Chick-Lit Designs is an online Etsy store that sells beautifully designed book covers as clutch bags! Not only does the designer (Michelle Wolett) create adorable clutch bags, she also designs tablet cases and shoes. Don't believe me? Check out the shop here: www.chicklitdesigns.etsy.com
I came across the Etsy store and I was blown away by the variety of clutches there are, I simply couldn't decide which one was my favourite due to my varied interests in classic and graphic novels. While observing the detail of each of the books I simply had to know more about the process and inspiration behind the collection. Speaking with Michelle Wolett, she shares her creative craft.
What was the inspiration behind Chick Lit Designs?
My parents were going through a tough time several years ago and they were about to lose the house that my father had built with his own hands. I wanted to create a side business where I could send them money so they wouldn't lose their home. I have always been into repurposing old items into something different when I thought I could make a book into a handbag! And so my shop was created. After a few years my parents told me to stop sending them money and I couldn't pull myself away from my shop- so I spent some time revamping my line and product and brand and opened a new shop now known as Chick Lit Designs. I’m inspired every day by vintage items, bookstores, colors and patterns. Just looking at an interesting pattern can really drive my creativity.
Have you always been into DIY crafts?
Handmade is my life. It’s where I came from, it will always be a part of who I am. Growing up, I remember my father making everything. We would get handmade gifts for Christmas. If my mother wanted something from the store, my dad would simply make it for her instead. My brothers and I were always coming up with new paintings or clay sculptures. I actually won several awards in high school for some of my artwork! Even today, I hand make all of my Christmas and birthday gifts for people. I now have a 1 year old daughter that already has many handmade dolls and dresses from me.
Are there any muses that influence your work?
James Plumb Studio. These two individuals make the most amazing items out of old vintage finds. They have made dressers from old suitcases and a chandelier from old vintage lamp shades. It’s amazing what they think of!
Your book clutches and tablet covers have been a huge hit with your customers, did you expect them to do so well?
When I started designing my items I knew they were unique because they were not only original, but timeless. However, I was not expecting all of the publicity that I would get from making them! This year alone I was featured on E! Network's TV show"The Fabulist" as one of the hottest new trends, and my Fashion Dictionary book clutch is in the current issue of British Vogue magazine! A couple of months ago I was hired by Lois Lowry's editor to create a book purse of "The Giver" for the famous author! Just the thought of her carrying one of my designs is thrilling! I just quit my day job to do this full time and couldn't be happier!
Do you have any upcoming products that you will be listing in your store?
I'm actually booked to sell at Ventura, California's Comic Con next month- so I'm currently working on adding a lot of Sci-Fi, Comic and Horror books to my store. I'm also working on a "Fashion" line that I'm hoping to launch in the next few months.
What advise can you give to someone looking to experiment with DIY crafts?
Start with something small that you can handle and work your way up. It's definitely a learning process and people can get frustrated very easily. But once you get the hang of it, you will start to feel inspired; and the excitement and pride that comes along with creating something from your hands is indescribable!
Images of Chick-Lit Designs
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