If you need a bag to complement an outfit this Crop Over season it’s easy to buy one from a roadside vendor or store in Bridgetown. But chances are, you’ll go to an event and see another girl with the same thing.
We don’t want that for you. That’s why we’re talking about F.A.N.CY. BIM, a local brand of hand-made, hand-painted bags which are very affordable. InMyWardrobe caught up with F.A.N.C.Y. BIM team member Julia Mandeville recently and she told us all about the new brand which officially got going in April.
With names like Cattlewash, Mullins and Sunset Over Pebbles, there’s no doubt that these bags are 100 per cent Bajan. The designs are not extremely literal, though.
“We are trying to do more abstract designs. The motivation behind the designs is everything Barbadiana but we’re not trying to be too touristy,” Julia explained as we sipped sweet treats early one afternoon in a City coffee shop.
At present the team is making about three bags in each design so if you buy one, you’ll know you have something no one else has. They also take custom orders.
“If you want something specific, you just call us, you tell us and we will find a way to make your dream a reality,” Julia promised.
Julia made it clear who these bags are targeted toward.
“A woman that is self-assured, a woman that knows what she’s about, a woman that doesn’t necessarily need to follow a trend . . . . It’s a bag that also can be taken from day to night so you can be at a casual event during the day, like you can be with your girlfriend having coffee or tea or whatever and then the bag can be taken to a more elegant dinner or classy event.”
Julia explained the thinking behind F.A.N.C.Y. which stands for Fashionable. Authentic. Notewothy. Chic. You.
“You can be fashionable without having to follow the status quo, follow the trend. You still need to be you so that’s what our brand is about.
The wristlets, fold-over clutches, mini clutches and cosmetic bags are available for between BDS$30 and BDS$80 Julia promises that these aren’t just introductory prices.
“We’re trying to show that we’re here to make a profit, we’re here to make a name for ourselves but we also understand that everyone can’t afford the $100, $200 bag,” she said.
You may notice that the models in the photos are wearing local designs and this wasn’t a coincidence.
“We chose to do it because we want to promote bajan products. We want to show that Barbadians are stylish, we are classy,” she pointed out.
F.A.N.C.Y. BIM has started out with bags but there could be other things around the corner.
“We want it to be a lifestyle brand. We’re starting with bags and we’re working on other products but they’re under wraps. Right now our product line is bags. People are also asking us if it’s possible to do items via consignment so we’re looking into doing a consignment type store as a possibility. We’re still relatively new. We’re still trying to feel out exactly where our niche is going to be but for sure, quality hand made bags, hand made, hand painted, everything dealing with Barbados ‘cause we’re stressing Barbadiana in our products.
Kaynel Hurdle, Kristine Bowen and Brian Mandeville make up the rest of the F.A.N.C.Y. BIM team with assistance from Ayodele Murray.