I so frequently meet people my age that are already doing such interesting things with their lives that makes the nosy/curious/journalist in me want to know: HOW DO YOU DO THAT? How can I do that…why can’t I do that?
For TheBokenOnline, I interviewed Hoboken resident Andrea Maiolano, who runs her own business of hand-made handbags and accessories out of her own apartment, a hobby-turned career, for full time! Amazing. Here’s the article:
Meet Hoboken’s Andrea Maiolano- Hand Bag Designer
In an apartment somewhere between Bloomfield St. and NYC’s Fashion Avenue, Hoboken resident Andrea Maiolano aims to speak the same visual language of her design idols Kate Spade, Diane von Furstenberg, and Tory Burch by creating one-of-a-kind handbags and accessories in eye-catching colors, interesting prints, and beautiful fabrics.
“Back in 2005, I used to carry a plain, little, hot pink bag around the city and literally got stopped EVERYWHERE I went,” Andrea says. “People were constantly asking me what designer it was and where I got it. I thought it was the weirdest thing since I got it as a free gift with a purchase.
“One day, in a bakery in Bayonne, the girl behind the counter (yet again) told me how adorable my little pink canvas bag was. For some reason it hit me then and there—I knew that making fun, colorful, attention-grabbing bags would be my newest venture.”
Excited, though not entirely sure what would result from a bunch of fabrics she purchased in the NYC Garment District, after a year of sewing lessons from her mom and the transformation of a dining room into a studio (her work was only moved for major holidays), Andrea found a way to turn the vibrant prints she’s always loved into something other girls would covet.
With the help of friends and family spreading the word and hosting amarie/Mary Kay shopping parties to support her new venture, in 2008, “amarie by andrea maiolano” became an official company.
When Andrea’s not in her studio or at peeking into the clothing store Townhouse on her way to the post office, she’s on the road traveling to shopping events all across NJ and NY. But, no matter where she is, her thoughts are never too far from her sketchbook.“I love seeing a design element on a dress like flowers, overlays, or draping, and trying to apply that inspiration to a bag,” she says. “I have so many more ideas and inspirations in my head and sketchbook, hopefully I will soon be able to use them all, made into something new.”
Amarie bags can be found at the Koru Wedding Shoppe on Fourth and Washington, and through her Etsy site. Andrea also encourages Hobokenites to stop by for an appointment, since she also takes custom orders.