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WEARING: STEVE MADDEN BOOTIES! GAP SHIRT, THE MOST AMAZING STUDDED VINTAGE GLASSES, URBAN RENEWAL SCARF, BAG- SARA STANDLEE ORIGINAL DESIGN
Running late, i rush towards the train station fumbling over myself with one camera in my hand and my man satchel and laptop on the other. As I walk past the railroad i see a group of old ladies in matching purple suits and dashing big red hats! and there behind these cute grandmas is my patient interviewee, Sara Standlee looking cute as usual. We take a seat and Sara pulls out five different choices of sunglasses she brought for our photo shoot. prepared and a fond lover of collecting amazing sunglasses...already my hero!
"i design vintage one of a kind decoupage bags." Sara says. its as simple and exciting as she makes it sound. Sara Standlee has been making decoupage bags for about 4 years. It was suggested she start selling her designs but Standlee was a bit hesitant. She went on and searched from place to place and then Destiny worked in its wondrous ways. Sara came upon a store in San Clemente called "VINTAGE INSPIRED," and as she ventured her way in there, she gasped in amazment! she got to talking with the owner, Laura and now for a year shes been selling her handbags and doing great with it! "Laura just loved them, she appreciated my art!" Sara says as she giggles in content of her success. Standlee would consider herself an eccentric who creates art that may not necessarily be understood but Laura understood her. "You got to find that somebody who understands what you do, that certain person who will appreciate it." says sara as she sums up her design philosophy.
Sara firmly believes her bags should be viewed as an art. Shes always revolved herself with being Funky and artsy and you can see that incapsulated in her work. Her designs are bold, eccentric and catchy to the eye and not to mention, Sara's personal style is eye catching as well! She wears what i would call, her signature boots! They are these funky beaded cowboy boots that will make anyone melt at the sight of them, and back in high school she had an infatuation with wearing tons of vintage bangles on her wrists whilst wearing her self-made skirts that she made out of mens ties! It's pretty obvious to say Sara's biggest influences are magazines, since thats her biggest tool in making her designs. And of course, Betsey Johnson comes into mind, "i love her! i just love really wild deisgners" Sara says as she continues to list the most theatrical designers in the industry.
Sara does her research, she knows designers, trends and everything there is to know about the industry. But when it comes to her handbags, she far more tedious and committed to making a perfect execution. She searches all over orange county at the best thrift stores, garage sales and vintage shops trying to find quality kept vintage bags. She carefully looks over every bag before purchasing it, looking for any flaws that would restrict her from selling a sustainable product. After purchasing the handful, Sara makes a mess of her studio cutting and ripping out anything that catches her eye. She then develops a theme for the bag that would be suitable and then creates! First comes the colors and as she formulates a color scheme, she escalates to including images and shapes. As she organically advances with each bag, she finally executes each one with a theme and a story to tell. Each bag have so much hard work put into it, but its a lovely touch that the foundation of Sara's designs are that the bags are vintage! "it tried using new bags, and it just didnt work out for me," says sara further on explaining how vintage has more of a story behind it, and thats why we all love vintage right?
Through her successes, sara has been featured in magazines, has her stuff represented at a prestigious store in Orange County and recently just did a custom order for musician Christine Dietz! Things are going well for Sara Standlee, and she just keeps on truckin and making bags every week by the hour! She's definitely got a talent and in a matter of time she'll be having lunch with miss Anna Wintour herself chatting about the most recent Vogue issue that features a whole page spread of SARA STANDLEE DESIGNS AKA DECOUPAGE DIVA! its okay to dream big, OKAY!
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Sara is currently in the works of building a website, but she personally told me she loves to mingle, so friend her on facebook! SHE DOES CUSTOM ORDERS!
VINTAGE INSPIRED: 144 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente, CA 92672
so if you live in Orange County check it out!