Blaine & Mackenzie Vossler
The Local Branch
American Dream: achieving success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative.
Blaine and Mackenzie Vossler, by very definition, are living the American dream. The Local Branch, their creative outlet founded in 2009, has come a long way since the couple sold their belongings, quit their jobs and traveled the country in their Airstream - a Craigslist $3,000 find funded in part by a Kickstarter crowdfunding project - that functioned as a home and studio.
During the formative years of The Local Branch, they developed their brand, crafted their own leather goods and apparel, and sold their products — all made on the road — at craft shows and festivals throughout the U.S.
The plan worked.
People loved their goods and The Local Branch was profitable in its first year.
Specializing in crafting their own leather goods and apparel, as well as showcasing a highly curated collection of other local, USA-made goods, along with antiques and relics from their travels. Blaine estimates up to 85 percent of the store is filled with products either made with his and Mackenzie's own hands or manufactured products designed by them — such as the screen printed apparel that is manufactured from his hand-painted designs.
During their traveling years, they expanded to a permanent booth at Chelsea Market in Manhattan. In addition to selling retail, The Local Branch has offered products wholesale to Urban Outfitters, Free People, Modcloth and more than 30 other local and abroad boutiques. For Mackenzie and Blaine, the story of where the products are made is as important as how they’re made. When you buy a leather holster, the tag may say “Made in Schenectady, NY” or “Made in Palm Springs, CA”, depending where the Airstream was docked at the time of creation. And their products have been shipped from hundreds of post offices across the country.
Bring it Back to Rural America
As much as they loved life on the road and the opportunity to meet their customers in-real-life around the country, the Vosslers eventually decided to commit to a rural lifestyle and dig roots closer to home. With ties to the Syracuse, New York area, they currently run the business from their upstate New York farmhouse and will soon be open for weddings, farm-to-table suppers, retreats, and other events at their homestead. They now sell their goods down the road from their home at their brick and mortar shop in the Finger Lakes town of Skaneateles, NY.
The Vosslers “look forward to the opportunity to create a unique retail space specializing in both accessible and high end handcrafted clothing, accessories, and home goods geared towards men and women alike, while paying homage to the history and culture of New York and the Finger Lakes region.”
Mackenzie and Blaine are an inspiration for anyone pursuing a life on the road and living outside the box.