Danielle Howarth presents her fashionable line of handmade bags and talks about developing a collection for her customers.
ABI: How do you market and sell your work?
DH: I market Dani Bags primarily through Facebook and my website. Facebook has allowed me to gain a lot of customers from around the United States too. When I design and make new bags or purchase new fabrics, I take pictures of them and post them on Facebook which allows people to see what is new and keep them up to date.The bags are available for sale on Facebook and also through my website. The primary way that I sell my bags is through art shows mostly throughout Michigan, but as Dani Bags grows, I am trying to move out into other states.
ABI: You have great photos on your website. Could you speak about the importance of images?
DH: Having great pictures is the key to having good sales online. I am not a professional photographer, so for me finding a great photographer who knows how to truly take great pictures is definitely a key. If the customer can see the colors true to what they are and see a bag on a model, they can perceive how it would fit them, and they are more likely to make a purchase.
ABI: Tell us about your collection and your selection.
DH: Dani Bags has such a large variety to offer for all ages. My collections include purses, beach bags, totes, overnight bags and many accessories to go with all the collections. The most popular collections are the Messenger bags and the Sachet bags.
Each collection of bags starts with a basic size, and if the style becomes popular I usually add additional sizes in the bag. For example, my Sachet bags started out as a larger purse size and became very popular. As a result of the popularity of the Sachet bag, I added a smaller purse size Sachet and a larger Travel Sachet bag.
ABI: What are your future plans?
DH: I will continue to design, sew, and market Dani Bags hopefully for many years to come. I would like to expand out with my art shows in the years ahead. Last year was the first year I did an art show outside of Michigan. I did one in the Chicago area and hope to continue doing more shows in that city and also expand to other states as well. I would also love for Dani Bags to become available in retail stores. As the demand increases, the possibility of getting my designs manufactured and available for wholesale could be a definite option.