Going green has come full circle and is now fashionable. Being gung-ho about green initiatives doesn't mean losing one's style. You can, for example, wear a handbag from L.A. based designer Amy Hall's handbag collection: amykathryn. Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Hall's desire to become a designer began as a child traveling to Africa with her grandparents.
After majoring in Anthropology and Art History at University of Arizona she designed museum quality art for a gallery in Scottsdale. She began designing with fabrics and making accessories while she attended Otis School of Design.
Hall's creations are animal-friendly, eco-conscious styles that set her clients apart from those who wear run-of-the-mill designer bags. Since her debut in 2002, Hall's interpretation of chic designs using faux materials has taken off. An appearance on Access Hollywood has helped to put her in mainstream America with classic and lady-like framed bags. The special faux leather, hand-printed fabric in camel, black, navy, soft yellow and warm grey highlights, crackled and metallic finishes put together to compliment one-of-a-kind charming pieces.
These handbags are making a stunning appearance in Tinsel-town from Chelsea Hightower, Bridget Marquardt, Audrina Patridge, Gabrielle Union, Hilary Duff, Nelly Furtado and one of Kill Bill characters, Daryl Hannah.
Each of Amy's bags has a distinct custom high-end look at an affordable price point: $30-$120. You can choose from two selections: Amykathryn line and the Wyland line. Styles include clutches, computer bags, diaper bags, duffel bags, messenger bags, shoulder bags, wallets, canvas totes and organizer bags. To shop go to www.amykathryn.com
How did you start your brand?
Amykathryn started from fabric...custom fabric that I was printing for upholstery. I really wanted to get into fashion so I decided to start up a handbag collection!
How does your collection stand out from other handbag collections?
I not only design the handbags, but also the fabric designs that are used in each bag. We don't knock off any other brands - we are truly a unique designer brand. But our prices are really low!
Tell us a little bit about your green initiative and how you design
We are an Eco collection and I'm so happy to be aligned with customers that are conscious about our planet and the choices they make. Our designs are based on function, therefore the bags are practical being roomy, having lots of pockets and zippers, and being lightweight.
What was the inspiration for the current collection?
This season's direction is Refined Bohemian. The inspirations were the beautifully simplistic lines of Art Deco furnishings mixed with the grounded and functional aspects of Navajo art and jewelry. I hope we captured all that in our handbags this season!
Who is your ideal customer?
Our ideal customer can range in age from 15 - 75. She is a woman that is fashion and eco-conscious.
What do your or your designers do to remain relevant in this economy?
I have been focused on creating handbags and designs that work for our customers. We lowered our prices this season by a lot. We get feedback all the time. I appreciate it and listen to you!
Any words of advice or wisdom for someone trying to break into your
In the ever-evolving process of having your own business, don't ever forget your original vision and purpose! Stick with it and grow.