Native Austinite Kelly Wynne White turns an accessory obsession into a career with handbag line
Ole Miss graduate and native Austinite Kelly Wynne White always had an obsession with handbags and accessories. After working in public relations for three years, she was getting rather antsy. So she began toying with the idea of starting her own handbag company.
"You have dreams like this growing up, but you never think you're going to do it," she says.
White is the epitome of the driven Texas entrepreneur: She does all of her own designs, seeks out materials and hardware, and takes care of the business side.
After loads of research and sketching, in February 2012, White was doing it. She also learned how some of her favorite designers — Tory Burch, Kate Spade and Rebecca Minkoff — launched their lines. "I even found Rebecca Minkoff's factory and honed in on how she started," she admits.
White is the epitome of the driven Texas entrepreneur: Within a year, she had launched her brand. She does all of her own designs, seeks out materials and hardware, and takes care of the business side. "I need interns," she confesses.
All of her efforts have paid off. White's line comprises shoulder bags, clutches, totes, cross-body bags, satchels and hobos, in 23 combinations. All of the bags are made with leather or printed suede; the latter is how she mimics stingray leather in an affordable, but just as chic, way.
The bags are lined with cheerful green fabric and sport the KW logo. Names reflect the celebration of her collection, such as "Mingle Mingle Mini," "Here's to You Hobo" and "Cloud Nine Clutch." Prices range from $295 to $495.
Most of the materials White uses for her bags come from the United States, and she says we have a lot more to look forward to in the fall season, including new colors, new embossed leathers and her favorite color combination: black and camel.
Just last weekend, she moved back to Austin from Dallas, where she launched the line. Her collection has found a new home here as well.
Kelly Wynne handbags are now available at c.jane as well as Valentine's Too in Austin. You can also find her collection at Haven and La Marque in Dallas and both locations of French Cuff Boutique in Houston, and Valentine's Too in Austin. The kellywynne.com ecommerce site launched in May.