I am featuring the creator of Love, Cortnie Handbags, Cortnie Elizabeth. Through her collection, Cortnie offers over-sized clutches in fun prints and whimsical details that not only make a statement, but are as stylish as they are functional.
Tell readers about yourself.
Hmmm where to begin. I went to college at the University of Maryland, College Park (go Terps!) and received a BS in Kinesiology which is the study of movement for those who aren’t sure. I had hoped to become a Physical Therapist. I worked at a Physical Therapy clinic for over a year during school and up until I graduated. I loved it, but I couldn’t picture myself doing it as a career. It wasn’t until my Godmother asked me if there was anything in the world that I would want to do and what it would be, did I realize that I wanted to be in the fashion industry. Two months after graduating, I up and moved to California. I had applied, gotten accepted and would be attending the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. There I received my second degree. I moved back to Maryland after about a year and a half of being on the west coast. I got sucked into retail management for a couple of years, but once I learned to sew I knew what I wanted to do from there.
What inspired you to begin sewing handbags?
It kind of just happened. I never woke up one day and set out to design clutches. I had always wanted to learn how to sew. My grandmother is extremely handy and naturally, I wanted to learn from her. Last summer toward the end of August I found myself with more than enough time on my hands. I figured there was no better time to learn. I asked her and she was very excited to teach me. So we sat down with scraps of fabric and I played around with it. I mentioned how cool it would be to make a clutch. Her being my grandmother, again, she was more than excited to teach me. Of course she had spare zippers and fabric lying around. So she taught me. We eventually went to a fabric store and picked out fabrics and other supplies and ended up making a couple more. I was really into it. A week later I was selling 3 styles on Etsy. Now, a year later, I have almost 40 different styles to choose from.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your handbags?
My inspiration can come from anywhere. A color combination I saw somewhere, something in a magazine or what’s trending in fashion. I definitely tried to incorporate neons, dip-dyed and spikes into some of the clutches this season.
What type of woman is attracted to your handbags?
My idea for my bags was to create something that was unique. I could always think about the type of clutch would like to have, but could never find it in stores. It would be big in size, have a fun lining and definitely be a statement accessory. So my clutches are for the woman that likes to stand out.
Which woman in fashion has influenced you?
I love the Olsen twins. They step outside of the box when it comes to dressing themselves and being unique. I don’t want to say that I had them in mind when creating my bags, but I can appreciate someone wanting to do something different.
What advice would you give to a woman wanting to sell her own designs whether handbags, jewelry, or clothing.
You should definitely know that it’s a lot of work, but if it’s something you enjoy doing then it’s worth it. But go for it! The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating. I could have never imagined that my bags would be selling on other websites or selling in boutiques across multiple states just one year after starting. You won’t know until you try!
Thank you Cortnie for sharing your time, experience, and beautiful handbags with Queen in Heels readers. To learn more about Love, Cortnie handbags (and Cortnie herself) visit:
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