Made in St. Louis: Purse Therapy

By Deer, Karen | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), May 19, 2013 | Go to article overview

Made in St. Louis: Purse Therapy


Deer, Karen, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Tell us about yourself. * As the youngest of seven children, older family members nurtured creativity throughout my life. My Grandma Mary was an exceptional, multitalented crafter. As a young mother, my passion for the activity ignited as my mother-in-law, Mary, provided guidance for sewing pajamas, clothing and Halloween costumes for my toddler son. I advanced and designed a few strip- quilted totes and diaper bags. I successfully reupholstered our patio furniture. Last year, I reconnected with my inner passion to reduce the stress of everyday life by designing strip-quilted items. By day, I am a licensed professional providing speech therapy.

Why purse "therapy" * My "Memory Bags" are made from a loved ones clothing, such as pants and shirts, to create a keepsake for a unique remembrance.

When did the business start? * About a year ago, I complained to my friend, Eva, that I didn't have a personalized St. Louis Cardinals bag to take to the games. She told me to "make one." Soon after fulfilling my own need, I recognized the potential for converting this hobby into a business.

What is the purse process. * I use cotton or cotton-blend materials such as dress shirts and blouses. Every custom bag meets the customer's specifications for size, closure, length of straps/ no straps, fabric choice, new/repurposed fabric and other fine detail. I evaluate each fabric and begin the design process by determining which piece is optimal for lining, straps and pockets. …

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