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Entrepreneurial Dreamin' in 3D

Posted by Paula Parisotto on

Hittin' refresh on my inbox waiting on a shipping notification had me as buzzed as a double shot of espresso. 


Accessories designer, Paula Parisotto, in her Connecticut manufacturing warehouse standing with the UPS driver who takes her first cork purse collection for shipment to Solvang, California.

Pinnng!” After days of jumping with each ding of my phone, I almost didn’t want to check my email. Again. Watching for that shipping update had stretched the wait for my sample into an ache of nervous anticipation. Eeek! I had a tracking number...and a weeklong wait until I was holding my sample in my hot lil’ hands. My toes tingled at the thought!

Fashion is my passion; so working with my personal styling clients was a great distraction from watching for the UPS truck to turn down my drive. I was an hour away in the next town working with a client when my sample was due to arrive. Luckily for her, my love for making women feel fab won out over my impatience to rush home!

“I’ve got this feelin’ inside my bones…” (You know you are totally singing that along with me) Justin Timberlake kept me pumped on my drive race back home. The hour flew by, much like the blurred scenery outside my car window. As I pulled in, I spotted it. THE BOX. She was here! Throwing my car in park, I left it running and fell to my knees, tearing at the packaging.

It was like the Christmas morning scene from a Hallmark movie - a flurry of tape, cardboard and packing paper rained down on me as I pulled out my sample. Sliding off the protective plastic, holding her felt like I was dreaming in 3-D. Every drawing, every stitch, all my thoughts now had a tangible shape. And she was beautiful.

“Whoooooh” After a moment I realized I’d been holding my breath and as I exhaled, I felt it. “Designer. I’m a handbag designer!” At first, it was a whisper. A physical moment of self-realization. And then it was a shout! I WAS A HANDBAG DESIGNER! I could not stop smiling.

In the days following this became a familiar scene. A dream would take shape into a design sketch that I would then send off to Russ in Connecticut. A week or two of waiting would follow, with one eye always on the driveway, watching for a delivery. Each new design, bringing the same sense of awe and satisfaction upon her arrival. Fausto and I knew we had chosen the best manufacturer for our line. 100%.

Each new handbag was put through a rigorous wear test, enduring minor tweaks to her design, adjusting thread colors and perfecting her leather trim and hardware until she was perfect. My line of cork accessories was ready, and so was I! I was officially adding Handbag Designer to my style resume.

It was time to assemble a team, build a brand and secure the capital to carry my handbags into the marketplace. It looks like shit just. got. real.

Wanna hear more about my journey? Click here.  

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