SOUTH SHORE ENTREPRENEUR: For Quincy native, the art is in the bag

PATRIOT LEDGER - Twenty-three-year-old Lindsay Reilly built her handbag business, Lindsay Tia Designs, based on her personal motto: “Design who you are in honor of being you.”

“I want to create something that tells a story about yourself, a memory or an experience,” she said.

A designer at heart with an undergraduate degree in fashion merchandising, Reilly learned how to sew when she was 6 years old. She was influenced by her sewing instructor, whom she refers to as Miss Karen, to whom a handbag design is dedicated.

During high school, Reilly continued sewing. In college, she began making bags her freshman year.

“When people started recognizing my bags, I thought I’d start a business. I used my savings to start it; I wasn’t given any loans or investments,” she said.

Since graduating, Reilly has expanded her concept into a versatile business. She sells her handcrafted bags at the Bowtique, her store and office in Abington; her website, www.lindsaytia.com; and retailers including B. Boutique in Milton and Aura Salon in Quincy.

“None of my bags are boring,” she said. “I believe that every bag has its own owner and a design for your personality; every bag is different.”

Reilly recently created the Bag Bar room to allow her customers to create their own bags after choosing a style and interior pattern. Then it’s time to paint the exterior and add accessories.

“The most challenging aspect of my business model is the fact that I wear all the hats. I’m the stitcher, the accountant and the marketer all at once,” Reilly said.

Reilly is ready for the challenge, which spurs her ambition for growth.

“Building a manufacturing business with a full-time staff is my future business goal, but in the meantime I still want to improve my product. I want to keep building and growing,” she said.

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