AUTUMNJONES WANTS YOU TO MEET: Handbag Designer Tori Nicole

Tell us about your company and how you got started? Tori Nicole, Inc. was established in June of 2009 while I was working in Boston. This was my first attempt to follow my childhood dream of being in the fashion industry and owning a business. In the Fall of the same year I moved to DC and lived there for 3 years pursing a masters degree in Bilingual Special Education at The George Washington University and working full time with special needs children at a public elementary school. It was during this time that I trademarked Tori Nicole® (which is now a registered brand), and realized that I was working more on developing my brand than I was on my school work. I was torn because I couldn’t suppress my childhood passion.

How long have you been designing handbags?

I have been designing handbags on an off for almost a year. Before my parents purchased a sewing machine for me, I was making them by hand. Having a machine made a huge difference as I continued to create and deconstruct the bags throughout the year for friends and family. Additionally during this time I wore my “sample” bags to see if people would notice them. I was thrilled when I received compliments on the bags and asked where I got them. Having received such positive feedback throughout the year, I decided this past Fall to create my first line of handbags. 

What would you tell someone who is interested in designing their own line as well?

I would tell him/her to definitely go for it.You have to be passionate and determined because designing your own line takes a lot of hard work and dedication to succeed.I am lucky to have such a great support system of close friends and family that have been with me every step of the way. That definitely makes a difference.
What's next for Tori Nicole?
Well, a few things. My line will soon be launched in VIRA Boutique on Beacon Hill, as well as online at Ultimately, I would love for them to also be in other boutiques both nationally and internationally. For now, I’m just taking it one step at a time.

What sets you apart from the competition?

I think that the colors of my handbags and shapes of some of the prints are what make them stand out, regardless of the various styles of the handbags.I love that the handbags also range in sizes and show a little of my personality in each one.
What is your ultimate goal professionally and personally?
My ultimate professional goal is to build an international fashion empire. My ultimate personal goal is to be happy in whatever I do; whether with a family of my own or just being the “cool” auntJ. If I do have children, I want to be able to show them the world as I have seen it and to encourage and help them to follow their dreams.

Have you ever designed a bag that you didn't like as much but other people loved?
Not yet. Erykah Badu said it best; “Keep in mind that I’m an artist, and I’m sensitive about my [stuff].” I usually don’t show the ones that I don’t like to others. 

What inspires you to create a new piece?
My inspirations stem from several sources: something I see in magazine or while traveling; a fashion trend; colors and shapes of objects; anything!
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
In ten years I see myself as a highly recognized designer with my international brand.
Tori Nicole® handbags can be found at VIRA Boutique on Beacon Hill, MA.
For more information on Tori Nicole


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