Would you like to be a handbag designer too?
As I pursued the idea of becoming a handbag designer and making my own line of purses some years ago I explored a few websites, bought ebooks, read business plans and did all the proper idealistic approaches I could dig up on how to make handbags. My interest was in making amazing art purses; structured purse in particular but I thought that would be far too difficult for a sewing illiterate like I was. Most of the materials available were written by talented writers who had absolutely no firsthand knowledge or experience in handbag making or the design field.
I also wanted guidelines to help me with professional assessment and training in becoming a great designer. With all my digging none of the resources spoke of the desire that consumes us or the passion for making purses or even how to develop the skill.
That’s really where it begins doesn’t it? The idea casually knocks on the door of your imagination and then once you allow it in, it takes over and sets up shop. Soon your every thought is consumed with making extraordinary purses before you even touch the first piece of fabric. All you know is that you can do it and you will; even if your present vocation is completely different to your new ideas.
Then comes the tidal wave of thoughts and ideas and the passion begins to stir up on the inside; but you just don’t know how to bring it all together. Many times you’ve overlooked the little bitty fact that:
- You’ve never made a purse before
- You hardly ever used one up to this point
- You’re not sure what materials to use or where to purchase them
- You don’t know how to sew
- You don’t have a sewing machine
- You don’t have a clue where to begin
For many whose passion rises above the facts, their perseverance takes them beyond to find out “how can I do this?” rather than “I can never do this”. How do you make a handbag? Well that’s easy. It’s a systematic thought process. You really don’t have to get deep about it at all. It’s sort of like walking; you instinctively put one foot in front of the other until you are actually make a series of steps which we call walking.
So the systematic thought process is this. You have an idea to make a purse and you don’t have the traditional skills in hand, so what do you do? Well first off, if you can get your ideas across in a clear concise manner you can hire someone to make the purse for you. That’s called sub-contracting. Most subcontractors don’t need a professional sketch but if you want to you can hire a designer whose specialty is taking your ideas and putting them to paper complete with measurements, fabrics, hardware and the works.
But if hiring a designer is above your means for now, consider the basic approach of doing a rough sketch, specify the size, materials and look then take it to someone who is familiar with making handbags. Working at a basic level like this does have its benefits. You are able to make adjustments more readily and you can talk your product through with your contractor. A wise contractor will assist you in developing your product as it is also a great reflection on their abilities and can lead to other more meaningful opportunities.
Hanging around this environment for a while just gets your taste buds roaring. Soon you want to get behind that sewing machine and pump out the designs yourself. Most folks are hindered just like I was, in the mind…the “what if I mess up” syndrome. Well you’ll soon realize that messing up is just a given in just about everything we do. You get over it and you get better if you learn from your mistakes. Until you realize how simple it is if you just take it step by step.
Creating your own purses from start to finish gives you a tremendous amount of creative flexibility and you are able to produce within your timelines and not on someone else’s schedule. So how do you get the ball rolling with this new thought?
• You take short courses in the area of your need. For some it is simply learning the basics of sewing machine operations. Most machines come with a DVD to help you in this area so that’s no big deal. But if you’re borrowing one without a manual then check out a few Youtube videos for a jump start.
• You find the style purse you want to make and you research to see who’s teaching it. DVD’s and tutorials are great as it allows more flexibility and gives you more bang for your buck rather than sitting in a crowded class feeling overwhelmed and lost.
Once you have mastered your product you may want to hire and train others to sew handbags for you. But be sure assess yourself & your product and get the necessary training you need. Remember that your dream will never become a reality if you don’t take the first step in embracing your passion for making handbags. If you listen you’ll hear your desire patiently knocking at the door of your heart.
Yoohoo…it’s time to open the door, my friend. A great future awaits you.