Wendistry is a contemporary hand-painted handbag and accessories atelier with a focus on capsule collections, “slow fashion” standards, and artisanal functionality.
But I have a higher purpose. To help women discover that fashion has the power to transform… It’s not so much about who you are as it is about who you WANT to be.
My clients look to make a statement without saying a word. Ladies who look for exclusive items they don’t have in their closet. Women who have a closet full of logo-laden accessories, and now gravitate toward more unique and unexpected items for their ensembles.
Are YOU a Wendistry Woman?
The Mission: to work with the DESIGNED DRAMATIC
The “Designed Dramatic” woman adores artistic simplicity. She applauds original thinking and effective systems and she is innately innovative, inventive, strategic, and intentional.
The Designed Dramatic woman loves to know what the plan is or to improve upon it. In pursuit of solutions or creativity, Designed is a networker, a brainstormer, a visionary. These women seek out contemporaries and modernizers to nourish their spirit and intellect.
On a bad day, Designed Dramatic can be overly willful or get stuck on the details of a strategy because she strives for mastery and excellence in focused areas. She is sincerely open to new ideas and ways of doing things, yet confident in her own perspectives and opinions.
She appreciates the intimacy of “touch” and the things you hold… your fork, your pen, your child, your lover… the things that sustain your life. The Designed Dramatic woman shops online because she has better things to do. She places a high level of importance on herself, her appearance, and her wardrobe because she cares about the details.
Visual expression is of the utmost importance to the Designed woman. Her look and feel is modern, contemporary, tailored, custom-made, architectural. Designed loves patterns, graphics, icons, color, simplified complexity, and symbols. She appreciates state-of-the-art, hand-crafted, and efficient construction.
The Designed Dramatic woman is affecting, breathtaking, change agent, cultivated, elegant, exciting, expressive, forceful, glamorous, impactful, influential, inspired, passionate, persuasive, powerful, results-oriented, sensitive, striking, tasteful, thrilling, vivid, and visible.
make a statement with how you are dressed
Where art marries fashion, Wendistry uses genuine acrylic paints on authentic artist’s canvas. As collector’s items, each handbag is a highly curated colorway, individually SIGNED and NUMBERED as a limited edition piece.
All Wendistry handbags and accessories are made in Dallas, Texas. By locally producing each bag by hand, the atelier is able to maintain the highest quality requirements and produce a one-of-a-kind fashion accessory. Only a limited amount of each colorway is produced, thereby allowing Wendistry to maintain a certain uniqueness in each style.
My method is my muse. My work is best described as an experiment with the fundamental process of painting. I pour, scrape, layer and otherwise manipulate paint on the canvas to create handbags that are rich in both color and texture.
I’m the kind of designer who always works in an instinctive way. Creating very much in the moment, with little consideration of anything but the paint and the purse in front of me. It’s a controlled freedom. In this way, my work and designs are inspired by the very act of painting… composing layers of color and texture until they become a painting in your hand.” ~~ Wendi W McGowan-Ellis
It started with a date in 2008. A Groupon painting class which offered a 20-inch by 20-inch canvas, brushes & palette knives, all the paints you could possibly want, wine, crackers, cheese, and fruit snacks, plus a live DJ making the atmosphere completely creative. I signed Scott and myself up, and for three hours on a spring Saturday afternoon, I painted for the first time in my life.
When I was finished with my work, I wanted to cut the canvas away from the frame and trifold it into a clutch handbag. I mean I SAW IT… immediately. Hit like a lightening bolt, I could feel this beautiful artistic item on my arm, and I’ve never been the same since.
Fast forward to 2015… Through a complete fluke occurrence in the Anthropologie store in Northpark Centre, I landed a 20-minute meeting with Anthropologie’s VP & Head of Accessories Buyer Department in July. During that meeting, I simply asked her: “IF I did want you to buy this bag for the stores, what would that clutch design look like to make your customers happy?”
Over the next 10 minutes, she sketched and designed the bag you see in my Shop today. The zipper closure, the double snaps, the wristlet strap, the suede interior… All design ideas from her and I am FOREVER grateful because she completely changed the game for me.
Getting to work painting from July through August, and then partnering with Julie McCullough and her MAKE+MADE sewing workroom to sew and produce what I painted, I launched my first collection, Fall/Winter 2015, on November 4th at the Dallas “Flea Style” Fall event.
Into December 2015, the fashion gods smiled on me in a HUGE way… I was asked to participate with another Dallas couture designer, Binzario Couture, in New York Fashion Week in February 2016. You see those images from the show in the Video Lookbook section.
Today, my desire is to make meaningful connections with my clients. That’s why Wendistry handbags, scarves, and pocketsquares are only sold exclusively here online, at in-person events, and through a handful of carefully selected personal stylists. So, please reach out if you have any comments, suggestions, or requests.