Last summer, Cortnie Hutchinson asked her grandmother to teach her how to sew a clutch purse. "The clutches I really like are big--they need to fit a bottle of water and my camera," Hutchinson says. "I couldn't find ones I wanted, so I decided to make them myself."
The 28-year-old Columbia resident started selling her clutches on Etsy. Bolstered by her fashion blog, StyleLust Pages, the bags took off. Her bags are also sold in two DC shops, It's Vintage Darling and Violet Boutique.
Hutchinson, a graduate of the University of Maryland and the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in LA, uses sturdy upholstery fabric on many of her day-to-evening clutches--which typically measure 9 by 11 inches--and lines them in bright colors. "Most of my bags are earth tones, because that's what I wear most of the time, but I'm looking to use more color for spring," she says.
This article appears in the March 2012 issue of The Washingtonian.