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20: Laura Dotolo on How to Design Handbags and Fashion Accessories

Laura Dotolo has spent many years in the fashion industry designing, developing and manufacturing a variety of handbags and fashion accessories.  She is the creator of Clutch Bags New York and  she consults with other women to help them to launch  products.

I wanted to talk to Laura to learn more about the specific steps and knowledge needed to create handbags.  In addition, based on previous interviews, some manufacturers require minimum order quantities that can sometimes be cost prohibitive for those who are just starting a business.  So, I wanted to get Laura’s thoughts on how to work around this particular obstacle.  Our conversation was very enlightening.

Laura Says…. 

“Designing, developing and manufacturing so many different products for our clients is a natural extension of everything I have been doing in my Design career over the last 20 years in New York City. I started as a fashion stylist here and have always found Manhattan to be the perfect canvas on which to create. There is always a hum on the streets here, a hum that gets into your veins, and motivates you to bring to fruition a dream. I share that passion with every new client I meet.

My experience styling for clients like Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, In Style and a bevy of similar fashion magazines has taught me that sometimes the trends being depicted are not what consumers really want over time. By being able to shape the fashion trend of the moment in my styling career, I have learned how to help our clients tailor and develop products that have tremendous appeal in the marketplace. As a manufacturer myself of my own line of handbags, Clutch Bags I have learned the trade secrets in sourcing materials, designing products, and creating good profit margins. This has helped our clients return to us again and again with their manufacturing, design and product development needs. Made in USA pays!”


Her business philosophy

Do not fear.  Perservere!


Her advice to aspiring female entrepreneurs….

  • Don’t let obstacles or problems get in your way; learn how to own your business and the problems and overcome them; find another way to move forward.
  • Do not be afraid – do research and become informed about the entire process for developing your line of products.



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