The Purse Designer

It has been a whole week since I have been away from blogging. But finally I am back that too with an Interview with a lovely lady from Bogota, Colombia. Her name is Jennifer Andrea Castillo Lopez and she is a purse/handbag designer.. Isn’t it wonderful? So Lets move on to the interview…

Me: Hey Jen I would directly jump on to my first question which is, When did you realize that you wanted to pursue a career in handbag and purse designing?

Jen: I always wanted to do something different since my childhood. During my time years, I started making bags as a hobby. I wanted to pursue a career in bags soon after that.


Me: That is great. Moving on to the second question. What college did you attend and what did you study?

Jen: Although I wanted to pursue my career in handbag designing, I wasn’t sure about that. So I decided to study publishing designer. Later on, I changed my path and came back to purse and handbag designing, so I didn’t study how to make purses and learnt it with time and practice.


Me: That sounds interesting so Jen when did you sell your first purse, how was the buyer’s reaction to your work?

Jen: As I told you earlier, I used to make purses when I was a teenager, I used to sell them to my friends. They encouraged me to make and sell purses and other handicrafts.


Me: We all know that this is a vast industry now.. So who have been your biggest mentors in this industry and what is the best lesson they have ever given you?

Jen: This may sound a little weird, but an ex-boyfriend was my best mentor. We loved travelling around the country and with him, I discovered a new way to win. With him, I had a friend that taught me to find cute materials. He always encouraged me to follow my dreams.



Me: What was your first job out of college?

Jen: My first job was about handicrafts after that I decided to study publishing designer.

Me: What was the biggest rookie mistake you made when just starting out?

Jen: When I started making purses, I had an urge to earn lots of money which made me make bad purses. They would break and wear out easily. I guess that was my first mistake and first lesson, I wasn’t satisfied with what I was doing. I had to improve myself.

Me: What is your favourite part about being a purse/handbag designer?

Jen: My favourite part is when someone love my job, my style, the color, the design, or simply when the client is happy with the work I did.


Me: If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career what would it be?

Jen: If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to believe in what I love.  When I had to decide a career path, I wasn’t confident enough about studying purse designing. I didn’t study anything about the topic I love but ended up choosing another career.

Me: This is going to be the very last question Jen. The fashion industry has changed so much in the past few years, what’s the best advice you would give for staying ahead of the curve?

Jen My advice would be look the women need. Look around, you will find enough ideas to work on. That’s how I learnt.

Me: Thank you Jennifer.


Jennifer Andrea Castillo Lopez

Well, that was an interesting interview.. I would love to know your views in the comments… See you soon.. 


145 thoughts on “The Purse Designer”

  1. Fashion industry is one of the fastest growing industry all over the world.This real life interaction with a lady who is a part of this industry is really interesting read.Her experience will definitely guide the young entrepreneurs

  2. Beautiful interview..
    Enjoyed reading it… see chat beautiful lessons ..the biggest mistake most business people do early in career …sacrificing quality for quantity to make fast money…love what you do..
    Thank you Monidipa .God bless you

  3. Following the “sensible” path instead of your dreams is a pretty common thing. But the world needs more people willing to take that a risk. Interesting post

  4. This is such an interesting and encouraging interview. I love one of her last statements: “If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to believe in what I love.” Lots of people do not have courage to pursue their dreams but this lady was brave enough to change path to do what she loves to do, and she made it!

  5. What a wonderful interview!! It is so interesting to hear how people end up in the career they are in and the unique path that got them there! I loved this journey.

  6. How fun that she makes these purses. I love that it was her ex who encouraged her and she’s still saying positive things about him! So cool.

  7. This is an inspiring interview. I love how she’s open about her mistake of wanting to earn more money than focusing on the quality of her work.

  8. Seems like a fun interview, always interesting to see how other people’s paths were made. Making something out of yourself in the fashion world is really hard. Hoping Jen will continue with what she loves and wishes her all the best. I really like the designs of hers you are showing here in this post, they really unique and stand out!

  9. I like how she used her experience to value quality over quantity and produces long wearing products she can be proud of. I think many creative people choose a field of study that they think is more suitable over their passion, and eventually come back to their passion because it is a fire burning in their soul.

  10. I feel like I have heard Jen’s story from a lot of artists. They don’t stay true to themselves and their aesthetic at first for financial or other reasons and it affects their work negatively!

  11. Very inspiring interview! It’s great to know about the journey of people who follow their passions. I like those creative and colourful purses she designed.

