The Story

 

The elegant and cozy front room of the Vania & David Storefront in Buffalo, New York.

The elegant and cozy front room of the Vania & David Storefront in Buffalo, New York.

I have always had a deep rooted passion for bags and jewelry.  As a child, I longed for rings, necklaces, purses, and Barbies.  The first time I discovered a piece of jewelry, it was like magic to me!  Jewelry represented the greatest amount of beauty that I could appreciate (besides dolls).  It was like a fantasy - just seeing rings and necklaces...jewelry became my biggest obsession. 

While growing up in Asuncion, Paraguay, I vividly recall my grandmother Teresa having me take her purses out of the closet to look at and admire. They would hang, usually in a velvet type case. As she took each one out of its case, she would explain that it is about quality, not quantity. She didn't have many, but they were nice...really nice. And they were all made of leather!  

My grandmother Teresa initiated my love & passion for fashion.

While on a trip with my parents, I got lost at a mall in Kentucky. I was twelve years old.  During those two or three minutes, my mother said to my father, "Let's find the nearest jewelry store and we will find Vania."  Sure enough, they found the nearby jewelry store, and there I was, calmly checking the price of a 14 karat gold necklace!

As a young woman, working in a nine to five job, I realized that I would like to tap into my creativity and start my own business.  In February, 2001, I had an idea for a bag. I discovered how to make my dream a reality! I told my friends at work that I was starting to make bags and one of my co-workers asked “how much?" I had not even thought of a price, I didn't even have the bag yet! Well, after a brief hesitation, I mentioned a price and my co-worker paid for the bag. Within three days, the very first Vania & David bag was finished. At this moment, the business was formed. I was 20.

Two years later, at the age of 22, I borrowed money (for the first time in my life) and bought a plane ticket.  I decided to leave my hometown of Asuncion.  I grabbed a suitcase and followed my dreams to the US. 

Vania and David, owners and brilliant creatives.

Vania and David, owners and brilliant creatives.

What wasn't in my plan was meeting David in New York.  We became very close, then became business partners, and now, he is my husband.

Vania & David’s handbags and wallets are handmade with 100% genuine leather and first quality fabric and accessories.  Some of the leather we utilize is natural leather from Paraguay. Paraguayan natural leather is “pounded” out by hand. Paraguay is one of the last places on Earth that produces natural leather in this manner.  The color of leather may vary in uniformity, but that only adds to its character. Over time, and with gentle use and care, the natural leather handbags and wallets will darken, soften and become even more beautiful. They can last a lifetime.

Our handbags are handcrafted in Paraguay. Partnering with artisans from my home country is an honor. 

All of our jewelry is designed and handmade with love in the United States, while 95% of metals used are American made.  We also have Made in America jewelry and Canvas Tote lines utilizing 100% American made components.  In February of 2015 we added hand poured soy candles to our line. Once again, made here in the United States, utilizing 100% soy wax from American Farms. David and I personally choose and mix scents to create the most amazing and exotic soy candles.

We are committed and privileged to have the opportunity to help support jobs in the United States. 

My parents raised me with the philosophy to: "do it all the way, or don't do it at all."  This is why every single Vania & David piece is done with a strive towards excellence.  Each and every detail is the reflection of this philosophy.  Each of our products is meticulously handcrafted.  Every stone we utilize is hand selected.  Each piece of leather is handpicked. 

I am fascinated by contrast, simplicity, luxury, beauty, and boldness.  My job is to transmit beauty and love through my work.  I believe that happiness can be found in the appreciation of beauty. Wearing a piece from Vania & David can never be flashy, it can only be spectacular!

 

- Vania