The Belia Grace Story:
My name is Toni, the creative artisan behind Belia Grace Handbags and Accessories. I’ve been sewing since I took a basic sewing class in high school and honed my sewing skills on my grandmother’s treadle sewing machine. For several years, I have sewn my family’s clothes and home furnishings.
Making handbags was in my future, although I was unaware of it at the time. My love for handbags, jewelry and shoes started when I modeled for Macy’s many moons ago. When they dress you for a fashion show, they work from top to bottom. The clothes, jewelry, hats, shoes, and of course, the handbag. And, Macy’s had some of the cutest bags. I was always drawn to the small unique and brightly colored ones and bought them whenever I could afford it. And my love of handbags was born and it has never stopped.
About 12 years ago, I gifted my mother-in-law a handcrafted laminated handbag with cowhide leather handles. She loved it and wore it out and requested another similar t the first. Both handbags were a hit with friends and strangers alike. Consequently, she encouraged me to start making handbags, but I resisted. Two years ago she shared how strangers were again asking for my phone number hoping I would make them a custom bag and was constantly calling me about making bags to sell so I decided to take the plunge and do it.
I took a picture of the handbag I made for my mother-in-law that propelled me to launch “Belia Grace.” Keep in mind that the bag is about 4-5 years old. The laminate still looks great and the cowhide handles have naturally aged in color.
In pondering what to name my bag business I chose “Belia Grace.” Belia (bel-ya) means beautiful in Latin and God’s promise in Hebrew. Grace means favor. God’s beautiful promise of favor and grace seemed appropriate.
I love making beautiful things and will work hard to make handbags that are made with quality materials and products. My desire is for my customers to be proud of the Belia Grace Handbags they purchase.