Alpaca Wool clutch bags from Peru

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I love clutch bags. They aren’t the most practical (especially when I have my infant in-tow) because there is no handle or strap, but nonetheless, I just love the idea of a small bag and holding it under my arm against my side – it just feels ‘chic’.

I went through my personal clutch bags and picked apart the favorite features of each. I then drew out the size of the clutch bag I wanted on a sketch pad.  I traced this same shape out a few times then started drawing and coloring designs onto the basic shape.  Through this, I came up with 3 clutch bags: 1 neutral combo with a geometric print, 1 bright and fun multicolor style with a repetitive allover zig zag pattern, and a third in black/white with an abstract emphasis on something that I really love – peacock feathers.

Next, I started pounding the ‘internet pavement’, contacting suppliers, manufacturers, artisan groups, and online wholesalers, until I came across a group in Peru that specializes in working with handbags on a small scale.  They were excited to take on the project and sent me samples and images of past work.  It seemed like a perfect fit.

They created samples based on the specs I sent them, and with just a few minor tweaks to the designs after reviewing that first round of samples, voilà… the first 3 styles of Pashen Collection clutch bags were born.

First the artisans make the design for the loom based on my specs, then embroider the loom, then they have to make the mold of each of the clutch bags and finally produce the bags.

One artisan was assigned to each step of the project. The artisans who worked on the final hand-production of the clutch bags, worked from home, enabling them to be available to their families while still earning a living.