The winners of the Independent Handbag Designer Awards will be announced June 14th and a local designer is in the running for one of the awards.

Amy Steele’s design is one of five finalists in the “Cutting Edge Bag” category, sponsored by the clothing company Nasty Gal.

The competition features designers from around the world.

Steele left a career in finance 11 years ago to move home to North Bay and design handbags, and is thankful for the support she’s received.

“We live in this small community in northern Ontario but, wow, what great support I’ve had. I couldn’t have become the designer I have without the support of local people and the community, it’s really wonderful,” she says.

Steele is excited about the opportunity with the awards and also says people can follow their dreams and still make a living.

“We all spend so many hours of our life at work and if we don’t love what we’re doing, then it can be really tough. I’m just so excited everyday when I wake up, I’ve got ideas and I still, after 11 years, I still love what I do everyday and I think there’s something to be said for that, especially when it comes to being creative,” she adds.

Steele will be in New York City for the awards ceremony.

Industry professionals and buyers, along with finalists from about 20 different countries will all be there.

Filed under: Amy Steele, Cutting Edge Bag, Independent Handbag Designer Awards