I have to say, I feel so lucky sometimes. An example of this would be the opportunities I have to interview new designers. But, more than that, when I speak with an amazing designer who makes gorgeous handbags, I can’t wait to share everything with all of you! Not that long ago, I had the chance to talk with Erin Voorhies, the founder and creative designer of KEMPT handbags. We had a fantastic conversation over the phone where I was able to learn a little more about how she got into the handbag business, her line and herself.

Erin was gracious enough to send us a few KEMPT handbag samples so we could see them in person. Erin and I agreed, purchasing handbags really is a complete experience. It was great to hold the bags, try them all, notice the amazing attention to detail and feel the amazing materials (ie: anaconda and ostrich) she uses. Vlad shot the bags here in our studio and he talked about how immaculate the quality of the bags was for days! We hope you enjoy the introduction as much as we did.

PB: How long have you been interested in handbags?

EV: Since I was a little girl, I have always been interested in accessories. My grandmother was a huge influence. For as long as I can remember I was always making bags for myself and my friends. In 2006 I started the collection. For me, if my hands aren’t involved in creating something, I get antsy, I always need to be creating something.

PB: What is your main inspiration?

EV: Materials. Ideas stem from the material, anything from swatches to thread can inspire me. All of the hardware I use is custom, actually, every part of each bag is customized.

PB: Do you see a big difference in the way you now design bags compared to when you first began?

EV: Ya, I learned along the way. I picked up on functionality along the way. At the same time I always wanted to take the feedback I received from users into account. I work on finding the balance between the feedback I get and staying true to myself. I find that a design is successful when it is functional, beautiful and timeless.

PB: Who are you designing for when you design your bags (what kind of audience fo you try and appeal to)?

EV: I don’t really think it is about age. My designs are about sensibility and a fine eye. I want to appeal to people interested in classic pieces, those individuals who are sophisticated and not necessarily interested in logos or the latest fad.

PB: How do you think you would feel if you saw a celebrity carrying one of your bags?

EV: It would be great! But at the same time, it isn’t something that I am searching for.

PB: What are the next steps for you and the line?

EV: Evening bags and smaller accessories like belts. Long term I would love to have an eclectic store which offers a variety of things.

PB: If you could vacation anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

EV: Well, I am heading to Lake Placid which will be great. I love places where you can hike, but on the flip side, I love the ocean. So, I guess I would love the best of both worlds.

Speaking with Erin was wonderful. I could hear the passion for her handbags and the quality and care she puts into them. She is a designer who really holds the highest standard for quality and craftsmanship. Check out the rest of her handbags through the KEMPT website.

Thanks again to Erin!

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  • sol sol

    They are cute..but oh so expensive!!!

  • Erika

    I bought a bag (Meave in black) from Kempt last year and get constant compliments! It’s a perfect everyday bag – beautiful without being flashy.

  • MARK

    My wife owns this bag. I can’t believe how many people ask her about it. I guess it’s the design or the materials… I don’t know. But I do know, that particularly when we’re in a fancy Fifth Avenue store – all the other shoppers are asking her where she bought the Kempt Bag!

  • Sue

    These bags are exquisite! I love the detailing and the color combinations. I went on the Kempt site and was surprised and pleased to learn that the bags are made in the U.S. It’s good to find a luxury designer who produces in this country!

  • Jenna

    Beautiful bags — I love understated luxury! They look to be worth every penny. Shannon, thanks for the introduction to Kempt.

  • Nicole

    I second Jenna’s comment — thanks Shannon for finding out about this new designer and sharing her collection with us! The bags are amazing — I have bookmarked Kempt’s website and have told my significant other to look there for my holiday AND birthday gifts. I can’t wait to own these stunning bags!

  • TXbaglady

    Dont know if anyone is like me, but its all about the lining and the hardware. I love love! the fabrics used to line her bags. I wish there was a sample image. The hardware is fantastic as well, but nothing says luxury like a beautifully lined purse!
    On another note, it definitely has the bag envy factor, because everyone keeps looking at it knowing it aint cheap, not knowing who designs it, wanting it….I love the looks you get with it :D

  • Jon

    i know for a fact that these handbags are worth every penny. how? because i am fortunate to see these bags being formed from the ground up i know where these bags are made and know the manufacture who has been in business for a long time. these bags are not made in a huge factory but by a craftsman and a few workers, he is a great craftsman and strives for the best and with these designs from erin getting a hold of one of these bags could be the best investment of any handbag that you could get these truly are a masterful piece of work. btw all the material in these bags are top notch there are no shortcuts taken in the making of these bags!!!

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