Designer, Candy Woolley in her Pembroke Pines, Florida studio.
As the daughter of a third-generation tailor and a seamstress, I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn the family craft. I was taught at an early age to sew. I would watch them work and point out details. I have always admired my parent’s passion and ethic for their work.
In 2001, I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Graphic Design at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. During the last year in college I worked full time at Univision; I am proud to say I was a part of the team who worked and began the company's online department. At graduation, I received a nomination for best portfolio and was offered a full time job at Warner Bros. Music Publications. I worked there for many years until the company was sold. I went back to Univision Online and they happily welcomed me back. I gained about 10 years experience in the graphic design field.
In 2003, while working full time is when my business began, while I was out on maternity-leave I felt the need to create with my hands; I made many other things the first year and a half such as decorative vases, cushions, and jewelry. In mid 2004, I realized the jewelry needed handbags to coordinate with; and excited with that realization I spoke with my mother who already had over 30 years experience in sewing and pattern-making. She was happy to join me in my new venture and has been working by my side ever since! Even though I knew how to sew, I was not familiar with genuine leathers or what exotic skins were, when I discovered these materials I became obsessed with their beauty and durability so I made it my goal to become an expert. I put aside the other items I was making to focus and learn the process of leather work by reading many, many books, and watching tutorials. Along the way I have been lucky to meet the most amazing talented people who have become mentors.
Perseverance, sacrifice and determination is how I describe the journey. Here we are 16 years later, every year we continue to grow strong. I use my art background and tailoring knowledge for making handbags, among other leather and exotic skin items. I custom-make bags for the most incredible women all over the USA, the women who understand quality, artistry and uniqueness. The most gratifying part of my business is to work alongside my mother and to carry on the family legacy.