Joey and Me Handbags: Because life is so much more than a brown leather purse

John Christensen
Kerry Meyer with some of her custom made purses

Kerry Meyer began her custom handbag enterprise out of boredom and economic need, but her inspiration has already brought her success. Kerry and her Miniature Yorkshire Terrier, Joey, are sharing space with Disbrow Upholstery at 132 Main St. in Penn Yan, and it seems a perfect fit. Surrounded by a wealth of fabric choices, with room to work and display her creations, she is a welcome and creative addition to the  local business scene.

Kerry says she often wakes up with designs in her mind. “If you don’t do something with it, it causes frustration.” Her taste is for unique yet practical design and one-of-a-kind combinations of fabrics and color. “I rarely find handbags that I like in stores,” she said.

That desire for a bag that makes a statement of individuality inspired her to offer her creativity to the world. Her customers pick a model of bag with customizable features, as well as whatever fabrics and colors they want, and Kerry soon makes their desire a reality with a level of quality unseen in retail bags.

Not just a street-front merchant, Kerry has an online shop that is equally equipped for her custom tailored bags: www.Etsy.com/shop/Joeyandme.

That is typical of Meyer, who has always found a way to do more. “I love tools, and a sewing machine is a really cool tool,” she says.

She has sewed since the third grade, when she made a jumper for herself. “I was thrilled and completely hooked.” With her online skills, that lifetime of sewing will soon become one of Penn Yan’s new success stories.