Danielle Sakry started on her career path by studying law, focused on social justice and human rights as a way of helping others. And while the goals were important to her, the path she was taking to reach them, was not. After deciding to take some time to travel, she realized that using her creativity and sharing her love of new experiences was extremely important to her. She wanted to create something beautiful that helped women, just like herself, feel effortlessly foxy, confident and understated without losing their sense of adventure and authenticity. In creating Danielle Sakry handbags, she wants to design accessible luxury and create accessories that are as hard working, spontaneous, and free spirited. While her brand continuously evolves and improves, her values stay strong. She seeks to help women feel effortlessly on point everyday of her adventurous life by creating bags that are of the highest quality and that stand out in a crowd.
Danielle's handbags are handcrafted one bag at a time. She currently does every stitch, pattern, and painted edge. Every piece takes hours upon hours, until finished with the highest craftsmanship and quality. As an admitted, yet reluctant perfectionist, things take time with Danielle. A lot of time. In her eyes, she'd rather create a bag with longevity and years of use than cut corners.
Talk about the beginnings of Danielle Sakry (the business). What inspired you begin this endeavor?
My handbag collection was born by accident. My mom and I were rummaging through the leather bins at S.R. Harris, and found some fun colors and textures. The bag of leather scraps sat in a closet untouched for a year or two, until I came home to visit one year for Christmas. and started tinkering around at my moms sewing machine. I made a little clutch with twisted details, and didn't think much about it again until I started to use it. Everywhere I would go, I would get compliments on it, and people would ask where I got it. From there, the idea was planted, but it really didn't start as a business for a couple of years. It's been a slow and organic process, but in a good way.
Have you always been creative? What forms or channels have you explored in your creative journey?
Although I studied law in college, as a kid I was always working on an art project or making something. My mom bought Barbie Dolls from garage sales, and I was never into the dolls as much as I was into making a new set of clothes for them. I've loved making clothes and jewelry for as long as I can remember, so it's fitting that I'm back at the sewing machine.
How have the items you make evolved? How have you evolved as artists and businesswomen?
With years of improving my craft, my collection has become much more polished and refined, but it's still important for me to design something that's modern and unique. My designs used to be busier with more loud color, and while I still value that aesthetic, I've learned how to use restrain and simplicity to create a more clean look while still incorporating signature details.
In handcrafting one bag at a time and with quality, sustainable materials, what do you hope to communicate or share with your customers?
Selling handbags in a completely saturated market is challenging. The world needs another handbag company like it needs a hole in the head, There are handbag brands everywhere, but it's not always easy to find a luxury, ethically handcrafted product at a mid price point. My bags have all the finished of Italian made bags, but without a $2,500 price tag. I'm so proud and thankful for my customers because they continue to come back for more. They see my vision and values that I'm trying to incorporate into the brand, and are so supportive. My customers are the best part of the whole business.
How has living and making in Minnesota influenced your creative work, specifically through your handbags?
In regards to materials and production, I source everything from as close to home as possible. Every piece is handcrafted in my my studio by myself, so the process is very special. I realize as my business grows, that won't always be possible. In an ideal world, I could find a production partner right here in MN (working on that currently).
In terms of Influence and design, I suppose it's just natural. I come from four generations of St.Cloud Minnesotan Sakry's, and am very proud of my background and home state.
Do you like to experiment with different fabrics, materials, or techniques in your work?
I use cowhide, and calfskin mainly, and sometimes suede, fur, and satin. I'm very particular about the quality of the materials I use. I want these pieces to last a lifetime. I'm obsessed with perfecting the small detail, almost to a fault. All of the raw edges of leather are hand painted, sanded down, and painted again at least three times to get a smooth permanent finish. This process take a lot of time, but really creates a polished look. It took so long for me to figure out how the Italian handbags achieved the luxury details.
I don't use much hardware on my bags because I love a clean look, and also because without buying high volume, the prices for super high quality hardware are expensive. Slapping on poor quality hardware to a gorgeous leather bag cheapens the whole design.
Do you feel like your work allows you to contribute to something bigger than yourself?
I hope so. As I mentioned before, women are not hard pressed to find handbags, but I want to create a bag that makes her feel sophisticated, polished, and organized. We all know that empowering feeling when we have our most flattering and well made outfits and accessories on. As cliche as it is, I want women to feel effortless.