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Featured Shop: Jenny N. Design

Dec 6, 2013

by Jenny Nemlekar

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Hi! I’m Jenny Nemlekar, and I’m the one-woman show at Jenny N. Design, where I design, make, photograph, model and live and breathe handbags. I operate out of my in-laws’ basement in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, while my pug, Hubert, keeps me company. My husband, Shay, is my tough business decision-maker, source of sanity, data analytics guy, and male model (if I nag him enough).

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I started making tote bags (something I learned from my mom when I was six) in my college dorm room, and it soon became an addiction. Ironically, earning a bachelors of science in biomedical engineering solidified what I really wanted to do: be my own boss. I figured owning a business would give me the opportunity to do what inspired me, while creating the flexibility to work my own hours and move anywhere around the world. I didn’t realize at the time was that owning a business is a 24/7 commitment and that industrial sewing machines and leather hides are really heavy to move, but that’s besides the point.

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I am an artist by nature and an engineer by discipline, so my business is the fusion of my personal artistic aesthetic and the engineering principles I adopted throughout my education. My designs are inspired by food, fashion and life in general. For example, after following Shay’s favorite basketball team for a season, I couldn’t help but think how cute it would be to bolt snap the three-point line to the center court line. Thus, I designed the Clutch. Other examples include the Traveler, which is inspired by an envelope from a wedding invitation, or the Ruche, which is inspired by a combination of a bubble skirt and a Chinese dumpling.

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I design my bags by sketching out the final silhouette, then reverse-engineering the design to create a template. I cut a whole leather hide into a stack of geometric shapes that culminate into a design when sewn, lined, and riveted. I try to standardize my templates so I use every inch of the beautiful materials I work with. Once a bag is ready, I take a brief moment to feel like a proud mom before giving it a final hug goodbye, and then packaging it to be shipped away to a loving new home.

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I believe that a great shopping experience is very much like a great dining experience: you want a delicious product made from high-quality ingredients presented with high-quality service. I run my business so that my customers love my designs and come back because of my customer service.

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After graduating in 2009, I jumped head-first into making and selling my handbags full-time on Etsy. Back then, I was an engineer who was crafty. Now I’m proud to say I am a craftswoman with a strong foundation in engineering. Etsy has allowed me to turn my hobby into my full-time job, and I feel fortunate that I can do what I love every single day (including weekends!).

All photographs by Jenny N. Design.

Professional Backpack, Laptop Backpack, Gray Canvas, Brown Leather, Work Backpack, Back to School, JennyNDesign, Handmade USA
Professional Backpack, Laptop Backpack, Gray Canvas, Brown Leather, Work Backpack, Back to School, JennyNDesign, Handmade USA
JennyNDesign
$275.00 USD
Ready to Ship, Leather Laptop Bag, Leather Tote, Professional Leather Bag, Attorney Bag, Large Leather Tote, Chestnut Briefcase, Archive Bag
Ready to Ship, Leather Laptop Bag, Leather Tote, Professional Leather Bag, Attorney Bag, Large Leather Tote, Chestnut Briefcase, Archive Bag
JennyNDesign
$395.00 USD
Professional Backpack, Mens Leather Canvas Backpack, Womens Laptop Backpack, Grad School Bag, School Backpack, 17 inch Laptop Backpack
Professional Backpack, Mens Leather Canvas Backpack, Womens Laptop Backpack, Grad School Bag, School Backpack, 17 inch Laptop Backpack
JennyNDesign
$275.00 USD
Leather Scraps by the Pound, 2 lbs, two pounds assorted full grain upholstery leather scraps, leather remnants, free shipping
Leather Scraps by the Pound, 2 lbs, two pounds assorted full grain upholstery leather scraps, leather remnants, free shipping
JennyNDesign
$25.00 USD
Made to Order, Leather Laptop Bag, Leather Tote, Professional Leather Bag, Attorney Bag, Large Leather Tote, Black Briefcase, Archive Bag
Made to Order, Leather Laptop Bag, Leather Tote, Professional Leather Bag, Attorney Bag, Large Leather Tote, Black Briefcase, Archive Bag
JennyNDesign
$395.00 USD
Leather Backpack, Black Leather Backpack, Professional Backpack, Laptop Backpack, Modern Minimal Backpack, Made to Order
Leather Backpack, Black Leather Backpack, Professional Backpack, Laptop Backpack, Modern Minimal Backpack, Made to Order
JennyNDesign
$375.00 USD
Leather Scraps by the Pound, 2 lbs, two pounds assorted full grain upholstery leather scraps, leather remnants, free shipping
Leather Scraps by the Pound, 2 lbs, two pounds assorted full grain upholstery leather scraps, leather remnants, free shipping
JennyNDesign
$25.00 USD

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