Category Archives: great leaders

How to Make a Handbag in the USA: The Final Step

How to Make a Handbag in the USA: The Final Step

You have finally reached the final step of making a handbag in the USA. Congrats! Your hard work is just about to pay off. If you have been keeping up with our posts, this week we discuss the last and final step on How to Make a Handbag in the USA. Just to recap, here are the five steps before racing to the finish line: 

  1. Free Consult Sign Up 
  2. Conceptualization and Design
  3. Sourcing
  4. Manufacturing (including sample/pattern making)
  5. Branding and Merchandising: (especially in a trade show representation)


6. Website and Social Media Set Up (including tips for photography/styling)

Your handbag collection is perfected and ready to be shown through the digital world. The Clutch Made team has extensive experience in the media and styling world. We help you create beautiful product shots and videos for your brand. It is easy, affordable, and all the images you receive will be perfect for all your website and social media platforms.

Your Website:  How are you going to get your product on the market place? Have you thought about creating a website? The Clutch Made team will work with you in acquiring a domain and building your own site. Websites are one of the best platforms to use in order to get your product on the market and seen by your biggest fans. We will not only design the website for you, but show you how you can then maintain the site on your own. We also supply all the tools necessary for your website to function. Our team will work with you on your bios, product descriptions, key branding search words and content writing that will get you found on the web. Here is an example of two websites we helped design for our clients, Linda Busch and Blk Blu NYC.

Social Media Set Up: Whats the next step after website set up? Clutch Made can help you create social media platforms that would work well for your brand and products. This includes acquiring all handles for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and the strategies on how to maintain it consistently. Make sure to follow us on our social media platforms in order to have an idea of the great work we can do for you. 

Styling and Photography:  This is the fun part for the Clutch Made Team! Our professional NYC photographers are the best in business. Alongside Creative Director Laura Dotolo who has 20 years of styling expertise, the Clutch Made team creates beautiful product shots and video’s for your brand. Our service is affordable with one of the quickest turn- around times in the business. The images you receive will then be perfect for all your website and social media platforms. 

Here is an example of a video we made for our client Aurelia Garza:



Working our photography magic!


Behind the scenes look for

One of the final shots!

One of the final shots!

How to Make a Handbag in the USA: Step 2

How to Make a Handbag in the USA: Step 2

Here comes the fun part of making a handbag. If you are keeping up with our posts, this week we discuss the second step on How to Make a Handbag in the USA. This step is all about conceptualization and design. When you reach this step we discuss your vision, who you are and what you are looking to design.

Your Vision: A vision is necessary for designers. Your vision could be what inspires you. What do you visualize when you think about your dream handbag? A great way to help you identify those key points is to create a vision board. A vision board helps you organize and conceptualize your wants and goals. 


Your identity: After identifying your vision and what you would like to achieve, it is time to identify who you are as a brand or designer. Why is this important for design? We want to help you design for a tailored audience. Who are you making a handbag for? What sort of of image are you trying to perceive? A great example would be Clutch Bags NY. Clutch NY is a collection of handbags designed by creative director, Laura Dotolo. Clutch NY handbags have a classic, utilitarian style that reflect the heart of NYC. It is important to note that the main focus of a brand other than its product is its audience.  

Your design: We want to make your vision come to life! The design process is the first step that will lead you to the sample of your handbag. Now would be the time to email or call us at 800.208.1840 and set up a design appointment so we can work with you to design that handbag. Maybe you need ideas for your handbag and are not sure what size, color or zipper it should have. Don’t worry! We are here to work with you during the entire design process. We will help you to formulate all your dimensions, details, hardware choices, functionality and materials for your product. 


Stay tuned next week to learn how we help you with the next step of the process: Sourcing..or as we like to say,  “the secrets of our sourcing powers.”

The First Step on How to Make a Handbag in the USA

The First Step on How to Make a Handbag in the USA

If you are following along with our posts on How to Make a Handbag in the USA, this week we discuss the first step on how to make your dream handbag, here in NYC. Are you ready to make your first handbag? Follow these easy directions on how to submit a free consult sign up. Making a handbag in NYC is fast, easy, and exciting with the help of the Clutch Made team.

The first step would begin by visiting our website, Clutch Made. This is where you will find the consultation form to fill out.


Next, click on the Services Tab.


From there, you will click on the very first service listed, Free Consult Set Up.


Next, fill out the form and tell us the direction of what exactly you are looking for. Do you already have a business? Do you have a bag design in mind? Clearly state your ideas and a Clutch Made team member will get back to you within 24-48 hours via email.


After you have received an email that confirms that we have received your form, we will want to schedule a phone call with you in order to further discuss your ideas. Make sure to be prepared for some of the questions a team member may ask you. Questions might and could include: Do you know the style of the handbag you want to design? Have you thought about the materials or colors you would want to use for the handbag? Or do you know the size and measurements you want to include? We want you to really think about the product that you will be developing.

At Clutch Made, we promise to help you with every detail of your handbag. If you are unsure about some of the questions mentioned above, don’t let that stop you!   We are here to help and guide you. Our expertise will ensure that we make the handbag of your dreams.

To start thinking about these questions, we always encourage designers and businesses to make an inspiration board on Pinterest. Need some ideas? Follow us and get inspired by our posts.


