I love it when fellow bloggers expand their brand by branching into other realms of the fashion industry. Bloggers in the D.C. fashion scene have not limited themselves to covering events, but are now building their own mini empires in media, event planning, and of course fashion. Recently I had the opportunity to interview popular D.C. handbag designer Cortnie Hutchinson of Love Cortnie, in the past two years her brand has grown from a hobby to her full time occupation. Cortnie stops by the Dollhouse to dish about fashion, style, and what sets Love Cortnie apart.
Cortnie Hutchinson of Love Cortnie Handbags
Pink Dollhouse: Tell me when did you first fall in love with fashion?
Love Cortnie: I’ve always loved and enjoyed fashion for as long as I can remember. It’s definitely in my blood. My grandmother used to make clothes for me and my sister and anyone else who asked when I was younger. I remember watching her sew. She also used to model in fashion shows. So I’ve been around fashion-loving people all of my life. It just happens that she is also the one who taught me how to sew. I learned how to make my first clutch with her.
Pink Dollhouse: I remember when I first saw you selling your Love Cortnie bags at events, and here you are a few short years later doing what you love full time. Did you ever imagine Love Cortnie would have achieved great success so early?
Love Cortnie: Never! It will be 2 years in a couple of weeks since I learned to sew and opened my Etsy shop. It’s just not something I dreamed of doing. Not until it actually happened. It has been a lot of work to get this far, but I’m determined to do even better.
Pink Dollhouse: Every fashion line begins with a source of inspiration for Coco Chanel it was with a hat, Michael Kors a wedding dress, what inspired you to start Love Cortnie?
Love Cortnie: What inspired me was the idea of a clutch that I had, but could never find. Two years ago, clutches weren’t such a major accessory like they are now. I’ve always loved oversized bags since I apparently need to be able to carry tons of stuff at once. I would look for a large clutch that was fun and unique, but could never locate one. So I took it upon myself to make one. I made a couple just for fun and mentioned it on my blog, but then people liked them and were really interested in seeing more. My blog audience had a lot to do with me moving forward and actually creating a line of clutches.
Pink Dollhouse: Do you outsource your handbags or make them locally?
Love Cortnie: Every clutch that I have ever sold has been made by hand by me.
Love Cortnie Leopard Print Clutch
Pink Dollhouse: The DC fashion scene has really grown in recent years, what do you love the most being an up and coming handbag designer?
Love Cortnie: There is so much opportunity for growth. It’s pretty amazing to be able to go somewhere and see someone carrying one of your bags. Such a crazy feeling.
Pink Dollhouse: Why did you choose to create your handbag business here and not in fashion mecca cities like New York or Los Angeles?
Love Cortnie: I mean, why not? Thanks to the internet, it made it possible to sell products from anywhere!
Pink Dollhouse: Why a handbag line and not a clothing or jewelry line?
Love Cortnie: I kind of touched on this in another question, but it just happened that way. I had always wanted to learn how to sew and really wanted my grandmother to be the one to teach me. While in between jobs I found myself with extra time and finally learned. I mentioned that it would be fun to make a clutch and she was more than excited to teach me how. Long story short, Love,Cortnie was born right in my grandmother’s kitchen. But at the time I hadn’t even known yet. I learned how to sew and a week later opened my Etsy shop.
Pink Dollhouse: Every fashion lover has their top favorite designers for me it would be Chanel, DVF, and Micheal Kors..clean lines with just enough to make a statement. What designers are your favorite when representing your personal style and the style of your Love Cortnie line?
Love Cortnie: I’m not sure that I have a favorite. There are way too many designers to choose from. I do admire Jil Sander and how her collections play with volume and shapes. I also like Rebecca Minkoff for her flirty styles, but in terms of representing my style? Tough call.
Pink Dollhouse: If you don’t mind sharing with readers what do you see for Love Cortnie in the next three years?
Love Cortnie: In the next 3 years I would love to see my brand being sold in major stores around the country!
Pink Dollhouse: Finally what are three words to describe Cortnie?
Love Cortnie: Determined, excited and anxious!
Love Cortnie Black and White Fringe Clutch
Want to learn more about Love Cortnie? Shop the online store Love Cortnie or check out her blog Style Lust Pages. Love social media? She is there too! Tweet@stylelustpages Facebook Love Cortnie Instagram Cortnie Elizabeth or You Tube Love Cortnie Closeup . The girl is connected
In love and fabulosity,