I’m thrilled to show you my interview with Candy Woolley. Candy is a fabulous designer of luxury accessories. Her style is imaginative, exotic, and ahead of the trends.
ELENA: Do you create your bags for only special occasions or for everyday life?
CANDY: I create bags for both, sometimes I design bags for celebrities and socialites that attend high profile events, such red carpet shows. I enjoy doing these special type of clutches, the celebrities or their stylists send me photos or sketches of what they plan to wear and my job is to design a bag that will compliment their outfit. I design something special that will set them apart from the others at the event. It’s also exciting to see what these ladies are going to wear before anyone else does, but I must keep it confidential.
Although doing bags for high profile events is exciting, I don’t limit myself to only do special event bags. I also create bags for everyday. Examples would be a tote bag, an oversized clutch or even a clutch that converts to a crossbody bag. I work with a variety of materials. From pony hair to snakeskin, to regular plain leather and sometimes even denim. My favorite are the exotic skins. I always welcome special requests from clients to create the bag they need. It could be for work, travel or a special event.
ELENA: How does your country, Guatemala, influence your work?
CANDY: I get inspiration from everything I have seen and every place I have visited in the world. I left Guatemala over 20 years ago and love the customs and history. Mainly, I get my inspiration from South Africa, I love animal-printed materials, bright colors, as well as earth-tone colors seen in safaris, natural textures of wood and scenery. I also get inspired by the ultra-modern design found all over the cities there.
ELENA: Before starting the creation of a bag, what are your inspirations?
CANDY: The main inspiration is the woman who I’m making the bag for. Where is she going? Is she taking a trip to an exotic place? Is she going to use the bag for the office? Is she going to a special event? What colors is she wearing? Happiness, boldness and excitement are feelings I think about when designing a bag or an accessory. How would I like a woman to react to the final piece?
ELENA: You offer a service “CREATING YOUR DREAM BAG”, why?
CANDY: I do offer a bespoke service because I have found out over the years that women aren’t finding the type of bag they really want. They just settle for what is out there. Sometimes is the color, material or how many pockets a bag has. I love being able to provide this personalized service, it gives me great satisfaction, as if I am making a dream come true. The bags are made in my studio in Miami. We create one bag at a time and pay attention to just that one piece until completion. I listen to my clients and do what I can to find the materials they want or put the pockets or compartments they need. A lot of times I communicate with clients only by email, I send them sketches, specs and photos of materials. They pick what they want and then my mother and I work together to create a client’s dream bag. Creating dream bags is 80 percent of my business. I began making bags in 2005, every year bespoke work increases. It’s all been word of mouth. I’m very thankful to my clients for their great support and for continually coming back to grow their ‘candy woolley’ collection.
ELENA: Is it possible to buy your bags in Europe?
CANDY: My website http://www.candywoolley.com is available globally and we ship internationally. I have shipped to France, Moscow, India, England and Belgium.
ELENA: Have you ever thought of creating a shoe collection with the same materials of your bags?
CANDY: Yes, women’s shoes is another passion of mine. In 2003, I began my business creating beaded statement jewelry with found elements and home decor accessories. In the future I’d love to design a shoe collection with sexy lines and interesting heel shapes. I would do unexpected combinations using the skins I love. I would also add a decorative touch by adding stones and wood beads used in my jewelry to give them an exotic flair.
ELENA: Thanks Candy for answering my questions
CANDY: The pleasure is all mine! Thank you, Elena for taking the time to interview me and feature my work.
Visit her site: Candy Woolley to find out her beauties.
My Favourite PANORAMA BLUE PYTHON: you can buy here.