Written By Abby Madan
A woman’s handbag is her everyday partner; it attends everything from meetings and interviews to first dates and girls night out. A unique handbag can show your personality at a glance.
FadoMade Accessories, owned and operated by Jamie Chard Kowarick, specializes in unique structured handbags.
“FadoMade is all about handcrafted custom accessories, vintage styles and quality construction. Most of the handbags I make are a homage to the box bag purse that was first introduced in the 1930’s and gained more popularity into the 60s,” Kowarick said.
Kowarick’s design, the Kaylan bag, features a striking alligator cobalt blue leather, handcrafted fringe and classic gold hardware. Kowarick’s bags are usually named after people who inspired the design or commissioned the bag.
The Kaylan bag was inspired by Kowarick’s friend Kaylan Marsh. Throughout the design process, Kowarick kept her friend’s style in mind.
“My intention was to create a timeless shape with a little flair to represent Kaylan’s bohemian/effortlessly chic style. Whenever Kaylan dresses up, I am reminded of Stevie Nicks … the fringe accents brought a ‘rock n’ roll’ edge, while the brass hardware added a more polished look,” Kowarick said.
Kowarick learned to sew her sophomore year of high school. She was drawn to design because she was extremely shy as a child and felt that clothes were a way to express herself.
After a bit of deliberation between whether to choose a career as a dancer or designer, Kowarick decided to pursue design and attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City as an Accessories Design major.
Kowarick moved to Knoxville in 2016 with her fiance after completing her program at F.I.T. She continued her business, which was formerly known as Fado Creations, in Knoxville after being based in Connecticut.
Fado Creations was sold at Southern Market, Market Square Farmers Market and other craft shows, but struggled to succeed.
“It was a struggle for me to find my footing in a new city/state. I honestly got discouraged, and after a year living here, I started teaching yoga full time and put Fado Creations on the back burner,” Kowarick said.
Kowarick struggled with feelings of failure and confusion after stepping back from Fado Creations, but things began to change the summer of 2020.
“I felt more inspired than ever and decided to try again, and I am so happy I did. I don’t know if it’s from me knowing more people from yoga and living here four and a half years, or how I’ve changed my design aesthetic, but I have been wonderfully overwhelmed by the response of people,” Kowarick said.
FadoMade customer Kathleen Jacobs purchased the Emory Tote. After receiving her bag, Jacobs gave a raving review.
“I received this gorgeous soft leather bag for Christmas. The craftsmanship is second to none. Hand stitched with the quality workmanship that you cannot find in mass produced bags. I will cherish and use the timeless bag for years to come,” Jacobs said.
Kowarick’s life motto is to “do the damn thing.” After stepping back from her career as a designer and pursuing yoga for years, Kowarick found her inspiration again. Kowarick shares her advice for entrepreneurs.
“It’s so cliche, but seriously — if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again. There will be growing pains, days of frustration and stress; but there are the ones where everything goes smoothly and the learning experiences from the days of struggle will help out in the long run,” Kowarick said.
Kowarick’s story shows that it is not only okay, but sometimes essential, to take a step back. Kowarick’s courage to relaunch her business during a pandemic shows that there is never a right or wrong time to try again.
You can show your support for Kowarick’s business by following FadoMade Accessories on Instagram, or through visiting FadoMade on Etsy.