company that partnered with Filbert.  


Moving on, a downtown Columbus clothing store is celebrating 25 years of business.  


Fashion Barn, which is located on Main Street, will have nearly every item in the store 25 percent off. The only exclusions are formal dresses, which the shop has on the second floor.  


In addition, Fashion Barn will be giving away two $25 gift cards. For entry details, visit Fashion Barn on Facebook.  


In Starkville, residents may notice a couple of changes in the coming weeks.  


Liza Tye and Company, a boutique and marketplace that features local vendors, is moving locations.  


The shop, which was located at 511 Academy Road, will be moving to a larger storefront at 434 Highway 12 W. It has been temporarily closed due to the move, but is expected to reopen this weekend.  


Lastly, Starkville Cafe is temporarily closed in order to make "necessary upgrades" to the Main Street building. The restaurant closed on Monday and is expected to reopen on Saturday. That being said, Starkville residents and visitors won't have to go too long without their duck butter and southern-cooking fix.




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