Lara Maria Trespalacios

Fashion Design

Designer and Owner of her own brand of handmade handbags and small leather goods
Miami International University of Art & Design

Lara Maria Trespalacios

The hands-on jewelry and handbags making classes helped me to decide what I wanted to do. The creation aspect always pulled me in and I loved making something out of nothing. Lara Maria Trespalacios , Designer and Owner of her own brand of handmade handbags and small leather goods
Associate of Arts in Accessory Design , 2013 , Miami International University of Art & Design

Designer and Owner of her own brand of handmade handbags and small leather goods

Lara Maria Trespalacios is the designer and owner of her own brand of handmade handbags and small leather goods. She creates each piece from start to finish, using top-quality materials. She also creates custom designs. “I want to create a sense of quality that is lacking in today's market, taking it back to when things actually lasted and were made of good quality materials, but without having that ridiculous high end price tag that many cannot afford these days.”

She gained industry experience working for shoe designers Jean-Michel Cazabat, Jon Josef, Pour La Victoire, Kelsi Dagger, Modern Vice, Aimee Kestenberg, and Loquita. “I've worked with factories all over the world and with buyers from all stores from small boutiques to large department stores like Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Macy's, Saks and Harvey Nichols.”

Now that she has her own company, a typical workday includes making leather goods, discovering new leathers and linings to work with, sourcing zippers and hardware, and finding new designs. “It's all up to me so there is never a typical workday . Every day is different and a new adventure.”

Lara Maria admits that the fashion industry is challenging and fast paced, but recommends that students push through the hard times. “All of your work, effort, and worries will absolutely pay off once you've reached the finish line. Enjoy it while you can and truly take advantage of all the resources available to you.” Lara Maria admits that she’s still working to get the public to understand that quality is more important than quantity. “It seems like most people either want to spend $20 at Forever21 or to save their $300 to go to Nordstrom. They've lost touch with how their products are made and they have lost sight of the importance of handmade quality and supporting small businesses.”

These moments help her to make it through difficult times as a self-employed artist. “It's a challenge to just have the patience and believe that it will work. It's always easier to go to that high paying office job but I refuse to work the daily 9-5 job in the same desk every day. Creativity and happiness are more important than the need for immediate money.”

Her creativity is helping her to make an impact, and she inspires her own creative growth through photos, magazines, paint colors, and music. “I make my work environment my happy place so that I wouldn't wish I was anywhere else. When you love what you do, it shows in your work and that passion is everything.” Lara Maria adds that she feels the benefits of her hard work when a customer compliments her designs.

Lara Maria, who in 2013 earned an Associate of Arts in Accessory Design from Miami International University of Art & Design, says that her education provided knowledge of software including Photoshop and Illustrator that simplify her design and presentation work. “The hands-on jewelry and handbags making classes helped me to decide what I wanted to do. The creation aspect always pulled me in and I loved making something out of nothing. Nowadays, everything is mass- produced and there are barely any special items out there that stand out from the rest in design and quality. That's what I'd like to change.”

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