Thursday, May 29, 2008


WELCOME, Nancy of Bag Ladies, Too, as she tells us in her own words, what inspires her, how she got started in designing and creating her wonderful, colorful, one-of-a-kind bags. I just LOVE the one in the photo here! It is not only colorful on the outside, but on the inside also. (see it in her shop) I really can relate to her thoughts on "one can never have enough fabric"!!
Those are my feelings also. Even though, I also have mounds of fabric in my stash!!

What led you to start creating your art?

I have always loved to sew and was in fact making custom lingerie before I began making handbags. I also made some gowns for some of the pageants in my area. And one day when I was looking for a bag to go with a certain outfit and couldn't find one I thought "hey, I could make one." I ended up loving it and so did everyone else that saw it. So many of my friends told me they were tired of seeing the same bag on everyone's arm and the knockoff's that were crowding all the stores. So my Mom and I talked about it and decided with all the different fabrics out there, all the different and exciting trims and colors you could really make tons of bags and probably never make the same one twice. My Mom has been wanting to open a boutique so we took the bags along with her wearable art and jewelry and Bag Ladies, too was born. And then we found Etsy. I love Etsy!

How did you decide what medium you wanted to work with?

I found I was a fabric fanatic around 25 years ago when I made a few pillows for my couch. I now admit I have an illness. I can stand up in a room and admit I have an obsession. I love lace and texture. I love colors and patterns. I love silks and satins and the way it slides through your hands. I love the way new fabric smells. It's crazy. I have tons and tons of fabric. This is no joke, and the people out there who have the same sickness can back me up on this. I am talking yards upon yards upon yards of fabric. I have enough to make plenty of bags. But I cannot walk into a fabric store or peruse the Internet shops and not buy a few more yards. I am the person who goes to the store for 2 yards and because there is a sale that says for an extra few dollars you can get 3 more yards........well guess how much I got? I am thinking of starting a group for all of us!

What aspect of creating your art do you find the most enjoyable?

I love to put fabrics together. finding the combination that makes the bag look incredible. Then putting the right beads or the perfect eyelash trim in just the right place. The process of getting there. Putting on the TV so I have some background noise. I never watch it but it keeps me company. And sometimes blasting the stereo.....Queen, Lynard Skynard, Led Zeppelin, Mozart or Bocelli. Then pulling out whatever color scheme hits me and going to work. I get lost in it. Sometimes I look up and hours have passed.

What message, if any, do you want to convey with your art?

My bags are One of a Kind. I will never make two alike. So my message is to be you. find what you like, what really turns you on. Don't get it because everyone else has one. No matter what it is....a shirt, pants, handbag, car....whatever. I was the Mom who let my daughter express her style from the time she could dress herself. She used to put all kinds of combinations on. And that was okay with me. It made her feel good. And today she has great style at the young age of 12. We look at magazines and go in stores and she really puts together great stuff. And my Mom is the same way. She has incredible style. Buy the things that call out to you. The things that you fall in love with the minute you see them. You wear clothing pretty much 24/7. Be comfortable!

What advice do you have for other artists?

I know it may sound cheesy and everyone that is asked this question says the same thing. Don't Give Up!!!!! It takes a while to get going. Just remember art is what you say it is. I had a teacher that told my daughter that pigs were pink. Well hers was green. The fact is pigs are not all pink and even though a real pig might not be born green they can be green. It was her picture, her pig. And don't copy anyone. Make your, bags, soap, whatever you do, yours. There are only so many styles and shapes of bags. But there are hundreds if not thousands of fabrics and combinations and trims out there. Make a name for yourself. And make customer service the most important thing in your shop. Take the time to write a nice note with your feedback. It doesn't have to be a novel....just a short nice little thanks. Pack your items with care and add that extra touch no matter what it is. And if you say you are going to do something make sure you follow through. It makes your customers want to come back.

Thanks, Nancy, for a delightful interview! Be sure to visit Nancy's Etsy shop, and also her blog.


1 comment:

Nancy said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to feature me on your page! I appreciate your taking the time to do such a nice thing for the artists on Etsy! And your dolls are still just too cool. I love the new one!