Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
May 22nd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

In the Bag

AE-2-1Terry McInerney’s strong, fashionable handbags make a dent in Santa Cruz
There are days in life when fate waits around the corner for you. For Terry McInerney, that is how success manifested in her life. Early last year, McInerney, a married Santa Cruzan with two children, was out shopping with her young daughter. They stepped into a local store and her daughter started chatting up a patron, someone she recognized from swimming lessons. “She told her, ‘My mom makes bags,’” McInerney says of her daughter, who turned out to be quite a marketing genius.

And indeed that’s exactly what McInerney had been doing for the last few years—refining her leather-crafting skills and designing gorgeous utilitarian fashion-forward handbags. Fortunately for McInerney, her daughter had decided to make this announcement to a woman who was on the cusp of opening up what would become a successful downtown clothing and housewares store. The woman was Suna Lock, the owner of Stripe. She invited McInerney to the store before it opened to take a look at her work and Lock quickly ordered several bags for the store. Since then, McInerney’s bags have been selling pretty well at Stripe, and she recently opened up an Etsy store as well (nualaleather.etsy.com). Lock explains that McInerney has become one of their favorite vendors, “no ego, easy, and real,” she says of the designer.

AE-2-2Her line of richly colored leather handbags, clutches, and cuffs is called Nuala. It’s an old, classic Irish name, and an ode to McInerney’s roots—she is originally from Ireland and moved to the United States when she was 21. Her speech still holds elements of her Irish accent when she talks about the leather that she has become a master at transforming into popular, modern, functional bags for women. (Her line will also soon include messenger bags as well.)

She’s always been a creative person, making scarves, crocheting things, etc. A few years ago, she happened upon a store called Leatherwise in Santa Cruz. Intrigued, she considered trying to make a bag out of leather, so someone at Leatherwise gave her instructions and there began McInerney’s self-taught journey into making handbags, which has included even dying the leather herself. “The leather is a byproduct of the food industry; it would be considered waste,” she says about the medium that she works in, which “encourages creativity.”

AE-2-3Her bags are hand cut, hand sewn, and constructed entirely by McInerney, whose living room on the Westside of Santa Cruz looks like an elaborate showroom, with bags hanging from chairs, a plate of cuffs nearby, and an ample display of clutches sitting on a table. Everything is tidy and clean, just like her work. The bags come in various colors, and the bulk of them come in shades of natural brown, with a rectangular shape, and a comfortable strap to sling over the shoulder. Likewise, the clutches can slip easily into one hand, and have a hardware clasp to keep things hidden inside the small carryall. The cuffs have a very bohemian influence—they’re made out of old, used belts.

As for inspiration in creating her bags, McInerney finds her muse in the most unique of places—hardware stores. While some women might roam clothing stores for hours, this designer is more likely to find herself enticed by tools and hardware aisles.

Getting her work out there has been a new and thrilling experience for McInerney. Recently, she had her first public sighting of one of her bags. “I was dropping my kids off at a theater day camp, and saw a woman who had [one of my] bags,” McInerney says of the surprising and serendipitous moment. She better get used to it, because this trés chic lady has it in the bag.


Terry McInerney’s bags, clutches, and cuffs can be seen at Stripe, 107 Walnut Ave., Santa Cruz, 421-9252, stripedesigngroup.com, or nualaleather.etsy.com. Cuffs sell for $14, clutches sell for $65-$80, and handbags sell for $165-$180.
Comments (2)Add Comment
...
written by laamsha, May 05, 2010
wow! another great article about another great local talent! ; )
Terry, i love your work! i'm so happy to have met you! yeahy! what a nice write up!
Christa, i love your work too!
WE HEART NUALA
written by Dana Norrell, May 05, 2010
Hands down, best purse ever. I see it daily that a woman walks in, falls in love and instantly NEEDS her Nuala. The more beat up and worn in, the better they become. Look forward to new designs by Terry hitting Stripe Soon!

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Gate Openers

Up-and-coming artists like Ryan Bingham are a great reason to show up early to the Santa Cruz American Music Festival

 

Gemini Sun, Pentecost, Shavuot—Enlightenment and Gladness

As the sun enters Gemini on Sunday, sign of speaking, communication, thinking, inter-relations, writing and understanding languages, the feast days of Pentecost & Shavuot (Catholic and Jewish festivals) occur. During Pentecost’s 50 days after Easter, tongues of fire appear above the heads of the disciples, providing them with the ability to understand all languages and all feelings hidden in the minds and hearts of humanity. It’s recorded that Pentecost began with a loud noise, which happened in an upper room (signifying the mind). The Christ (World Teacher) told his disciples (after his ascension) when encountering a man at a well carrying a water pot (signs for Age of Aquarius) to follow him to an upper room. There, the Holy Spirit (Ray 3 of Divine Intelligence) would overshadow them, expand their minds, give them courage and enable them to teach throughout the world, speaking all languages and thus able to minister to the true needs of a “seeking” humanity. Pentecost (50 days, pentagram, Ray 5, Venus, concrete and scientific knowledge, the Ray of Aquarius) sounds dramatic, impressive and scary: The loud noise, a thunderous rush of wind and then “tongues of fire” above the heads of each disciple (men and women). Fire has purpose. It purifies, disintegrates, purges, transforms and liberates (frees) us from the past. This was the Holy Spirit (Ray 3, love and wisdom) being received by the disciples, so they would teach in the world and inform humanity of the Messiah (Christ), who initiated the new age (Pisces) and gave humanity the new law (adding to the 10 Commandments of the Aries Age) to Love (Ray 2) one another. Note: Gemini is also Ray 2. Shavuot is the Jewish Festival of Gladness, the First Fruits Festival celebrating the giving of the 10 Commandments to Moses as the Aries Age was initiated. Thus, we have two developmental stages here, Jewish festival of the Old Testament. Pentecost of the New Testament. We have gladness, integrating both.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Off Her Meds

Kristin Wiig runs wild—and transcends her sketch comedy roots—as a truly strange character ‘Welcome to Me’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Flats Bistro

Pizza with an artisan twist comes to Aptos Beach

 

What’s your take on Santa Cruz locals?

Santa Cruz locals are really friendly once you know them. I think a lot of them have a hard time leaving, and I would too. Ryan Carle, Santa Cruz, Biologist

 

Soquel Vineyards

If Soquel Vineyards partners Peter and Paul Bargetto and Jon Morgan were walking down the street wearing their winning wine competition medals, you’d hear them coming from a mile away. This year was particularly rewarding for the Bargettos and Morgan—they won two Double Gold Medals and five Gold Medals at January’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

 

Enlightened Flavors

Squash & Blossom’s artisanal alternative-flour delights, beet kvass from Cafe Ivéta, and the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival