A Designer Day with Clutch Bags

What words come to find when you hear: Clutch Bags NY?

Classic? Classy! Chic!

Terrific? Timeless! Tasteful!

Effortless? Elegant! Essential!

For many months now I have been blogging for Clutchbags.com and I have had such a great time observing and reporting the new and happening things going on about town. Working with Clutch Bags NY has introduced me to a world of strong women who know what they want and know how to get it.

Though I have been able to interview, review, or research a number of smart and successful women and their accomplishments, I have always (secretly) been awaiting the day I could interview the woman who is Clutch Bags NY: Laura Dotolo.

From Day 1, I knew that Laura, the creative brain behind Clutch Bags, was someone to respect and look up to. Not only was she utterly personable, but she was very clear about what she wanted me to do for the handbag company. For these last couple of months I have had an eye-opening experience getting to know Laura Dotolo and Clutch Bags NY. Now, it’s your turn! Keep reading for my interview with Laura!


 Time and place: Where did you grow up? I was born and raised in New England.  I grew up on the coast of Rhode Island in a little beach and fishing town called Westerly.  I continue  to spend my summer weekends there, and  know I always will.  It is my special, happy place that I will always return to. Growing up, what forms of art affected you the most? Great question. It was sculpture in the form of mobiles and paintings I was influenced by most. I always had mobiles hanging from my ceiling as a child and was so happy to discover Alexander Calder when I did.  As far as paintings go, it was at a very young age that I was attracted to the work of Picasso and Matisse.  I could relate to Picasso’s shapes and I just loved Matisse’s color palette. If one song could be the soundtrack of your youth, what would it be? And why? Cat Stevens-“If you want to sing out” This song is exactly how my youth was.  I was always a very free spirit, who was always true to myself.  As a young person, I  believed in opportunity for myself and in living out my dreams.  I also intuitively  knew that a new day meant a fresh start; an opportune time to reinvent oneself and ones circumstances.  I grew up believing there was always hope.

Where else in the US have you lived? I lived in Boston for 7 years,  where I  went to college and worked for Urban Outfitters when they were just emerging from Harvard Square. Urban Outfitters had such great style and product then.  It was a fantastic, eclectic, creative place.  I loved Boston and have such fond memories of my college years and friends there. This is the city where I began my styling career. I moved on to live in San Francisco for 3 years and just loved the landscape and beauty of the West.  I re-acquainted myself with the outdoors and did a lot of hiking, biking and camping.  I worked as a stylist in San Francisco and LA at the time.  I felt as if I was always on vacation, as the climate in California is ideal. San Francisco is where I created my first bag design and sold it.  It was the Clutch backpack. Other than NYC, which other cities inspire you?  Italy inspires me, Florence and Rome overall.  This is where I was visiting for a few weeks when I conceived of Clutch Bags and my first leather handbag design, the Mail Bag.  I just find the entire country inspiring and invigorating.  The history of Italy overall is one of such beautiful creations of art, music, literature, food, architecture and design.  There is such beauty in the air and water there. 


What made you move to NYC? The energy and the movement of NYC enticed me.  I knew I wanted to surround myself with successful and driven people who were movers and shakers.  You can make anything happen in NYC and I wanted to make things happen.  And I have made things happen and will continue to do so.  It is a wonderful journey. Top 5 favorite things to do in NYC?

What made you create Clutch Bags NY?  I wanted to start a business where I manufactured the product.  I love accessories, because they are the perfect touch to a woman’s overall style. I love business and I love running my own business.  I would have it no other way. What does Clutch Bags mean to you? Clutch Bags means an American success.  It means a great product created with great vision and foresight.  It is a company that encompasses high standards with American tradition and belief in accessories that are made in the USA. Clutch Bags to me means a fantastic creative port for me to dock my vision!


Nandhi is our Clutch NY blogger at large who spends her days observing and her nights reporting.  Imported to NYC from Mozambique, via McGill University, Nandhi dreams someday of becoming a screenwriter.  For the moment, she is keeping the Clutch NY audience up to date with what’s up today in fashion, trends, news and inspiration


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