Coach who? Local accessories designers are turning out clutches and purses that put Michael Kors to shame.

It’s in the Bag

Written by Jamie Fossenkemper Category: Lifestyle Issue: August 2017
Group Free

A great outfit just isn’t complete without a killer bag to finish the look – and to haul around your wallet, keys, cell phone and antibacterial hand gel. Bypass mass-produced purses in favor of handcrafted handbags made in the Valley.

Madalyn Nault Accessories
In high school, Madalyn Nault wanted a unique purse that no one else would have, so she made her own. Her hobby of designing bags out of personal necessity eventually became a thriving business, with a regular display in Frances and sold-out appearances at local makers’ markets. Each piece in her constantly evolving collection (prices range from $15-$70) is purposely unique – even in look-alike designs, Nault will add a design quirk to distinguish every one, and she loves the idea that the exact same handbag can be worn and styled differently by different women. Nault also accepts custom commissions – a recent clutch featured a 3D vinyl “book” with turning pages – and creates personalized gifts for bridesmaids and loved ones.
Instagram handle: @madalynnault
Soul Carrier
From a young age, Jennifer Paige Boonlorn knew she wanted to be a fashion designer. Her dream came true in 2009, when she launched her company Soul Carrier and its two handbag lines: the sophisticated Conscious Intentions collection and the playful, colorful Authentic Change collection (prices range from $100-$500). “The bags are simplistic, functional, and both literally and figuratively capable of standing on their own,” Boonlorn says. “They endeavor to express your philanthropic values [Soul Carrier gives generously to charities] and spark rich conversations.” Boonlorn is offering a special pricing code for PHOENIX readers: Enter PHXMAG2017 at online checkout for a surprise discount.
Instagram handle: @soulcarrier
Mexico En La Piel
Designer Paola Gonzalez decided to call her purse collection Mexico en La Piel, translated to “Mexico in the skin,” as part of her vision of bringing “a little bit of Mexico” to every handbag she designed. Honoring the craftswomen of her native Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, was also a big motivation, and their legacy is evident in the indigenous designs, bright florals and festive tassels of her clutches and cross-body bags (prices range from $70-$80). She hopes that her work will empower all women to embrace their beauty and heritage, and shine a light on the gorgeous designs of hardworking artisans of Mexico, one handbag at a time. 
Instagram handles: @_mexicoenlapiel