LoveToKnow was happy to interview a teen who collects and enhances cute purses and shares her fashion ideas with family and friends. Cute purses for teens can be hard to find, but Hailey Grace manages to create them out of seemingly thin air.
A Little About Hailey
13-year-old Hailey Grace started carrying purses at the tender age of four, thus starting a love affair with handbags that she expects to last her entire life.
LoveToKnow (LTK): Tell us why you love purses so much…
Hailey Grace (HG): Purses are a necessity in my world. I carry one everywhere I go. When I was little, I would carry toys like Polly Pockets in my purses. Now, I carry lip gloss, a little money and my cell phone. When I go to school, I carry a huge purse and use it as a bookbag too. I love purses because they are useful and they add so much to every outfit I wear.
LTK: Why purses instead of shoes or jewelry?
HG: Oh, I love shoes and jewelry too! But purses just add that extra oomph that other accessories don't. They aren't expensive. I can pick up a basic purse at a resale store. They don't wear and tear like shoes. When friends and family get tired of their purses, they give them to me and they are usually still in pretty great condition. I sometimes dress them up.
Adding Some Pizazz to a Plain Purse
LTK: Tell us a little about dressing up purses. I noticed how many really cute purses you own.
HG: Some of the purses I buy and receive are really plain, like the two purses in that picture. They were just simple purses with metallic leather in a single color. They were cute purses, but they needed something more. I added pizazz for me and my best friend Kaley by using everything items from my own stuff and my mom's closet. The purse I put together for Kaley just has some necklace beads tied to the handle and allowed to hang down. It adds a little bling, which looks good with jeans or can be worn to a school dance.
The purse I have on my shoulder is a basic silver with a silver strap. I took a black floral silk scarf from my mom's closet and tied it to one metal loop, wrapped the handle with the scarf and then tied the other end to the other metal loop. The picture doesn't show it as well as I'd like, but the result was a really unique purse that no one else has. The black ties it into the shirt I have on, helping me coordinate the outfit with the purse.
LTK: Do you try to match your purse to every outfit you wear?
HG: Sometimes. Usually I'm too lazy to do that, so I try to stick with colors that work with everything, like black and silver. Adding the details that I mentioned above can make it easy to coordinate, even when it really doesn't. The other day I had on a pink dress, but my purse was blue. They didn't really match. Then, I added a big pink flower pin to the side of the purse and it just pulled it all together and made it look planned. I'm really good at adding those little touches.
Teen Collects and Enhances Purses for Friends as Gifts, Too
LTK: You like to dress up purses and give them as gifts. Can you tell us a little about that?
HG: I'm always broke. LOL. If I can take a cheap purse I bought on clearance or at the resale store and make it all modern and unique, my friends love that as a gift and it doesn't cost much. My mom buys a lot of purses and materials for me. She likes that I'm creative, so she supports it. It helps me be able to do more with the purses.
LTK: Are you working on any purses right now? Adding bling to them? Or making one for a friend?
HG: I am working on one, but I'm not sure if I'll give it away or keep it. I like it a lot, so I'll probably keep it. It is a black tote back, but I'm adding a miniature feathered boa around the top in a light purple. I also found some buttons that are purple and pink flowers and I've been sewing those onto the side of the tote. It is super cute so far, but I think it still needs one more touch. I just haven't decided what yet.
Hailey's Future with Cute Purses
LTK: Do you think you'll design purses for a living one day?
HG: I would love that. I have a lot of fun when I'm designing purses and making money on them would be awesome. I also want to be a marine biologist, though, because I love animals. We visited Sea World the last time we were in Orlando and I loved the baby dolphins. I kept asking the workers questions about the dolphins. Maybe I could do both - design purses and train dolphins.
LoveToKnow would like to thank Hailey Grace for sharing a little about her passion for purses and giving us a few ideas about how we can customize our own handbags. Hailey does everything from add buttons to the main outside body of her purses to wrapping the handles and adding big pins anywhere that suits her at the moment. Most of us have a nice collection of old costume jewelry, scarves and other items that could easily be used to jazz up a plain handbag.