Discover Benelux | Dutch Design | Made in the Netherlands
Hand-made handbags to satisfy your ‘candy’ cravings TEXT: ANNA VILLELEGER | PHOTOS: VENA CANDY
“Fashion is a great way to express yourself,” begins Vjerana Stipetic, the talented creative behind VENA candy. Founded in December 2017, the Dutch brand creates hand-made, unique handbags that make women feel truly special. VENA candy designs are colourful, beautifully embellished and often feature splashes of animal print, making them the perfect ‘eye candy’ for women who are not afraid to stand out from the crowd. “I want my bags to make women happy. For them to feel cheered up whenever they see them!” Vjerana - or ‘Vena’ as she is affectionately known by her family – designs and hand-makes every handbag herself. Originally from Croatia, it was during time spent on a ceramics course while on an exchange semester in Turkey that she realised her future was in fashion. “I got a little bit lost for a while and studied busi-
ness administration. But after that Turkey trip my childhood passion for creativity returned,” she grins. The decision to quit her finance masters is one she certainly does not regret: the joy Vjerana takes in her craft is palpable. “I find inspiration everywhere,” she reveals. “I’ll often notice nice colour combinations or shapes when I’m out walking my adorable French bulldog, Zsa Zsa.” There are currently six designs available in VENA candy’s debut ‘Wild Kingdom’ collection, with more creations on the way. Primarily made using high quality faux leather and faux fur, all embellishments are sewn on by hand. Does Vjerana have a favourite design? “Well obviously I love them all! But for sentimental reasons I would have to say ‘Swamp Baby’. It’s the first bag I made since officially launching the business, and from there the whole ‘Wild Kingdom’ theme just evolved.”
So, what is next on the horizon? Growth seems inevitable for the VENA candy brand, which is currently still a onewoman show. “At the moment I do everything: the designing, hand-making and even all the admin. So I would love to build up a small team,” explains Vjerana. “Of course, still keeping everything unique and hand-made. That is what VENA candy is all about.”
Shop the collection at www.venacandy.com
Issue 51 | March 2018 | 37
Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.