Vincy designer turns craft into bag-making business
October 28, 2016
Vincy designer turns craft into bag-making business

What started as a favour to a friend has transformed into a local bag-making brand, which Donella Power hopes to expand to the region.

Power, a 21-year-old resident of Calder Ridge, is the face of ‘Awali’ (which is Swahili/Kiswahili and translates to mean original), an upcoming brand she runs with the motto “We design with you in mind.”{{more}}

Speaking with SEARCHLIGHT last Wednesday, Power revealed that the upcoming Vincentian Independence anniversary inspired her latest bag design, a bag that mirrors the shape of the island.

She says she gets inspiration for her various designs at random; however, she favours street style designs and designs based on requests made by her customers.

Power’s bags are a combination of unique design and drawings, which during the interview she revealed she learned while a student at the Girls’ High School.

“I work with my customers, their imagination and my imagination combined to make their perfect bag,” she added.

Notably, the 21-year-old is not limited to bag designs, and although she said that clothes are not her focus, during Carnival she made monokinis from Carnival T-shirts and also designed vests.

“Right now, one of the people who inspires me is Meme Bete, a St Lucian brand. She does handbags, different types, different styles, different fabric and she has taken her brand to an international level, so I would like to take St Vincent there and get this as far as I could possibly get it, internationally? Hopefully, but now for I’m aiming for regional,” said the young entrepreneur.

Power began designing officially in 2011 under the name ‘Donella’s creations,’ but felt it was cliché and rebranded to Awali in August.

“My first bag was made on my hand by needle and thread,” she said, adding that it took three hours to complete.

According to her, the bag was first made for a classmate and after she began receiving compliments and requests, it slowly transformed into a business.

“I wasn’t really taking it seriously at that time,” she said.

The young designer said that last year she became inconsistent with her craft, but after her mother Jasmine Power repeatedly nudged her, she decided to take it on full-time.

“She said, hurry up and do something with your talent before you lose it,” Power recalled.

Along with her mother, Power has received support from Constructive Solutions and Fashion House Caribbean, where her items are on sale.

When asked about her prices, she said it depends on the material and design. Her island bag currently goes for EC$60.

Power’s designs would be on display at furniture and appliance store Courts on October 26 and 28 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., where the designs would be on sale during a ‘Pop Up Shop’ event.

Power may be reached via Instagram: _awali, Facebook: Awali by Donella Power, Email: [email protected] and via Whatsapp: 528-8143. (AS)