When passion and creativity collide, the result is a product unique to the creator. That’s exactly what happened when Melissa C. of South Florida allowed her love of art, painting, fabrics, fashion…and saving money to turn into a passion project.
A project that has now become Melissa’s own line of handbags, Hardware Clutch.
It all started with an attempted at a Do It Yourself project where she turned a folder into a purse by reconstructing the folder, then putting her own spin on it by adding fabric and a lock.
Proud of her work, she posted a photo of her new purse online, not knowing that someone would actually ask to buy the piece.
Melissa’s friend also saw the post and requested a bag, followed by another customer request.
Over the past two years, requests have continued to come in, and Hardware Clutch has evolved past the original DIY project and turned into a collection of signature handbags.
The line includes clutches and messenger bags under $100 featuring handpicked fabrics, metal embellishments, intricate hand painted designs, and even recreations of her original artwork.
Although it’s only been two years, Mel’s distinctive eye for handbag designs and fabrics has gained her recognition not only from peers and social media, but also from FashionBombDaily.com’s Editor-in-Chief, Claire Sulmers and RAW:natural born artists.
RAW is a respected international organization that provides independent artists with a platform to showcase their creations along with resources, tools, and exposure needed to propel their success.
Mel made the decision to submit her portfolio to the organization and was handpicked by the RAW Directors to be a part of their Mosaic showcase in Miami, Florida this past March.
The showcase gave her the opportunity to exhibit and sell her handbags, take part in an interview, share her biography, and tell an audience about Hardware Clutch.
The CEO of RAW even purchased one of Mel’s handbags during the event. Let’s hope that gets her a few steps closer to winning an award at RAW’s Annual Indie Awards Show.
Melissa draws inspiration from many places, including things, fabrics, and even people who are artistic, bright, colorful, and stand out. She shared that she believes in “living creatively”, and that there are no such things as mistakes when she is hand painting her bags because she also believes in trusting whatever comes out of her fingertips.
Her latest creation, the Pride Clutch, features Melissa’s original artwork turned into a funky statement making handbag.
Her Matter of Pride painting is an original piece of art in which she incorporated left over fabric scraps from previous handbags.
Melissa put the scraps onto a canvas to create the afro of the woman she painted. The Matter of Pride piece was so popular, she ending up selling the original.
Once she realized how much she loved the painting, she had it printed onto vegan leather and created her most recent addition to an already eye catching line.
In addition to artwork, Hardware Clutch’s hand created designs consist of eye catching patterns, vibrant colors, metal pieces, and attention to detail .
Here is a glimpse of some fabulous Hardware Clutch pieces. Melissa’s bags are the perfect form of wearable art and great statement accessories to add to your wardrobe.
Imagine all of the fun you’ll have when you incorporate these into your spring and summer attire.