I have absolutely no formal design background; my
training comes from having a strong sense of classic styling, what I like, and
what I don’t. Right now I have 3 bag shapes that I have refined to my liking,
and am whittling down my choices for leathers, fabrics and hardware for next
season. My bags are sold in several boutique-y shops in CT, and I’ve just
brought on 2 sub-contractors to help me with production, as the shops keep
selling out! I also sell my bags online. Two style bloggers have taken a liking
to Pink Tulips, and every time they feature one of my bags on their blogs, my
website goes nutty! It has been very exciting.
I use high end fabrics and leathers, and often incorporate whimsical hardware
and embellishments. I DO NOT TOP-STITCH on my bags; I don’t like the look of it,
and I prefer to let the bag’s elements take center stage. My goal with each
design is to incorporate an element that elicits a smile or a second look into
classic, timeless styling. My target audience is women of all ages who seek
exceptional quality, understated elegance, and enough self-confidence to
appreciate a hint of playfulness.
I am drawn to the beautiful lines of classic simplicity, and have always been
dismayed at the lack of bags that met my standards. So about 2 ½ years ago, when
my then job as a floral designer ended I pulled out my sewing machine and
started sewing bags… and bags… and bags, tweaking the design as I went.
Honestly, I have treated it like a job, working 60 – 70 (or more) hours per week
– though it never feels like work. I also use fun linings in by bags, so opening
the handbag or clutch is like getting a little surprise gift – again, delightful
whimsy is the goal.
Well, it was a cloud with a silver lining… I hit the road with my Spring 2012
designs, including a leather clutch with a lovely leather bow. The process I had
developed for making the leather bow and attaching it to the bag at that point
was extremely cumbersome and time consuming at best. But the bag was eye-catchingly
delightful! A lovely shop in Essex, CT (J. Alden Clothiers) purchased some bow
bags, and within about 2 weeks, Coastal Living style blogger Sarah Vickers
purchased one of the bow bags. When she featured the bag on her blog, I had to
very quickly refine the bow-making process because my internet sales of that bag
style went through the roof!
I really feel that every step in this process is a great achievement, from
‘scoring’ a gorgeous fabric to seeing someone carrying one of my bags on the
street. My greatest achievement, though, is having my bags appeal to those who
shop at the high-end shops that Pink Tulips is in so far… more on the way