Purse Paradise10:31 AM
It depends. Sometimes I'll already have an idea of the clutch I'd like to make and then I just have to source the materials. Other times I'll see a material I love and will build a design around it because I want to use it so much. I love working with leather, but I also think it's nice to mix it up with bags that aren't leather from time to time.
What is your favorite material to work with? Least favorite?
Leather, for sure is my favorite. Good quality leather that smells good. Yes! Plus it will last you for years to come if you take care of it. All of my clutches are lined with cotton fabrics. My least favorite? Any type of silk or satin. I despise them. I feel like they aren't sturdy enough and snag way too easily. So I'd never line my bags with either of those.
What made you get into purse making? Has it always been a passion, or a trade that's developed over time?
It was not something I woke up and decided to do one day. It just sort of happened. I had always wanted to learn how to sew and finally found the time to do so. It was toward the end of August 2011. It was important that my grandmother teach me. So while I was in between jobs she did. I went from learning to sew to making my very first clutch right there in her kitchen. About a week later I had opened my Etsy shop with three designs available. I have since done over 150 different styles. I guess you can say that it's definitely something I learned to do over time. And I'm still learning.
Which product would you choose as your all time favorite?
The KeKe Bucket Bag is currently my favorite because I was terrified to make anything with a strap. I avoided it for the longest time. Plus to step outside of clutch-making and make my first actual handbag was awesome. It takes over 4 hours just to make one. So let's just say it's a labor of love. If I had a runner-up it would be the Color Me Roll-Down clutch. I love it's massive size. It also wasn't something I planned on making available. I had extra leather laying around that I wanted to get rid of and I was able to make 2 red ones with it. After the intense response I received I made it available in a variety of colors.
**Keke Bucket Bag
What advice would you have for someone who would like to design handbags in the future?
Just go for it! I get this question a lot and it's really just something you have to do. I see so many people overthink an idea which causes them to potentially delay their dreams. Make it happen and learn as you go! That's exactly what I did. Plus I had no intentions on turning it into a business. I started out doing it for fun.
As a sewer, I know working with leather can be exciting and frustrating. How did you learn to manipulate it so well?
One word: PRACTICE! The more you work with a specific type of fabric the more you learn how to best work with it.
What inspires your creations, and how do you stay inspired to keep creating?
Literally everything. Current trends, old trends, something I saw on tv or a magazine, color combinations, pretty much anything outside, etc. Inspiration is everywhere! Plus I feel the need to keep creating, I get bored very easily.
What is the most valuable lesson that's stuck with you from fashion school?
Not a thing lol. I graduated from fashion school in 2009 with plans to be a buyer. I guess you could say that kind of worked out since I'm in charge of buying everything for my business. But if there was something I took from my time there it would be to keep creating and to not be afraid to do what genuinely makes you happy. Even if others cannot understand it.
Ladies I advise you to head to lovecortnie.com and see all the gorgeous handbags her brand has to offer! If you need any purse inspiration you could also visit her Instagram listed below, she always shares her newest and greatest styles there! Thank you Love, Cortnie we love your handbags and can't wait to style one soon!