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DESIGNER OF THE DAY

Chelli Look

CHC

With an affinity for all things handmade and leather, CHC has been crafting handbags since 2001. What started as “creating the handbag she couldn’t find”, progressed to the launch of CHC (Chelli Harms Collection) in 2011-- the established professional’s go-to for a functional bag that encapsulates her downtown edge. CHC embodies the fondness of trends but even more so the love for the timeless.

CHC’s latest collection explores the striking simplicity that comes from marrying contrasting colors and textures of leather. The collection adopts neutral color-blocking and calf hair composition to bring an innovative new look to the “Little Black Bag”. CHC is U.S.-sourced and Chicago-made. With findings & leathers from Ohio, tags from Indiana and California, and (Horween) leathers from Illinois, no compromise is made to quality. All these components are brought together to be handmade by Chelli in Chicago. CHC is also a giving company. Ten percent of the profits of each sale is donated to WINGS: an organization empowering women and providing services to end domestic violence and homelessness.

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When Chelli was a sophomore in high school, she was looking for a specific crossbody bag but just couldn't seem to spot it for the right price. After noticing the messenger bag that her older sister, Megan, had made in a home economics class, Chelli asked her to help with making a bag of her own. Megan scoffed (as any older sister would) and told Chelli to "figure it out on her own." And that is exactly what she did; after purchasing some cotton and denim, Chelli sketched up the bag she wanted and made it happen. Within the coming weeks, Chelli was now making bags for friends, family, and even teachers. It didn't take long for this new passion to gain some drive and CHC (Chelli Harms Collection) was born.

With an affinity for all things handmade and leather, Chelli has been crafting handbags since 2001. What started as "creating the handbag she couldn't find" progressed into CHC (Chelli Harms Collection), Chelli's entrepreneurial outlet throughout her high school years, until realizing her vocational vision as she stepped into Columbia College Chicago. Chelli graduated from Columbia with a BA in Retail Management. Post graduation, CHC continued developing on the side while Chelli fed her creative appetite in Retail Management until taking the full-time leap in October of 2013.

"I would like to say that much of my design inspiration comes from artwork or new trends but that's never quite done it for me. I am most captivated by the way that people use body movements; specifically how their hands move, shape, maneuver, and interact with the world around them."

"CHC bags are first designed with the mindset of how they will be handled. Given that I am most inspired my hand movements, my love of using leather/cowhide comes through as I picture the way a bag will drape, move and shape the body."

CHC is growing steadily. Being based in a city such as Chicago, they are able to take advantage of the existent industry opportunities around them. CHC is gaining attention on the coasts and is looking to continue to expand their market internationally.

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