Thursday, July 5, 2012

Custom Clutches for My Bridal Party

Back in January, I mentioned that I've met some interesting people while doing volunteer work.  I wrote about meeting Anita Gupta of Maliha Creations, who is baking our wedding cake, while working with the Charlottesville Design House.  I made a friend who turned into a vendor while I stumbled upon some volunteer work at a bridal salon last year.

About an hour south of Charlottesville, there is a charity bridal shop that sells samples donated by bridal salons to raise money for several women's programs.  I wandered into the shop a year ago and was stunned by the number of gowns they had from high end designers (we're talking Carolina Herrera, Rivini, Monique Lhuillier, and more).  At the time, they were getting a steady stream of donations from a major bridal salon that is a household name.  Though I was only there looking for a hair accessory, I had a blast looking at all the gowns on their racks.  I decided that I had to do something to get the word out about the place.

So, I posted about it on the Weddingbee boards and Bees from around the world started buying gowns from them.  I decided to spend a few days at the shop as a volunteer to help with photographing dresses.  Hauling dresses was hard work, but Michelle Duncan, the amazing woman who managed the shop at the time made the experience so much fun.  I didn't want to stop volunteering and was a little sad when it was time for me to go back to the office. 

Michelle eventually left the shop to focus on a small business that had taken a back seat to mountain of work she was doing for the organization behind the shop.  It was a handbag business called e&a handbags that had a small, but loyal group of enthusiastic clients. Since she's also into interior design, Michelle was using some fabrics meant for home in her designs, which I found so appealing.  When a dress or veil came into that bridal shop that was too damaged to sell (some salons are really rough on their samples!), she often salvaged the trim and incorporated it into a clutch for a bride.

I decided to give Michelle the fabric I had leftover from my framed table number and escort card board projects to see if she could make some clutches for the Mink maids.  I threw in some solid satin to use for lining and some ribbon to use for trim. 

Photo by David Duncan Photography / used with permission

The result: the Claire Clutch!  When I went through Michelle's site and loved the Duncan clutch, which was named after her photographer husband (who took all these pictures for me!).  I asked her to shrink the Duncan down a bit and she decided to name the resulting bag after me!  Actually, I suggested that she use my middle name since my first name is long and often mangled a bit when people read it. 

Photo by David Duncan Photography / used with permission 

I gave Michelle some solid satin to use for liner.  I thought it would compliment the pattern of the outside perfectly.  She also did an amazing job with the blue-green grosgrain I gave her to use as trim.  
I also noticed that she made a label that matched my colors for the back. 

Photo by David Duncan Photography / used with permission 

I didn't even think to ask, but she added feet on the bottoms of the bags.  Isn't that neat?

 Photo by David Duncan Photography / used with permission

I can't wait to see pictures of my gorgeous bridesmaids in their dresses with these bags.  They looked so awesome!


 Photo by David Duncan Photography / used with permission

Michelle even made a clutch for me.  I'm not sure I'll use it on my wedding day, but I'm so excited that I'll have a bag made out of my favorite fabric.

While I think all of my vendors are wonderful, I'm so happy to have a few that I consider to be good friends now.

Did any of your vendors become good friends during your planning? 



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1 comment:

  1. I want to be one of your bridesmaids!!!!!

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