When I asked designer Candy Woolley how many purses she owned from her luxury handbag line, her answer shocked me. In fact, at first I didn’t believe her. “Just one,” she mused as I aggressively quizzed her during our recent “Shireen’s Favorite Things” fashion photo shoot. “How is that possible?” I asked in disbelief.
Of course, the question was coming from a raging fashion addict who’s motto is: “you can never have too many purses or pairs of shoes.” What’s more, it’s no secret that when it comes to high heels and beautiful bags, moderation is not my strong suit.
Candy, however, explained that she only carries her trusty cowhide travel tote for a simple reason. When she first started out as a young designer, almost everything she made, loved and therefore got attached to, would literally be negotiated right out of her hands; women simply wanted what she was wearing.
Eager to make a sale, she would immediately dump out the contents of her purse right in the middle of wherever she happened to be at the time and viola, a happy customer would make off with “A Candy Bag.”
That experience, which luckily happened over and over again, would not only teach her NOT to become too enamored with her own designs, it would also signify that she was really onto something: a booming bag business.
Candy, who’s a very pretty, affable brunette, has an undeniable God given talent. She can design a purse just as good, if not better, than some of the best high-end bag designers in the business. She probably inherited her artistic gifts from her parents, who are third generation tailors.
Growing up, Candy was always surrounded by fabrics, textures, patterns and fashion. She learned to sew when she was just thirteen and quality was something her parents instilled in her from a very early age. They also taught Candy business acumen by openly sharing client conversations, where she quickly learned about sourcing fabrics and materials.
Styling & Assist: Jackie Kay
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Editor: Matthew Auerbach