THE INTERVIEW & EVENT: Haydee Callejas-Handbag Designer

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Meet Haydee Callejas! She's a designer based in Nicaragua, who creates amazing handbags and accessories using exotic skins such as python, boa and alligator. Mon Venin, an online store started by friends Nadia and Gabriella are one of Haydee's US distributors, and I'm SUPER happy that they are based in Houston.  Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of meeting Haydee at her Fall Preview Trunk Show at Carrie Ann.  Carrie Ann Boutique will now be selling Haylee's handbags.  A perfect fit, if you ask me!  I asked Haydee a few questions about her start in fashion design.

Listen to the Full Interview Here

When did you decide to first start creating bags? And did you start off with bags or belts because now you have a plethora of stuff that you offer?
12 years ago, and I started off with bags. Bags and belts, and mostly men's accessories.

Do you still sell men's accessories and will you be selling them here at Carrie Ann?
Yes of course! I love men, and I love men's accessories. I do have samples here for the men, some very beautiful pieces

When did you start selling in the US, did you start off selling in Nicaragua? 
I started selling in Nicaragua. I have many people who bring the stuff to the state to sell it, but this is the first time I come to the state as a designer and with my representatives Nadia and Gabriella. It's my first time. I have representatives in Washington and Miami that are opening up little boutiques and trunk shows.  

So this is your first time in the US period or just here in Houston?
First time in Houston, and last year in Washington and Miami

What do you think about Houston so far?
I love Houston, I think this is the segment I want to reach.  I see them as loving exotic leather. They're very Texan, cowboy snakes everywhere.. I feel I identify with them.  I feel very comfortable selling to them.

And we're up and coming in the fashion scene. Houston is really growing exponentially with fashion. It's a good time to come in with your product and our industry is building up! I'm glad, I'm sure something good will come from selling here.

Why snake and alligator skins? I don't know. I just love exotic leather. Whenever I feel the texture, it's just great, it turns me on. I get inspired by the color and the texture, and the wild, how do you say? Exotic, it's unique.

Where do you have them made? I import leather from Italy, but they are all made in Nicaragua. I have my own atelier. I design and I produce them.  

Great so it's a team! Who's all on your team? 
I have 3 artisans working with me, I have a young girl that helps me with the drawings, and my assistant helps me choose the colors and research the trends from Europe. Doing a study and research a little bit on what's coming from Europe. you don't invent things they are already invented. I just go to Europe and say, oh that's what's coming!

What was the inspiration behind your fall collection right now. I saw some of your bags when we had the Starlight event, and I saw the clutches were there, but they didn't have the big bags with the chains? I went to Morocco, and I went to South of Spain and I noticed that all the ladies were carrying big bags. There was a meeting of young designers and we always put together and display something. I came out with the clutches with the necklace, or with the handkerchief in stead of doing regular things.  I went with exotic leather because it's what's end right now.  You can make them more trendy, dress it up and dress it down.  It's a piece of art that you will keep forever.  

So how did you become connected with Nadia & Gabriella?
Nadia is from the same hometown from where I was born. She found me on one of her trips to Nicaragura and bought a purse., contact me and we started talking. I kept sending her my new clutches, and seeing little by little them doing some trunk shows.  And we had the connection of nIcaragura and growing up in a small country.

Anything else you would like to add for my readers? Keep following me. I'll be doing new things. I'll keep trying to keep improving the quality. I'm very quality oriented. Prices and quality will be the best!

Thanks Haydee for letting me take some of your time to interview you! If you would like to know more about Haydee Callejas and her collection and Mon Venin check out the following sites:

Haydee Callejas -
Houston Distributors
Mon Venin -
Carrie Ann -

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  1. These bags are beautiful. I love the different textures! I have never heard of her before but will definitely keep an eye out for her in the future! Thanks for sharing!



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