Meet one of our most local designers! Gina, the babe behind our new sleek and versatile leather handbag line, deWolfe, is a born and bred Boston gal with a huge creative streak and a majorly relaxed vibe. Read our interview to find out how she got into fashion design, how she continues to stay inspired, and what exciting things you can expect from deWolfe in the future!
Name: Gina DeWolfe
Hometown: Boylston, MA
How did you first get started making accessories?
My interest in design came out of nowhere. I was always creative, but as a kid, I could be found beating up the boys and playing in the mud… certainly not being girly and dreaming of fashion. Then when I was 16, I began playing around with an old sewing machine in my house that no one used, and I was instantly hooked. I made myself a bag, and while browsing through a Boston boutique, the owner approached me and asked, “who makes that bag?!” I had my very first collection hanging in that store a few weeks later!
Where do you often look for your design inspiration?
Inspiration comes in so many forms… sometimes just throwing on a record and a pot of tea is enough to get my gears turning and my fingers moving, and other times it’s not so simple. I notice the shapes and curves of everything around me, and think about how I can recreate them using leather. I have sketchbooks everywhere so I’m always prepared.
How would you describe your line of handbags? How would you like to see them paired/worn?
My bags are sleek but tough, and very multifunctional.
What matters most to me is that they compliment the wearer’s individual style. I like to see them worn with everything. That’s the whole idea!
What advice would you give to someone looking to get into fashion design?
You have to truly believe in what you create, or no one else will. Also, you need to be extremely resilient, persistent, and determined. It’s a tough industry, so you need to have a thick skin. Lastly, never let the creative juices stop! When you begin to get burnt out and your inspiration dies down, get out there and search for it, preferably outside your comfort zone, because that’s often where the magic happens.
When you’re not working on deWolfe, where can you be found?
With my bare feet in the grass! I literally work all the time because I love what I do, but when I’m not working, I’m probably outside. Lately I’ve been doing a lot of writing and reading for something unaffiliated with deWolfe, so stay tuned! I’m also a devoted yogi and yoga teacher here in Boston.
What’s your go-to deWolfe piece?
I’m obsessed with the Leather Pleat Pack from my new line. (Coming soon!) It’s so classy but insanely multifunctional, and I use it every day because it goes with everything. I love backpacks because they’re less restricting, and more comfortable than your typical handbag. I also always carry two of the Bitty Wallets… one for cash and one for business cards.
How would you describe your own personal style?
My style is a balance between easy going and quirky. Personal style is the most straightforward form of self-expression, so I try to reflect that in my clothes. Regardless of what I’m wearing, I always include something one-of-a-kind or meaningful to me – maybe it’s a bracelet I made using a gorgeous vintage brass buckle from my grandfather, or a hand woven bag that I scooped up in Guatemala. I like being the only person on earth that has a particular piece.
Finish this sentence: I never leave the house without…
Amber Rose oil from Herbal Revolution, my favorite Ray Bans, a bunch of bracelets; mostly handmade, and a chunk of amethyst for good luck.
What can we expect to see from you and your brand in the future?
Clothes! I took a nice long break from designing clothes to focus on my leather goods, but I’m itching to get back to it. I have tons of ideas in the form of sketches, and I’ve just started taking them to fabric. I’m also expanding my leather line, but it will always be handmade in the U.S.