Since 2011, Fort Worth-based Love 41 has given purpose to each purchase of their leather handbags, wallets, jewelry, and accessories. Now local customers will get a place to browse before they buy, as the philanthropic-minded company will open its first showroom on August 18 in Fort Worth.
Fans of the brand not only adore its high-quality leather goods, but support its mission to give 100 percent of proceeds to people in need around the world — to provide education, food, shelter, job training, and more.
Though this is the first brick-and-mortar shop for co-owners and sisters Suzette Munson and Tina Lytch, Love 41's story actually began nearly seven years ago. Munson took a trip to Rwanda and was shocked by the poverty and ongoing effects of the Rwandan genocide that she witnessed there. She returned home determined to find a way to help.
“My second day on the ground was a huge eye opener,” Munson says. “We don’t understand poverty in the United States the way most of the world does. We spent the day feeding street children, and it was one I will never forget. It opened my eyes.”
So, with her sister, she launched Love 41 in November of 2011. The company's name comes from Psalm 41 in the Bible, which starts, "Blessed is he who considers the poor."
As the creative lead, Munson designs the brand’s collection of leather bags and and accessories. Crafted in Mexico with the utmost attention to detail, each piece is as aesthetically pleasing as it is practical — and durable. All bags come with a 41-year warranty.
Prices range from about $19 for small gifting items to $519 for a luxury piece like their overnight Lana Bag, which is made from a handmade Lana rug and full grain leather.
Lytch, who oversees day-to-day operations, shares her sister’s passion for giving back. Thanks to the Fort Worth sisters' dedication, Love 41’s impact has been felt from Africa to Mexico. A rich, established partnership with Africa New Life Ministries has allowed them to sponsor more than 350 children in need.
The list of causes that each Love 41 purchase contributes to is almost dizzying:
- Africa New Life Dream Day Care (free daycare for those attending training for sewing or beauty school in Rwanda).
- Africa New Life Women's Center Vocational School (sewing and beauty school for widows, single parents, and women in severe poverty to gain a skill to make money to support their families).
- Child sponsorship for orphans and street kids in Rwanda.
- Leonsito's Day Care in Mexico (free day care for single parents and low income families).
- After-school program in Leon, Mexico to help school children with their homework and teach English.
- Scholarships for Bible education for orphans, abandoned children, and children in great need.
With the addition of a showroom, they hope to impact even more folks around the world, and encourage their patrons to do the same.
“We want our customers to understand the impact they’re having with the leather they carry,” says Munson. “I want them to sponsor kids, go to Africa with us, and support our work, while knowing that their leather changes lives.”
Love 41 is located at 600 Railhead Road, Suite 200, Fort Worth. Appointments are available 8 am-5 pm, Monday-Friday.
A family-friendly grand opening event will take place from 12 pm-3 pm August 18, where customers will have the chance to meet the founders and shop. There will be food and drinks from Chick-fil-A and Red Bull, organic snow cones, popcorn, face painting, and live music.