Grace. Grit. Authenticity.

Those three words describe an Iowa entrepreneur determined to make a place for herself in the luxury leather goods market.

“The challenge is to find a way to stand out,” says Jill Dobson, “and for us that means creating a top-quality, original product and providing Iowa nice customer service.”

Dobson is owner of Jill’s Homestead, a Chariton company that makes unique items from fine Italian leather, perfect for gift giving — to yourself or someone else.

Dobson’s original designs include minimalist clutches to handbags and duffels along with earrings, bracelets and bag accessories, all designed with functionality in mind.

“Some brands use a lot of extra decoration and bells and whistles,” says Dobson. “I've always wanted my designs to be simple, yet beautiful, featuring our gorgeous leathers and hides as the star of the bag with options to dress up or down with fringe, tassels and other items.” 

Many of the bags sport a signature 24-inch layered fringe (a fan...