BTS of our Handmade Keychains and Wicker Purse Charms for Handbags
At Wicker Darling, we always have a secret project brewing to please our adoring masses. And, because you mean so much to me, my delightful swirly cinnamon buns, I want to give you a sneak peek at the process behind our new wicker keychains and purse charms for handbags.
You see, I’ve listened to your comments - your requests for variety and in-stock options. I get it. Having your handbags made to order takes a very long time, and if you’re trying to buy a gift for someone, or simply don’t find patience to be a virtue, then you don’t want to wait for someone to weave your bag by hand.
And so, I have been working on heaps of quirky in-stock options for you, from mini coin purses to embroidered women’s clutches to silk scarves. And now, I am in the process of putting out this lovely line of wicker purse charms for handbags.
But when I say process, I mean PROCESS.
This road to producing purse charms for handbags that I deem worthy of you, my vintage vixens, has been long and arduous. And, if we’re being honest, I still don’t have it all figured out.
In the past, I’ve given you insight on the process behind my iconic flamingo purse Chile, and our most popular seasonal release, BATholomew the bat purse. And my goodness, I did not expect such rapt attention for my stories!
But, since you love these behind-the-scenes sneak peeks so much, I wanted to give you a window into the work behind our purse charms for handbags too.
The very first attempt at purse charms for handbags
Believe it or not, the trials of our handmade keychain wicker purse charms for handbags started years ago! Not long after the success of Chile the Flamingo, I began to toy with other flamingo accessory options. Coin purses, keychains - I didn’t know EXACTLY what they’d be, but I knew I wanted some.
I requested for the lovely ladies at my atelier to produce a flamingo keychain to go along with our figural wicker handbag. They set to work, and before long, I unboxed the very first sample of my flamingo keychain.
…and it didn’t look like a flamingo at all!
Alas, the keychain style was simply too small to retain the details in the hand-woven raffia. Deciding it was simply impossible, we shelved the idea of wicker purse charms for handbags completely.
When at first you don’t succeed…
Recently, to my surprise, the miracle workers at our ateliers took another stab at the flamingo purse charms for handbags. They reached out to see what I thought of the design.
This time, I LOVED IT.
It’s truly amazing to me how our work process and skills have grown and evolved over the years at Wicker Darling, and this complete turn around of the wicker flamingo keychain was the perfect testament to that.
I swear our artisans have almost started to read my mind, and have grown in confidence to improve upon my (not always so professional) concept drawings and ideas for new purses.
This new flamingo purse charm for handbags was so fabulous that I needed to see more options. So we set out to see what we could come up with.
Meet the handmade keychains we hope will join our Wicker Family
My glorious, captivating schmoops, may I present to you: our lovely lineup of wicker purse charms for handbags. We have not only a fabulous flamingo, but also an itty-bitty kitty, green brontosaurus, sweet sausage dog, and ridiculously cute rabbit.
Each of our purse charms is meticulously handcrafted and, while the cat has been left natural, the other keychains have been painted by hand.
I am just obsessed with how they have turned out, and have so many fabulous ideas for other purse charms to compliment our handmade handbags at Wicker Darling. (Such as a dog bone for our sweet wicker pups.)
But sadly, the first round of designs will not hit the shelves in their current form. You see, we are always testing our products at Wicker Darling for style, sturdiness and function, and these purse charms simply didn’t cut it.
I want to ensure that when I sell accessories and handbags online in Australia, each and every item is one I would truly want to wear myself - something I would be proud to have and recommend to other people.
Just how do I do that? Well, let me tell you!
Behind the Wicker Darling design and testing process
The design concepts I send to my wicker artisans in the Philippines are not always the most detailed or easy to understand. I confess, I am not such an artist when it comes to pen and paper. But I always have fabulous IDEAS, and it’s endlessly fascinating to see them take form in rattan.
Sometimes, these ideas take some trial and error.
Our rattan handbags are handmade and hand painted purses, made with care by artisans at small family-owned ateliers in the Philippines. They use sustainable practices and locally sourced rattan, and the ateliers provide many jobs for single mothers hoping to put food on the table for their families.
Our handmade rattan accessories are keeping wicker weaving traditions alive in the Philippines, and vintage traditions alive for all of us, and we are extremely thankful for our talented weavers here at Wicker Darling.
It’s really incredible workmanship that our weavers were able to translate the same level of detail and quality our wicker handbags are admired for into a tiny purse charm package.
They are meticulously conceived and beautiful to behold - and I really want these purse charms to be perfect.
So let’s talk paint.
When I took my flamingo keychain out for a spin with my handbag, I encountered a rather disturbing issue.
Wicker-on-wicker violence, to be exact.
As I strolled down the street, the adorable keyring bounced along with me, rebounding off my larger bag with every step. This was cute - until the paint chipped. If you’re looking for tips on how to care for wicker baskets, bags, and baubles - scratching off the paint is simply NOT IT. I knew I could not, with any conscience, sell my wicker flamingo keychain like this.
But how to save a wicker keychain?
I’ve toyed with many ideas to save our teeny-tiny wicker creatures, and I do believe we’ve found a solution worthy of you, my wicker darlings.
In the past, when I chipped the paint on one of my designer wicker bags, I simply found a Sharpie with the closest colour match and touched them up. This works fabulously well if you’ve snagged your bag, or bumped it against a solid surface. Unfortunately, with these keyrings, you’d potentially be chipping them literally every time you went out - and that’s unacceptable for an item you’ve paid for.
I’ve considered selling all the critter keychains unpainted, so that you can keep them as is or DIY paint them in the colour of your choice. That way, if the paint chips, you’ll have the exact colour to fix it.
But, after polling the community on IG, you all confirmed you’d rather receive your cute keychains fully-painted, using a Sharpie for the occasional touch-up, if needed.
So, I spoke with the atelier again. FORTUNATELY, they believe the chipping issue can be resolved with an extra thick layer of paint. In addition to taking extra time during the painting process, we've decided to move forward with another common sense approach: a disclaimer that advises you not to clip the keychains to a wicker bag and/or other solid surface, as chipping may occur.
And of course you can safely use your handmade keychain on your backpack, a soft fabric purse, or as a traditional keyring. We will continue to test out different ways to style a statement bag from Wicker Darling with our mini purse charms - in a reliable way.
Stay tuned for our wicker work in progress
I’m over-the-moon excited to release these wicker purse charms for handbags to the masses. They’ve been tested, you’ve been polled, and the orders have been placed. Now it’s just time to wait for these wonderful wicker baubles to hit our accessory collection shelves.
These wicker keychains will be in stock and available alongside our silk scarves, mini coin purses, and embroidered clutches. Although they will be ready-to-order, that doesn’t make them any less special than our pre-order purses, as our mini keychains are all made with the same handmade artistry and attention.
When our wicker purse charms for handbags release, you will find them amongst our other clutch purses and accessories. We will also be announcing their arrival on our Wicker Darling mailing list, and to our Wicker Family on Instagram, so follow along and prepare for a fabulous fiesta of purse charms for handbags in 2022!