As the Austin fashion scene grows, there are many brands that have enjoyed bountiful success. We are celebrating an exciting milestone for local handbag brand ten years in the making.
Handbag designer Conni Reed, founder of Consuela had a journey that started out like most other designers. She was working a corporate 9-5 job and was eventually getting burned out from the schedule. For most type A personalities a regular recharge is critical, so she headed for her happy place.
While on a beach vacation, a vision came to light for a fun and one-of-a-kind bags and it was the beginning of her fashion empire. At that moment she knew it was something that would change everything.
“I was on a beach vacation, which is where I get rejuvenated and I was like, NO, this it! “I went home, drew a logo and started the company. Reed, who has a graphic art background, continued to work her corporate job while designing her bags on her off hours. While she was growing her new business she sold her designs at local flea markets and craft shows. In 2008 she got a big break and started to sell her bags to the wholesale market.
Reed’s vision was large but experienced with large corporate business plans, so she knew what needed to make Consuela successful. “From day one I knew that Consuela was going to be an international lifestyle brand and I felt like it was missing in the marketplace”, said Reed.
Connie describes the bags as a little uptown and a little downtown with that “vacay” touch and will satisfy any gals inner beach fashion personality. “I am Inspired by Mexican oil cloth, it’s very traditional. You see it in all the kitchens in Mexico. I actually used that fabric because it made me so reminiscent of my Mexican vacation”.
Moving into Fall 2016, Connie shared some her favorite trends. “Fringe is still hanging and at
Consuela we have ball fringe. It is hand-braided, hand-knotted and it is so fun because it is something I have loved since I was young and it is a way for us to bridge the trendy fashion with something that is very Consuela-esqed”, added Reed. It also took Conni two years to develop the process to get the treatment into her collection.
As far as celebrating 10 years based in Austin? Connie is supportive and knows Austin has the perfect formula for success for her brand to succeed. “I really think we are making our own path. I don’t follow other people, I do love fashion, but I think we are hitting a white space, niche that is not being serviced right now”.
Conni’s motto “live in color” is very apparent when you see her collection. You’ll also see structured leather bags with ultimate craftsmanship. Pieces you’ll have in your closet for years to come and hand down to other fashion lovers.
Congratulations Conni and we wish you many more years of creating fun and fanciful bags in our fashion city. “I make them with love to make you happy”. Don’t worry Conni, we’re smiling!