  12. What a different career path to choose even though she clearly had an interest in making handbags when she was very, very young! I liked the lesson of making a higher quality handbag versus churning out something quickly for a buck. I’d rather pay a little more for something of substance than a little for something that will come apart in my hands.

  13. Those are some pretty cool purse designs. I can imagine the pressure to make money can make you want to cut corners in many ways. Good things take time in all aspects of life it would seem. Fun and interesting interview.

  14. What a cool post! I love reading interviews, it really allows me to get a in-depth understanding of something I once knew about. ANyone who knows me, knows I love a good interview. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  15. that monster purse is truly adorable.. while i am not a designer by any standards, i know my dd would jump at the idea of making one like that.. and learning about the process through someone who does it already is cool..

  16. This interview is so inspirational for new creative entreprenuers like me. Sometimes I am caught up between what I really like to do and what should I do for the living. Going on your passion is best if you have great capital to start but if you have nothing sometimes its hard and we end up giving up to go back on the things we don’t love because it pays more.

  17. So lovely that you got to interview her! She’s definitely amazing at what she does and I love her determination and perseverance. What an inspiration to women to go after their dreams!

  18. This is a really inspirational interview. We must always follow our heart when it comes to choosing our career because this is something we will do in order to do what we love, to earn, and to be successful. This is a really nice share 🙂

  19. Very nice interview and purses! I have also been designing and making my own bags and purses for a long time, so I always appreciate the talent and creativity of other artisans. My specialty is incorporating quilt block designs and imprinted photos into the bags.

  20. Her bags are so cote, I love how she uses different materials and different textures. I would definitely love to buy that owl purse. It’s good that she realised in time that passion is more important than money and changed her way of making her handbags.

  21. What an interesting interview! I cannot say that I have ever met anyone who designs and makes purses as a career. I love that she is in Columbia as well. Thanks for this provocative post.

  22. Definitely agree with putting out a quality product and money will follow. People are more likely do recommend you when if they had a great experience with you.

  23. She has designed some fun purses! I really liked the part where she talked about doing what you love. I also thought it was fun that her ex-boyfriend helped her learn to find fun materials. My husband is my favorite shopping partner, so I can understand where she’s coming from.

  24. Life can be so complete if we choose what we like as our career. I have seen people dragging their feet to work, feel sorry for these group of people and hope your post can inspired more people to wake up.

  25. I don’t think a woman can ever have too many purses. I would love to have the talent to make my own, and especially ones as adorable as those depicted in the photos you provided. Getting to interview people and learn about their lives and talents must be so interesting! Thank you for the insight and beautiful photos.

  26. encouraging interview. I love this one “If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to believe in what I love.” thanks for sharing

  27. Such an interesting interview. It’s always so awesome to see people take the passion from when they are young and turn it into a business!

  28. Good for Jennifer for following her dream of purse design. Seems like a fun and creative career. I also bet she has a fantastic personal collection of handbags. 🙂

  29. I’m so glad that she out doing something that she loves. I studied Business Administration because I thought it would be a safe career to make money, but I wish I would have studied writing or acting- both careers that could not go anywhere.

  30. This was an interesting interview. I’m planning on doing an interview series myself and I really like the way that you ordered this one. It gave me a lot of information about this purse designer, I feel like I really know her now and am more interested in her designs.

  31. You know, I am a typical woman who loves to look at purses and bags. But I don’t buy them because I don’t get to use them. I usually just have one bag that lasts for years. I need a big bag because of all the stuff that I need when going out. Pfft.

  32. Wow, she’s really doing great, I wish I could just be ready books like that. I love to read books but very easily distracted. Though many things account for my distractions. But after reading this now, I think I’m recandled to read again. Thank you

  33. Interesting interview! It’s great that after all, she believed her dreams enough to make them true. That’s not always easy but it’s definitely worth it. All the best to her and her career!

  34. These handbags are just gorgeous! I love finding purses that match my mood for the day… sometimes I’m using the same purse for months, and other times, I’m changing it out every few days!

  35. Wow, this is such a good post and I do love hearing other designers perspective and to get some learning from them.Thanks for sharing!

  36. Whatever happens, we will always go back to what we truly love. No matter how life somehow turns out, our passion will eventually find its way to our hearts. Kudos! Your questions led Jen to these wonderful insights.

  37. My friends always say: there are some the of girl but you are definitely a bag girl. This interview is so interesting to me! I am very much interested in fashion and bags are a big part of it. Also I really want bag not only to be pretty but also fictional which isn’t always easy to pull. Thank you for letting me touch the industry more

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