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Bag of Tricks

One handbag creator's secret formula for success: Make your products fun, fashionable and fully customizable.

This story appears in the June 2006 issue of Start Up.

What: Line of create-your-own handbags

Who: Jennifer Velarde of 1154 Lill Studio

Where: Chicago

When: Started in 1999

Some women are notorious for having a bag to match every outfit. Jennifer Velarde, on the other hand, has a bag to match nearly every friend. Each design in her line of custom-made handbags is named for a friend, a family member or an employee of her company, 1154 Lill Studio. Andi, the hobo bag, was inspired by a close friend. Pamela, a versatile tote, is named for her mother.

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