So Clutch! Nneka Saran Talks Up Her Funky Handbags; Loves Rihanna’s Risky Style


Where do you draw the inspiration for your handbags?
Generally, I draw inspiration from everything. But, I really get inspired when I go to an actual fabric store or some kind of creative setting. Most of the time people ask me what’s my inspiration and sometimes I’ll have specific things, but most of the time I like people watching. I like seeing eclectic people, I like seeing people mix different things together, that kinda inspires me. In general, it’s when I get in the fabric stores and I have stuff around, ideas just start coming into my head. Literally, I‘ll scope the place out and see where my eyes stop and that’s my process is. I let it come to me.

You have such a high demand, do you have other people that help you or is it just you?
It’s really just me. In the past, I have had help. Now I have a little help, but it’s really just me. That’s a part of my whole growing process and figuring out how I’m going to get things done and to continue to grow. Of course, I can’t handle everything myself going forward. I’m a one-woman show for the most part. I have to do everything from making it, to promoting, doing the social networking, Facebook, Twitter–It’s time consuming.

Is this business your main lifeline or do you have another job?
When I started initially I definitely had another job. As of last year, I stepped out on faith to pursue this full time.

Do you think you’ll branch out from the handbags to make other accessories?
I want to get into funky baby bags [Ed note. She made her first bag after the time of the interview. Look!] and different things like that, also a line of home décor; I really love home decor. A cute line of dresses, specifically, just because I know the issues I have with finding different styles in abundance. I have recently thought of a line of cute dresses.

What handbag designer are you checking out or what bags do you like to rock?
Outside of mine I absolutely love Henri Bendel. I think they’re kind of comparative to mine because they’re nice, they’re clean but they’re a little funky. They’ll use the prints inside, the hardware and they’re sturdy. Just the vibe of it; I’d buy the whole store if I could.

Funky is the word that fits your perfectly. Would you say your personal style is funky?
I’m not as funky per se in my personal style; I’m not super conservative either. But I think the cool thing about my bag is that it mirrors me. I may not have a printed pair of pants and a polka dotted shirt on, and a crazy hat on, but, I think you can have a funky style with your accessories, that’s the cool thing about accessories like my bag, jewelry, and necklaces and stuff. Because, you don’t have to have this wild and crazy wardrobe but you can funk it up with different pieces. So that’s what I tend to do more so. In general, I’m probably in jeans, a cute top, or a cute dress, flip flops, I do heels, but I don’t do them that often, because in college I felt like I wore them everyday and now I’m all about comfort.