Fashion / Shopping

Opening Its First Texas Store in Southlake, FOUNT Adds A Timeless Touch to Modern Leather Goods

Equestrian-Style Handbags, Wallets, And More to Come

BY // 03.28.24

Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, FOUNT was founded in 2014 by husband and wife creative team Phillip and Jackie Wachter ― born out of their desire to craft beautiful and lasting leather bags. The only location outside of Ohio is found in Lexington, Kentucky. Making its Texas debut, FOUNT opens in Southlake Town Square on April 12.

During a month-long grand opening, the brand hopes to introduce itself further to locals by offering customers the chance to make a complimentary leather wallet in-store.

FOUNT – Phillip and Jackie Wachter modeled their luxury leather goods on other heritage brands who have achieved classic status.
Phillip and Jackie Wachter modeled their luxury leather goods brand FOUNT on other heritage brands that have achieved classic status.

Why Texas

“We’ve heard that women in Texas love quality leather goods,” FOUNT co-founder Jackie Wachter tells PaperCity Fort Worth. “I feel like the Texas woman is polished and put together. Plus we loved the weather here. Honestly, if Cleveland weren’t our home, Texas would be.”

Wachter says that the warmer climate in North Texas was also a factor in getting two of FOUNT’s Ohio-based store managers to volunteer to relocate and open the Southlake shop. I guess the promise of better weather is one way to inspire employee loyalty.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to join this prestigious retail community,” she continues. “Our other shops are also found in open-air markets, so Southlake Town Square was a natural fit for us.”

If all goes well, FOUNT has its sights on other future openings in Texas ― perhaps Fort Worth, Austin, and Houston in coming years.

Elizabeth Anthony

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FOUNT – does not use top coatings, preferring to allow their leathers to patina naturally.
FOUNT does not use top coatings, preferring to allow their leathers to patina naturally.

Achieving The Distinctive FOUNT Cache

The Wachters were inspired by old heritage brands ― those known for a focus on classic designs. FOUNT’s designs have achieved that appeal with a sporty, equestrian vibe.

“Our products are designed to be classics — investment pieces that transcend age and become timeless wardrobe staples,” Wachter explains. “We use premium material and work with a fifth-generation Italian tannery.”

She explains that FOUNT products are free from top coatings or paints which can chip away with use. Instead, their leather goods are allowed to achieve a beautiful patina. Customers are welcome to drop by the store any time for a complimentary conditioning treatment to maintain the leather and allow the pieces to age gracefully.

Ethically sourced, the brand utilizes hides that are a byproduct of the meat industry, cutting down on waste and keeping leather hides out of landfills. The tannery that FOUNT partnered with to source its full-grain leather works with other big-name clients including the likes of Ferrari motor cars.

FOUNT – the classic Bellfield tote shown in a hazelnut tone.
The classic Bellfield tote shown in a hazelnut tone, by FOUNT leather goods.

What’s In Store

“Our Bellfield tote is really the one that put us on the map,” Wachter says. “Now it comes in four different sizes and a range of colors, but its durability has never changed. We’ve never had a strap break on our tote collection.”

That’s why, in all of FOUNT’s stores, including the soon-to-open Southlake shop, you’ll find a product demonstration prominently on display. It’s a Bellfield tote bag filled with 16 bricks (which weigh some 56 pounds) proving the point that its straps can certainly handle your laptop ― which is one of the most common questions shoppers inquire about.

FOUNT also features classic belts with brass, equestrian-inspired buckles, wallets, and even a dog collection, “for twinning your pet with your handbag.”

The brand has a growing men’s collection too. It currently includes leather wallets, a briefcase, and a dopp kit, with more still to come.

And, Wachter tells us that FOUNT will be launching its new jewelry line in the next couple of months at all of its locations. The new collection will include gold vermeil hoops, ear studs, and necklaces intended for effortless everyday wear.

Fine leather goods, with equestrian appeal, and heritage designs? It feels like FOUNT will do just fine in its new Texas climate.

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