Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jola V Designs- Handmade Handbags From Vancouver

Here's a great example for social media at its best. A couple of weeks ago I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't get back to sleep. I reached for my laptop, checked my email, glanced at the usual forums and then Twitter. A tweet by Ayala Sender of Ayala Moriel  Perfumes caught my eye. It had nothing to do with natural perfumery but linked to an Etsy store of a Vancouver-based handbag designer. The result of that nightly tweet-and-shop was the bag above.

The thing about Jola V Designs is that these purses are not made of new leather. All the leather is re-claimed, re-purposed or surplus stock. Everything is handmade with the utmost attention to details. They try to make as little waste as possible during production, and most scraps are turned into small accessories, such as coin purses (see photo) or decorative details.

The things that especially caught my eye in this specific bag were the vintage print of the lining and the braided double strap which isn't just beautiful, but also very comfortable to carry (there's also a long single strap that allows for wearing across the body). The cute dust bag was a welcome surprise, as I prefer to store my purses in such bags.

It's such a luxurious item- something that's exquisitely made and will never appear in mass quantities at local department stores before being relegated to discount chains. The design and details are unique, so I'll never see someone carrying an exact copy that was purchased for fraction of the price from a street vendor selling counterfeit items. Looking at the seams, the finish and the lining, it's clear no shortcuts were taken. Unless one can afford to get on Hermes Birkin waitlist, this is as sumptuous as it gets. Amazingly, the prices are very reasonable: from $99 to $280 for a full size leather bag. There are also smaller accessories, such as the very sexy Ball &Chain wrist bag that attaches to your arm with a leather cuff.

Jola V Designs can be found in this Etsy store (I have no commercial interest here and was not compensated in any way for this review. The link is for your convenience only).

All photos are mine.


  1. Gaia,

    I'm so glad you got this bag!!! JolaV bags and leather creations are innovative, well made and fun to carry around. I fell in love with her style when she first sold them at Porotbello West. I got one of her samples (the first "Sarah" bag with the ruffles), her blue suede fringe Keri bag, and she also made me a custom fringe clutch.

    And I just visited her studio yesterday to pick another one for my sister in law (a recycled bag that she touched up from her Triff line), and one-of-a-kind ball&chain bag for myself. Her designs are a refreshing mix between funky, sassy and classy - and everything is very user-friendly. Even the ball&chain bag, which would be a hit one day, I'm sure of it...

    I'm so glad you are enjoying this bag. It's really neat and it's her newest design. The details are adorable and the leathers she picks are gorgeous.

  2. Thanks for sharing this. :)
    Your bag looks great (and very comfortable which I was glad to see in your post).
    I'm off to check her store.

  3. AWESOME BAG and Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I really enjoyed reading.


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