What is your average workday like?
It really varies from day to day, which is one of the things I like about it. It can be anything from sourcing leather, making trips to my manufacturers to check progress and look at prototypes, website updates, taking product shots, and packing and shipping. You name it, I’m doing it!
Who/what influenced you to start making handbags/wallets?
When I was going to Pratt for fashion design there weren’t any accessory programs but if there were I certainly would’ve been taking them. I suppose it all started when I saw an interesting bag in a local boutique here in Brooklyn. I went back to my studio knowing I could draft the pattern and make it cooler by putting my own spin on it. That really sparked my creativity and I began making more styles. Before I knew it, I had a little business of handmade bags. Now, I work with a local manufacturer but that handmade craftsmanship is embedded into my design philosophy.
Where do you grab inspiration from?
I really like smooth shapes and I always tend to find them in vintage cars. Muscle cars in particular is one of my main inspirations but as a designer, you get ideas from everywhere. I always have my eyes open and pay attention to the street style here in NYC, nature, color & texture and just good design in general.
How would you say is your favorite piece you have made thus far?
The William Tote. I’m a fan of big bags and I think this one is the perfect city bag. I’m carrying the William in Pine this Autumn and the green really does go with everything!
What is something someone might not know about you?
I love animals and I have a very old cat, Tiggs, that’s been with me for almost as long as I’ve been in Brooklyn, over 16 years. When he dies, I want his skeleton to be preserved and mounted. Is that weird?
What is the best piece of advice you can give to someone who wants to become a designer?
If you’re thinking of taking the leap and going into business for yourself, don’t wait to do it. Don’t be worried about learning everything there is to know beforehand- you’ll figure it out along the way. Also, although it’s very important to stay up to date on what your peers and/or competition is doing, don’t compare yourself to them. We all have our own path in life and we can’t allow ourselves to get frustrated by what others are doing that we aren’t. Instead, allow it to drive you.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Doing what I’m doing now but on a much broader scale. I plan to have many more styles, more stocklists and a studio space outside of my apartment, in Brooklyn of course!
What's something (like a motto or saying) that gets you through each day and motivates you?
“If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.” - Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first female President. I heard this a while ago and it always inspires me.