When you think of exotic skins, fine craftsmanship, and Fort Worth, cowboy boots are typically the first thing that comes to mind, but this emerging designer is less Lucchese and more Nancy Gonzales. Meet Meredith Ray: competitive barrel racer, UTA Alumni, and handbag designer.
Born and raised in Fort Worth, Meredith acquired her love for handbags at an early age. "I have always loved purses," she says. "When I was young, I remember going to Neiman Marcus with my mother and would spend all my time gazing at all the beautiful bags while she shopped." As Meredith got older, her allure for handbags quickly turned into an obsession when she opened (and quickly maxed out) her first credit card to purchase the Louis Vuitton Floral Dentelle Speedy. After graduating with a marketing degree from UTA, things came full-circle for Meredith when she accepted her dream job working in the handbag department at Neiman Marcus. However, when the opportunity presented itself for Meredith to create her own handbag line in 2014, she jumped on it. This was the beginning of the Meredith Ray Collection.
In describing Meredith Ray handbags, one word that comes to mind is timeless. With her minimalistic designs and exceptional skins, her classic pieces offer endless options. Utilizing ostrich, python, ring lizard, and caiman crocodile in an array of bold colors, Meredith’s vision is to have the essence of her designs speak for themselves. "I think this application of minimalistic design is one of the things that sets me apart from other designers," says Meredith. "That and all these wonderful colors." Guess which color is her most popular? Believe it
or not, the purple crocodile clutch is her best seller and it’s obvious why when you see the bag in person. Yet, even with her bold colors, the simplistic designs can either compliment a formal gown or jeans and a t-shirt, increasing the usage and making the purchase easy to justify.
Another reason to feel good about purchasing a Meredith Ray Handbag is 1% of all sales are donated to the World Wildlife Foundation. An avid animal lover herself, Meredith has two lab mixes, Chloe & Clooney (after George), and two cats, Milly and Asher. Combining her love of handbags and animals, it only makes sense for her to design something to compliment her furry friends, right? Another project in the works is a collection of dog collars she’s currently designing and will be launching soon. So for all those who have dreamed about accessorizing with your cute canine, you’re welcome.
Whether Meredith’s designing handbags, dog collars or saving animals, this native Texan is not afraid of chasing her dreams. "As they say, shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars, "Ray says. What’s next for Meredith? Python, of course. Currently, you can find Meredith Ray Handbags in three boutiques: You are Here, Onslows, and Hulla B’Lu, as well as on MeredithRay.com. Keep an eye out for her new collections, colors and styles released every spring and fall.
To learn more, please visit 20" target="_blank">www.meredithrayhandbags.com #MeredithRayHandbags
Article by Brittanie Buchanan–Oleniczak, Photography by Ernesto Escobedo & Erik Sandoval