Becky O'Neil makes her living designing custom handbags for women around the globe. She uses incredible textile designs by Anna Maria Horner, Lori Jessi Jung, and Ink & Spindle among others, and started her business six years ago from the comfort of her New Hampshire home.
She and her family reside in a 1,300 square foot Bungalow, circa 1931, in Manchester's North End where she has creatively re-arranged the main living area to accommodate a sewing studio, office, and client viewing gallery. Working in the main living area allows her the luxury of being with and accessible to her three young boys.
In this cozy 12'x12' studio space, which is the home's original dining room, she lined the walls with shelves to maximize storage. She organizes her thousand yard inventory of fabric by material, separating cottons from silks from felts, in order to easily accommodate client requests. There are patches of buttons everywhere, spools of beautiful thread, and a hanging rod that conveniently showcases many of her luxurious ribbons. Contrary to how I imagined a sewer working at their machine, Becky sews standing up! I asked her how she was able to sew in such a tiny area and she reminded me that her handbags are small in size and it's all the room she needs.
The small sun porch, or client viewing gallery, measuring 7.5' x13' is painted in gorgeous tangerine and is outfitted with a day bed on the far right wall and potted plants and doubles as a guest bedroom. Her bags are displayed on free standing wooden screens she found at Target and they travel with her to arts markets when she needs them.
Visit Becky Oh's site to see more of her creations.
Images: Tanya Lacourse