Tell us about your business.I started creating my line of handbags out of artist canvas creating 3D sculpting– an intricate process that turns paper into wearable, recycled art. Paper, not leather or fabric, was my canvas starting out. Now I used fabrics, paper and acrylic paints to create mix-media handbags and accessories.
Tell us about your workspace, shop, or studio.I recently move from one workspace into another workspace downtown. My new workspace is a studio/boutique, space for creating and storage for my fabrics, paper and material for all my handbags and accessories. I created book art for my walls that gives a creative, cozy warm feeling.
What inspires you?My collection is inspired by the likes of great artists like Van Gogh and Picasso. My love affair with handbags began at a young age. I formerly owned clothing boutiques in Southfield and Oak Park, Michigan. After filling my store with handbags from around the world, I realized that I could design them, too. So I did. I wanted to give my clients something unique and special. After being laid off from my position in Corporate America, with little money but plenty of passion, my first designs I used stacks of newspapers and magazines from my personal collection. I cut patterns from recycled paper, sewed them by hand, fastened metal hardware, zippers and leather straps, and waterproofed each design. Soon, people began noticing – and asking about -- the unique bags I wore. Later, I began to incorporate fabrics into my designs. “Everywhere I went, people were like, ‘Oh my God, where did you get your bag?’ ” I soon began receiving custom orders. “I knew I was on to something.
What makes your business stand out?What makes my product stand out is the creativity and uniqueness of each handbag and accessory. Each handbag is one-of-a-kind 3D sculptured handcrafted designs. Each piece is custom made, and customers are able to order custom creations per their request.
What advice would you give an aspiring creative entrepreneur?No matter what obstacles you come up against, every successful entrepreneur has gone through. Continue to move forward, stay focus and keep it moving. We don't have to claim the starving artist role, we have options. All we have to do is tap into our options and make the best of every opportunity.
What does American Made mean to you?America Made to me means that each piece is created from products made in America. From conception, design, creation to manufacturing.
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WINNERS ANNOUNCEDOct. 17, 2014
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AMERICAN MADE MEETUPNov. 7, 2014
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RENEGADE CRAFT FAIRNov. 15 - 16, 2014
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