April 13, 2011

Meet & Greet: NotYoMammasHandbag

Ellen's handbags are made with love, and memories of those women in her life. Not Yo Mommas Handbag are a series of handbag creations that are named for the friends, family and mentors in Ellen's life.

Ellen also has a wonderful collection of original photography and very cool vintage finds in her Etsy shop.

Handmade denim purse named Windy
I asked Ellen a few questions about herself and her creations, here is what she had to say:

Tell us a little about yourself and what you sell.
I am a photographer by profession. I shoot weddings, social events, fund raisers and portraits. Occasionally, I help artists create their portfolios. While I owned a studio several years ago (nearly 10) I like to work out of my home, now.

A couple of years ago, I made myself a jeans purse from two pairs of children's jeans I found at Goodwill. I like to recycle, and they were very cute. I kept receiving compliments from women in the grocery, mall, ball game, school, church, etc.... My husband kept saying "You know, you should really think about selling those.", but I didn't think anyone would buy them. Then, on a vacation trip to Cincinnati, we were having lunch in a fancy hotel, and as I walked to the buffet a very handsome tall man leaned over and in this deep voice said, "I like that purse"....well, that did it for me. I opened Not Yo Mommas Handbags the next week.

Sunshine Flower photograph in 5x7 
Why did you decide to work with upcycled/recycled/repurposed/vintage materials?
I believe that each and every one of us can make a small difference. I love the feel of old worn broken in denim, doesn't everyone?

As for the vintage items in my shop, I find them everywhere, and they all remind me of a time when things seemed a bit simpler. I love good clean lines, and modern style.....I am also a nut for kitsch.

Spicy in Myrtle Beach
What is your favorite thing about running your Etsy shop?
More than anything I love Etsy and the whole concept of homemade crafts, clothing, jewelry, etc...I am constantly amazed at the talent I find within the treasuries.

I love finding materials to work with, a lovely piece of material, an old bamboo handle, you name it....I can find a use. I love the hunt for vintage items. I really LOVE a bargain.

Handmade cute purse named Allison

What inspires you to create/sell what you do?
As I make my handbags, I find that I tend to daydream, and usually I start thinking about an old friend, or a current one, but mostly the girls I know in school that are either out of my life now, or have passed away, or simply moved away. I tend to name my handbags for those who touched my heart in some way. It is my way of sending out that message to them, that I valued them and am grateful for the moments we had together, even as children.


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See the photos

Read more about the "girls" behind each purse go here:

Thanks for sharing Ellen!

See you next week,
Everyday Inspired

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