Dandy Lions Gifts shoppers flocked to the downtown Maryville boutique recently when Atlanta handbag designer Cinda Boomershine came to greet customers and answer questions about her Cinda b line of totes and handbags.
On March 4, the Atlanta native and Vanderbilt University grad came to Dandy Lions and explained what sets her creations apart from others. “They’re super durable, machine-washable and they’re made in the United States of America,” Boomershine said. “Which is what I’m most proud of.”
Boomershine launched the line in November of 2004. “I needed a bag and wanted it to have a contemporary feel. I wanted it to be durable and functional, and I could not find anything I liked,” she said.
The 37-year-old designer said she started out with four different patterns and seven different styles. She now has 13 different patterns and 45 different styles.
The handbag designer said that when it came time to upgrade the manufacturing capability to meet increased demand for the purses, instead of going overseas, they found a plant in Fort Wayne, Ind., that had been closed and reopened it. “We went into that factory, and we’re using most of the employees,” she said. “They needed a product to make, and I needed a factory to keep up with demand for our product.”
Joy Carver, owner of Dandy Lions Gifts, said customer response has been strong since she introduced the new line this year and that is why Boomershine and some of her sales staff came up to see the Maryville store.
“It is easy to sell something when you have person like Cinda behind it,” Carver said.
Carver said she considered selling Cinda b products in the past but held off while thinking about the business decision. “It kept coming back because the design was fresh, her story was right, and the quality was great,” said Carver. “She mirrors what Maryville is all about: Creativity.”