Monday, February 18, 2013

Robyn Bernard's Bags

Last year I made a commitment to stop shopping at chain stores as much as possible. Not only because I would like to support local merchants, but because I don't like to have the same stuff as everyone else. There is nothing worse than going out and having on the same outfit or same accessory as another girl, especially if by some chance she looks cuter than you do. One of a kind pieces are the way to go and thanks to Robyn Bernard, I now have the cutest, little one of a kind bag to take out with me when I go bar hopping. 

I ran into Robyn recently at The Crofoot and complimented the cute studded bag that she was wearing. She told me that she had made the bag and it was one of her hobbies. In fact she had recently made one for another one of my friends. I asked her if she could make me one and told her that I was looking for the perfect black and gold purse to take out to shows and bars when I am out and about. I loved the fact that it had a long strap and that it closed all the way so that nothing could fall out. 

We stood in the bathroom and discussed what I would want and a few days later she texted me a picture of the finished product. When I picked up my bag I couldn’t have been happier. It was exactly what I wanted and was well made. I asked Robyn to be featured here on Hip In Detroit so that I could tell all my fellow DIY fashionistas about this bag making business. I have already told her that I want a dark blue one with black studs and I am sure that I will be ordering more and more bags as time passes. Check out what she has to say and make your order soon. I have a feeling once word gets out this woman is going to be busier than she knows. 
Hip In Detroit- When did you start designing and making purses?

Robyn- After being unemployed for about three months starting this past fall, I didn't have enough money to buy a new purse, since the one I use of the regular broke new year’s eve. I decided to make one for myself. I wore it out that night and people kept asking about it, from there, I started to design and make more for those around me. So about two months.

Hip In Detroit- How did you learn to stud fabric?

Robyn- I utilize the wonderful world of the internet, and YouTube.

Hip In Detroit- What type of material do you use to make the actual purse? It looks like leather and feels nicer than vinyl.

Robyn- I use a vinyl, though some of my items are made with leather. I also use cotton or satin liner for the interior. I can obtain different types of material for custom orders.

Hip In Detroit- Can you make purses in more than one size? What are your size ranges?

Robyn- I like to make a purse for the occasion, whether a concert (I have to shove all my purse items and new merch I buy in it purse) or a party/out n about (I only have lipstick, ID and my credit card purse). I have larger purses that range from 15x15in, 20x20in, and smaller clutches that range from 6x6in-10inx10in. Though the awesome something about making it yourself is you can choose how big you need it to be.

Hip In Detroit- I love how the purse folds over and then also zips so that you do not lose anything, then it also clips shut so it holds its form when you close it. How did you come up with this design?

Robyn- Researching DIY projects on line gave me the idea for the fold over with the zipper, though with my first prototype I ended up having issues with it staying folded over to keep the style. So I came up with adding a magnetic clip so that the flap can remain folded even if you jam a bunch of items in it.

Hip In Detroit- What color bags are you currently making? Do you have multiple color studs or just gold?

Robyn- I currently have Mauve Pink, Black, White, Bright Pink, Tan, and Navy. I can make purses with or without studs, though I have gold, silver and black studs available.

Hip In Detroit- How do you decide what stud design you will make on a bag?

Robyn- I start sketching ideas down and then I try it out, if it ends up not too well I start over. It’s a good process of trial by error.

Hip In Detroit- Do you make any other items or just bags?

Robyn- I do make feather earnings and hair pieces, and started to make custom clothing as well. I enjoy being innovative with my creations.

Hip In Detroit- Where do you make these bags and how long does it take to make a bag like the one I bought?

Robyn- I make them at my workshop up in Clarkston, and the one I made for you took about 2-3 hours if I work straight through on it.

Hip In Detroit- What is the plan for the future? Will you expand your company or be selling at any of the local craft fairs this summer?

Robyn- I plan on continuing with the company, it’s a great hobby that I am passionate about. There are works in for summer D.I.Y. fairs, though I might have expanded to a full clothing line by then. 

Hip In Detroit- How can someone find you online to order a bag?

Robyn- or email

Hip In Detroit- Tell us something interesting about you that people may not know.

Robyn- I lost a lot of my memory in a snowboarding accident when I was younger, though I think that has made me stay youthful at heart which helps with my creativity and innovation of ideas. 

Hip In Detroit- What are your favorite local bands, bars and restaurants is the Detroit area?

Robyn- Current favorite local band has yet to play their first show, but people should definitely check them out once they are out of the studio. Keep your ears open for Apollo. As far as bars I might be slightly bias since I live in Ferndale but Loving Touch is great for a last call beer before I walk home. Also, Imperial taco bar suppresses my hunger with their amazing tacos and a good variety of beer. I do have another town I call home up in Clarkston where I frequent the Woodshop for some amazing eats and Foosball tournaments. As a sister restaurant to the Woodshop, I do want to take my go at Vinsetta's Garage. 


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