Victoria Horner

 

Victoria Horner – fashionista and bag makerAfter graduating from college with degrees in commercial art and fashion illustration, I was ready to hit the big city and moved up to New York from Florida.  Starting at a job in the art department of a beauty trade magazine was great experience, and then I was thrilled for the opportunity to work for Andy Warhol, at his Interview Magazine, in the advertising department.  While there, I realized my love of fashion and design and created dresses for all my chic co-workers.  This led to a job in women’s design at J. Crew.  A few years later, there was an open call for new designers at the new Henri Bendel store on Fifth Avenue.  I presented 5 designs to them and they bought 10 of each!  This began my dress design business, which I passionately fueled for several years, until my move to Virginia, which is where I was born.  I’ve been living in Charlottesville since 1995, beautiful with its mountain views  and rural landscapes and a keen sense of creative energy.

Artisan made handbags and purses – by Victoria Horner.After my move I decided to venture into something a bit different, and started dabbling with handbag design.  Back then, there weren’t any patterns or readily available tutorials (no internet or you tube), so I basically taught myself.  I found a vintage fabric bag at a consignment shop and cut it apart to see how the pieces were formed and fit together.  Using my own fabrics, I played around with it, making several prototypes until something seemed to resemble a functional bag.  About 8 or 10 tries later, success!

So then I put a collection together and found a few local stores for consignment.  I participated in my first craft show in Richmond, Virginia in 1997, which is the year my business officially started. I’ve been doing this for 20 years!

Early on, I would travel back to NYC twice a year for fabrics and inspiration, and soon because of the Internet I realized I could be just as creative at home.  The fabric selection is probably my favorite step in the design process.  A good and bad thing, because I am now obsessed with anything resembling textiles, and have a separate room where I store everything.  Lately that room has been overflowing into my workspace.  I am very fortunate to have a finished basement with 2 rooms and several storage closets, so one is for sewing and production, the other is for fabric and supplies.  It’s difficult for me to keep it all neat and orderly, so I proudly say that I work in organized chaos.  Even better, since it’s the basement, I can come back upstairs and shut the door to my mess!

Sewn with love artisan bags by Victoria Horner – bagslife friends.Most of my sales these days are from art and craft shows, or trunk shows that I travel to near and far, in addition to a boutique or gallery in the vicinity.  I also have a couple of websites, so that’s another outlet.  Etsy has been a great arena for me, and has given my bags international exposure, having received sales from Japan, Australia, Spain and others.

It has been an interesting adventure so far, mostly good.  I am somewhat surprised that I have kept up with it for so long, with wanting to quit on several occasions, but still continuing to strive ahead.  My body speaks to me from time to time, as my eyesight is definitely affected, and aches and pains remind me to take more breaks and stretch.  But even after twenty years, I plan to continue designing and creating for as long as I am able!

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Links:

ETSY boutique:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/victoriahorner/

Pinterest:
https://pl.pinterest.com/vhbags/

Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/victoriahornerbags/

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/VictoriaHorner2

Website:
http://www.victoriahorner.com/

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Create every day bags by Victria Horner – Charlottesville.

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Wristlet clutchbags created by Victoria Horner, Charlottesville designer.

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Victoria Horner’s booth on craft show

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Scene from Victoria's cutting table of bags ready to be sewn.

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Victoria Horner's mini tote made from a wax print textile from Ghana

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Black and white carpet bag made by Victoria Horner

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Green Ladybug Button Bag - Victoria Horner

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Black Potted Palm Tree Structured Handbag

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Red Vine Doctor Bag - by Victoria Horner

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Vintage Tulip Lime Green Handbag

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Black Scroll Mini Tote Bag

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