What woman doesn’t love amazing accessories to add that special something to her ensemble? One our favorites are handcrafted clutches by Nelle. In 2004, Laura Nelli began her business in Minneapolis, MN where each lovely piece is sewn together creating fabulous and unique handbags for each Nelle customer. Laura’s mantra for her business is to be yourself and her handbags truly encompass that with their exceptional details, fab colors, and beautiful fabrics. Laura shared with us her inspirations and how she has maintained a successful business…
BB: What do you think has been the most important factor in the success of your business?
L: As the owner of Nelle, I am always focused on growth and development, I think having that ability to forecast and anticipate shifts in the market are what has helped Nelle to grow into the company it is today. I am currently in the process of restructuring & re-branding Nelle so much of my time right now is spent working on that project.
BB: When designing your fabulous handbags what are your inspirations?
L: The fabrics have always been an inspiration for me. I fell hard for manipulating textiles years ago, which is why you will never see a plain fabric clutch from me. Why? It's too easy to find a fabulous print to make a clutch out of!
BB: Was there a specific event or person in your life that led you to begin designing?
L: I spent my college years working at various flower shops and fell pretty hard for that industry, but the realities were that to open a floral business requires a great deal of overhead. So I thought on it and concluded that handbag design was the next best thing, both mediums work with color & texture in a 3d space.
BB: If you could give any famous woman, current or historical, a makeover, who would she be and how would you style her?
L: As a rule, I don't believe in makeovers, our culture is a little too obsessed with the idea of reinvention and I personally miss seeing people's authentic style walking around - even if that sometimes means tweety bird t-shirts. With that said, if there was one wedding trend I would love to see disappear, it would be red roses, I’m not a fan of them.
BB: What high school trend are you embarrassed to admit you followed?
L: I rocked a sweet grunge look all through high school, and had the most fabulous pair of camouflage pants that I use to wear with an oversized brown wool J Crew sweater, I even had an amazing perm. I loved it all and wouldn't change it.
BB: If you weren't a designer, what career path would you have chosen?
L: I might have worked in advertising or I might have been a historian or scientist, it could still go either way.
BB: What's your favorite handbag in your collection?
L: Like most designer's I always like what I have just made so the Delphine minaudiêre is my new favorite. Other clutches that keep me smiling are the Just Bowtiful clutch & the Perfectly Petersham clutch. Surprisingly, I am not a fan of the Classic clutch but I always seem to use that one when I head out! So silly.
BB: Do you have any accessory rules to live by?
L: I guess the accessory rule or fashion rule that I have is there are no rules. Rules squash style and that's how you end up with red roses.
BB: What's in your handbag?
L: I don't carry a handbag, but I do use a custom navy Just Bowtiful wallet. Inside I have USPS tracking labels, receipts, credit cards & my cell phone.
Thank you Laura!