On May 24th 2012, I was invited to see Candy Woolley's first ever runway show at Miami Metropolitan International Fashion Week where she presented her summer handbag collection. The collection consisted of shoulder bags, handbags & clutches; as usual her eccentric & sporadic combination of skins & textures were jaw dropping.
Candy Woolley is Guatemala bore, but calls South Florida her home and creates her hand crafted luxury at her Pembroke Pines studio. She got her love of fashion from her creative father, his attention to detail became the driving force behind her passions.
At a ripe age of 18 Candy moved to Oklahoma, not so sure what she wanted to do. Wandering the hall ways of an art gallery, one of her favorite past times, she ran into a group of artists. Her charming personality helped her become fast friends and she would later attend their art openings, events that would inspire her to major in Arts. Candy enrolled herself at the University of Oklahoma and began her education majoring in Arts and minoring in photography. Candy received much recognition for her art work there; one of her abstracts "Untitled" still resides in the collection of UCO.
Candy Woolley, Guatemalan handbag designer based in Miami, presented her Summer handbag collection at Miami Metropolitan International Fashion Week on May 24, 2012. Candy is pictured at right. | Photo: CabdyWoolley.com | Candy Woolley, Purse, Handbag, Designer, Miami,
Candy loves to travel, her fondness to other cultures took her to far places; she traveled to exotic locations like Africa, Romania, Spain, Hungary, Australia and several South American countries; finally settling in South Florida. She collected unusual objects and exotic stones from her travel adventures. One day admiring her exquisite stone collection Candy began playing ideas turning those fabulous stones into necklaces, and in 2003 her one-of-a-kind jewelry collection was born. She started selling them at art galleries around South Florida. Frame of Mind is one mentionable art gallery in South Beach still sells her inimitable collection.
A couple of years later Candy's creative hands were itching again and she wanted to make a handbag collection to compliment her jewelry.
She decided to partner with her experienced mother and start designing fabric handbags. Coincidently, one day she walked into a boutique and was asked if she also designed leather handbags, without any hesitation Candy jumped to the golden opportunity and said yes! She promised to meet with the boutique's buyer a few weeks later.
Candy stepped out of the boutique and start looking for leather instructional books; she would spend endless hours at leather stores learning everything there was about leather; exotic skins, tools of the trades and techniques to put together a quality handbag. After working endless days and nights, several trials and errors, much material wasted and many tears shed, Ms. Woolley's drive and ambition paid off with a successful leather handbag collection which was sold to several boutiques.
Each of Candy Woolley bags is a piece of art, her style is exhilarating, exotic and imaginative, yet the well-designed bags are still utterly functional and sensible. Her bags depict colors and the juxtaposition of elements in the cubist art. She finds most of her inspiration in fashion world itself; designers like Coco Chanel, Ferragamo and Diane Von Furstenberg are a few of her motivations to be successful in fashion world. Ms. Woolley says, "But the ultimate inspiration is what I feel when a client shows great admiration and happiness with my work."
Candy Woolley designs her distinctive handbag collection from her studio in Pembroke Pines, where she works with her family. They understand her vision and work well together, utilizing traditional techniques and pay close attention to every last detail, together they create timeless accessories. Due to her background in photography Candy does most of her own fashion photography and graphic needs for her company.
Candy Woolley bags are gaining quite a lot of attention. Admirers of her distinctive bags include Reality TV's it girls Kourtney Kardashian, Patty Manterola and Whitney Port. She has been featured in numerous fashion magazines and online publications, some of the glossies like US Weekly, Miami Fashion Spotlight and 944 Miami. Univision.com and Joonbug.com (Glam damn it) are a couple of online examples. Ms. Woolley was also recently interviewed by Mercedes Soler on the show Notimujer on CNN. Her stylish handbag and accessories can be purchased through candywoolley.com.