Archives for posts with tag: Oprah Winfrey

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how I rarely let an opportunity to put my bags in front of anyone I think can help make them the international sensation I would love for them to be.

My timing isn’t always great;

I sent a canvas tote to Sandra Bullock just DAYS before the Jesse James scandal broke….

You can clearly see why this was a mistake…

I also sent a handbag to Kyra Sedgwick, even though I’ve heard through the grapevine that she’s no great fan of the “Six Degrees”game…

I sent a Scrabble Handbag to Oprah Winfrey after I heard she was a fan.  Apparently she’s not a fan of responding to her mail, although to be fair, I’m sure she probably gets a lot of it….

I sent a bag to Drew Barrymore, along with a script I wrote many years ago about the only known female stagecoach robber in America…

I’m still waiting to hear on that one….

Then, last year, when I heard that the Obamas were going to vacation in Asheville, I made a leopard evening bag for Michelle, a tiger tote for Sacha, and a cheetah tote for Malia.  I tried to deliver them to the Grove Park Inn where they were staying.

Funny, but they don’t allow packages to be delivered to a President and his wife at a hotel…..go figure….

Well a few days ago, and almost eleven months later….

I was so inspired to finally get a response from someone, that I went hog wild this morning and updated my website. I’ve added pictures of some of the new decorative boxes I have been doing, as well as some paintings, and my first love, gourd art…..

I was SO inspired, as a matter of fact, that I have decided to have a half off sale on all evening bags. The sale ends this Sunday, so act now! Because if it takes as long to get a thank you note these days as it does to update my website or have a sale, it could be a LONG time before I am THIS inspired again!


A few weeks ago when I was in the studio finishing work on the big cats handbag, I was listening to part two of “Oprah’s Favorite Things” to help pass the time.  When I heard Oprah say that she is a huge Scrabble fan, I looked up with great interest, since Scrabble handbags are not only fun for me to make, they are also one of my most popular accessories.

By the following afternoon, I had a custom made  Scrabble handbag and a handmade clutch ready to go in the mail along with one of my new 2011 calendars, a brochure, biography and letter of introduction.  I decided to send the bag to “O Magazine” because I have seen video of the piles upon countless piles of mail she gets at Harpo Studios in Chicago every week.  And, anyway, I’d sent a pair of gourd masks to one of her producers about ten years ago and never heard anything back.


Last April when I found out that Sascha Obama had decided to make saving the tigers a priority in her young life, AND that the Obamas were set to visit the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, and I dropped everything I was doing to create a leopard evening bag for Michelle, a tiger tote for Sacha, and a cheetah tote for Malia.  After packaging the bags in boxes lined with matching prints, I drove up to the The Grove Park Inn to deliver them, but alas, they wouldn’t let me leave the gifts, so I mailed them off to the White House that same day.


My  point is this.  I have never been one to let an opportunity pass to promote myself or my work, because I have to believe that somewhere along the line something amazing will happen, that the right person will come along to propel my career into the stratosphere, that whoever I have been waiting on, or whatever I have dreamed will unfold, whatever chance encounter, or opportunity I once acted on that “never went anywhere” (at least not in my time frame) is all part of a larger plan that I have no control over, but which I chose to continue to believe will happen, even when it seems as though I have run up against a brick wall.

I believe in serendipity and in the idea that even though I might be ready for the next phase of my career, the people and events that will carry me to the next level, might not be in place yet.  I haven’t heard back from either Oprah Winfrey OR Michelle Obama, but you never know when the phone might ring, or who might be reading this blog and think, I can do something to help this along.

I know Malcolm Gladwell thinks that there is no such thing as luck, that people only get to where they want to be based on where they were born and what family they were born into, but I believe that while family dynamics play a role in how we start life, the choices we make about what to do with the talents we’ve been given as we grow up, can take us where we want to be, even if the journey takes longer than we would like.  Or to be more accurate, where I would like because, as I have said before, I was ready to “be somebody” when I was twenty.  Thirty years later, I am STILL ready to be the next Prada, or Gucci, or Balenciaga.  And while I don’t have the money or the prestige, I have the drive, the goal, and the desire coupled with the steadfast belief that I didn’t get the talent I have by accident…there has to be a reason why things haven’t happened the way I have wanted…..


I read a blog this morning that posed the question, “If you had enough, would you know it?”   I guess I would ask the question, “what do you REALLY want your life to look like and what do you plan on doing to get yourself there?”

I used to ask the universe for ten million dollars. It sounded like enough money to allow me to do the things I wanted to do, but I never asked myself a) where would that money come from and b) what WOULD I want to do if I HAD that kind of cash?  I’ve thought of all the usual things of course; I would pay off my house, and my bills, I would travel more, and help people in need as the opportunities arose.

I’ve always thought that the one and only part of Oprah Winfrey’s life I would absolutely LOVE to have, is the ability to make things happen for other people.  I think everyone needs a fairy godmother; the idea that someone out there cares enough about what touches your heart to MAKE the time to help you along your path when it seems like the road may have come to an end, is an experience I have had, and I have tried to pass along.  I learned that lesson from wonderful old friend of mine in Oregon who gave me $50 when I needed gas money to get to California thirty years ago. As he handed it to me, he said  “Don’t worry about paying me back.  Just find someone else who needs $50 and give it to them”.

Like a lot of people, I used to think money would make me happy. I thought it would provide the financial security I craved and give me breathing room I needed, so the struggle to pay bills every month and come up with the cash I needed to keep my business going wouldn’t be so stressful.  But I realized recently that I don’t want to work that hard to have that kind of money.  I want a balance, so I’ve learned to be specific about what I want. The words DO matter, and I learned that from developing a business plan that required me to decide exactly what I wanted my business to look like, so I knew how to go about planning it.

I want to sell eight to ten handbags a month to a major department store, and do four major art shows a year; the Smithsonian Craft Show, the Belleville Art Festival, the American Crafts Festival at Evanston and the Sausalito Art Festival.  I want to take a month’s vacation every year.

And I want to be someone’s fairy godmother when the opportunity arises.