Gail Maciorowski and Lauren Elias are the mother-daughter team behind Anchor & Helm, a Yarmouth-based handbag and home goods company. Their nautically inspired products are conceived, designed and sewn by Maciorowski and Elias. The idea for the business came from a piece of leather hide Maciorowski had purchased four years ago. “I saw the hide and there was a spark,” says Elias, who with the help of her mom stitched together Anchor & Helm’s first fold-over clutch.
“I’ve always had a crafty bone,” says Maciorowski, who recently left her job in the District Attorney’s office to focus on Anchor & Helm. Maciorowski’s father was a master woodworker. While living in the foothills of Massachusetts during Elias’ childhood, she and her husband made an effort to bring crafts and art into their daughter’s life. “My mom would arrange arts and crafts activities and we’d always be making something; it really rubbed off on me,” says Elias. “I tried the 9-to-5, I worked in restaurants and felt claustrophobic. When we made our first bag, I felt really passionate about it.”
Today, they have created a local line of bags, totes, clutches and home goods using leather from Waterhouse Leather in Hyannis, as well as plaid, cotton and any fabric that inspires them. One popular product is their Soggy Bottom Bag, which features a waterproof interior and easily packable size—the perfect place for a wet bathing suit on Cape beach weekends. “It makes me happy to know people love something that we put so much of ourselves into,” says Elias. –Kelly Chase
Anchor & Helm products are available at Truro Vineyards and at the artist shanties in Hyannis. Their products are also available online at anchorandhelmdesigns.com.