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Mary Frances Designs Women's Handbags as Wearable Art

Updated on March 18, 2012
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Glendon and his wife have led church ministries, conducted empowerment seminars, and travelled to faraway places on business and vacation.

A California native who creates wearable art, she names Oprah Winfrey, Paris Hilton, Linda Taylor, Katie Cook, Jessica Simpson, and Teri Hatcher among her better known fans. What wearable art? Handbags. Yes! This hub is a foray into the elegant field of women’s apparel; and today we take a look at ladies handbags, Mary Frances handbags to be exact.

Mary Frances Shaffer has acquired a reputation for designing a unique blend of elegance and whimsy since 1990 with luxurious fabrics, exotic precious stones, beads and trim work. According to her website

Mary Frances is passionate about what she does & knows what her customer is looking for: unique, quality accessories that can express their personality & individual style. Primarily inspired by fabrics, textures & unique combinations of materials & colours, Mary Frances reviews trends, then sets them aside to arrive at look that is all her own. Each design is as unique & full of life as she is… giving rise to one of Mary Frances’ favourite quips, “Life is too short to dress boring!”

Mary Frances Accessories has twice been named (in 2005 & 2006) as one of America’s 500 fastest-growing privately owned companies by Inc. Magazine. In 2004, Mary Frances proudly received the Accessory Designer of the Year Award at the Dallas Fashion Awards & was one of 5 designers acknowledged as a ‘Star of the Show’ during Paris fashion week in 2004 & 2005.

Mary Frances as seen on her website
Mary Frances as seen on her website

Filling a Design Gap

And to think that she started out as a simple fashion accessories importer. She somehow recognized that something was missing from the marketplace, and decided to design the solution, the rest, as they say, is history. Her niche appears to be the artistic blend of class, style, and fun.

Mary Frances produces five collections per year. The avid collector will find that each richly ornamented piece evokes a ‘one of a kind' flavour. Each piece is handcrafted by skilled artisans, and colourfully combines exotic components, unique fabrics, stones, beads and trimmings.

Looking at the collection of Mary Frances handbags I cannot help but arrive at the conclusion that here is the artist who became a designer. Just imagine if you wish pieces like Fetch (dog faced), flutter By (butterfly), and First Bite (apple motif). And that’s just for starters. How about London Calling (British flag), Interlude (grand piano), and What a Hoot (owl)?

I have no claim to high society or head turning fashion, but from a purely artistic perspective these pieces are worth collecting. Naturally, if you are Oprah it’s something you wear.


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    • profile image

      Phillip Wheeler 4 years ago

      A joy to sell.....everyone loves these handbags! Mary Frances is a delightful and creative lady who obviously designs from the heart.....

    • Janellegems profile image

      Janellegems 5 years ago from United States

      Mary Frances Designs Handbags are extremely unique and one of a kind. I love handcrafted items. Thanks for sharing an awesome hub about this.

    • LeanMan profile image

      Tony 7 years ago from At the Gemba

      My wife liked the owl style bag, nice hub.

    • viking305 profile image

      L M Reid 7 years ago from Ireland

      Hand crafted and unique products are always the best. These Mary Frances Designs Handbags are really special. It's nice to see someone achieving success with this kind of wearable art

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 7 years ago from Northern, California

      Mary Frances Designs Handbags are beautiful! I love the guitar sensation shoulder bag, what outstanding shoulder art! Lovely hub.


    • Anesidora profile image

      Anesidora 7 years ago from Pandora's Box

      Fantastic handbags!