Krystle Fords Now Boarding makes stylish travel equipment from cork and specialty fabrics.
Krystle Ford has a weakness for distant places. It sources cork and specialty fabrics from Africa, Europe and the United Arab Emirates to make backpacks, bowler-style tote bags and purses. As the director of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, she is better known for her musical skills. But Ford has sewn since she was a child. And when she opened an online store called Now Boarding last year, the company started.
“Between my full-time job and my family, sewing should just be a fun hobby,” she says. “Then I started taking orders and now it’s getting a little out of control.”
The name Now Boarding is a nod to Ford’s love of travel. Using materials from around the world satisfies her wanderlust when she is at home. She is particularly drawn to exotic textiles that have been used for centuries. “A lot of the African wax prints I use have always been around,” she says.
The fabrics also have stories to tell. One of the patterns shows a fast-looking bird in flight. “It’s an African speed bird, and it’s associated with the saying ‘money has wings’,” she says. “It basically means, ‘As soon as you get into something, it could easily go away.'”
In addition to textiles, Ford also likes to work with cork. The material is fun to shape, and their customers rave about how soft the finished products are. She makes almost everything by hand. Their items, which range from $ 18 for a bracelet to $ 215 for a printed cork backpack, have been shipped coast to coast. Ford hopes that by sourcing distinctive materials, it will bring the spotlight to their distant places of origin. “These fabrics and the places they come from are unique,” she says. “I want to make sure they get the attention they deserve.”