Stay tuned next week to learn how we help you with the next step of the process: Conceptualization and Design.


Being a Product Developer at Clutch Made USA

Generally understated, a product developer plays a very crucial role when you just start building your business. From the small details of the aesthetics behind design to the factors that go into manufacturing, a product developer does it all.  When you think of it, product development is one of the most rudimentarily essential professions, which ends up leading to other necessary jobs in the fields of designing and marketing. After all the efforts put into developing or let’s say planting the sapling for it to grow into a successful product line, the job of a product developer does not end there. It gets even more interesting with the continuous introduction of methods of keeping your product line one of a kind to attract a bigger clientele.

Our resident product developer at Clutch Made, Mariela Ferrer, has been developing a capsule collection of Tees and Totes inspired by different elements of society, fashion and politics.  The latest collection is inspired by the candidacy of Hillary Clinton’s campaign for President.  The product developing process of  “Speak it Tees and Totes” made us realize how much creativity goes into the making of product, designing it, working with factories to spec it and then branding and marketing it.

Hillary Tees

A student at Parsons, Mariela spoke to us about her journey so far.

“Being a Product developer is always an interesting process of designing, creating and marketing new products or services to benefit customers, a learning journey and a fun experience. Being part of Clutch Made team and developing a new product has been an exciting and  educational process. I had the opportunity to branch out into the apparel industry and  received an introduction to America’s political scene. The best part of being a product developer is the journey. Taking an abstract idea and bringing it to life is an accelerating and rewarding task.”


#Speak it is a platform that enables people to express themselves, their beliefs and opinions thru t-shirts and totes.  Finally, there is clothing and accessories in the market place that can speak it; products  made for the people by the people. Check us out at



We hope you enjoy our products as much as we enjoy making them for you!   Give us a heads up at and remember to follow us on Instagram: speakitteesandtotes


Mariela Ferrer

Mariela Ferrer


Mariela Ferrer has been our resident product developer on loan from the Parson’s Master’s Program for Product Development and Management.  She has spent most of the summer months developing all the product and branding for #Speak It t-shirts and totes.  Please let us know your thoughts on the products!

Try us at:

Keep it Clutch and remember to #SPEAKIT



Manufacturer and Me in NYC


Manufacturers at work!

Manufacturers at work!

                                                                  USA Manufacturer and Me!

As a working designer I decided that New York City is where I needed to be, so I sub-let my apartment, sold all of my furniture, packed my bags, and moved my life from Chicago to Brooklyn into the apartment of my two best gays.   Paul and Steven are my best buds and they let me spend the next 2 weeks scouring the internet for anything that slightly resembled a career opportunity I was interested in until I saw a post that seemed to fit my idea of “a cool place to work.” Understatement of the year as it turns out.  I applied, got a reply, an interview, and subsequently was offered a job. I accepted the position and began my career with Clutch Made, thus it became the manufacturer and me in NYC.

One of the great things about my new job is that I get to participate in every aspect of the accessory manufacturing process from concept and design to sourcing and production.  While my day starts behind a desk, I’m not there for long as my to-do list is long and everything must get done. A quick ride on the 1 train at Rector street takes me from my office on the Battery to the garment district.  Whether its leather or feathers you’re looking for, you can find it in the garment district and from there, it’s off to our factory. From street level you would never guess what is going on behind the walls of these NYC buildings. Going to our factory is like taking a tour through Willy Wonka’s Candy Factory. We all know and love the finished product but this and here is how it’s made. As I listen to our Creative Director, Laura Dotolo, speak the language of production, it becomes clear to me that there is a science to communication and working efficiently with our factories.

So far I’ve designed and sourced lambskin leather, Swarovski crystals for an evening bag, designed a leather dog collar, a leather cuff bracelet, a cashmere/leather shawl, a mens necktie, and a baby changing bag! I’ve been on a photo shoot where I put my styling skills to work.  I have traveled to three of New York’s five boroughs all in one day to check on our clients’ productions at our factories.

I’ve met people I would have never had the chance to be exposed to; like Russell, a stylish Englishman who designs and manufactures men’s neckties and accessories in LIC and who’s brother happens to be the owner of the popular street wear brand Supreme!  I’ve learned tips and tricks of the industry that only Laura Dotolo could show me.  I’ve realized the importance of over communicating, time management, and meeting deadlines. I’ve also been getting a killer workout with all the running around we do.  I’ve been given an amazing opportunity with Clutch Made. I look forward to what’s to come with my new opportunity and I’ll be sure to keep you all posted along the way!

Stay tuned and write soon!

Ali Cherney

Ali is a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Art- Chicago with a degree in Fashion Design. Ali likes piña coladas and getting caught in the rain.  She is into yoga and likes the taste of champagne.

Nelson Mandela Freedom

Nelson Mandela Freedom


                              Nelson Mandela Freedom


There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.  Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela freedom are two words that seem to be synonymous.  What more can I say?  They are actually not even two words anymore, but a way to describe a certain movement in freedom.   The world was a sad place last week when we lost a great icon.  As the press kept touting, South Africa is not sad that he has finally passed, as this was expected due to his illness, but sad that a legacy to this lifetime and world would now be gone for ever.  So what does this mean to the average person?  How does the Nelson Mandela freedom and his legacy affect our everyday lives? Continue reading