Do what you love: Ally Bu

ally bu tote

Ally is a hot mama, accountant during day and the designer/owner behind Ally Bu. This gal has the full package brains and beauty! Get your favorite tea and keep reading!

Tell me how and when everything started.
I have been sewing since I was 10 years old. My father is a retired tailor so I suppose it came to me naturally. I’ve always been interested in fashion and finding ways to get it on a budget.

When did you first know that you wanted to be your own boss?
When my children were small, I wanted a way to be able to work from home. That’s when I decided to turn my hobby into a business and started a custom window treatment business. It wasn’t until several years later that I heard about Etsy, which has enabled me to market my products worldwide.

If you weren’t a business owner, what would you like to be doing?
I am an accountant as well as purse designer/business owner. In my day job, I am controller for a software development company. While I enjoy accounting, it’s not a profession that encourages creativity. My business is what I would be doing full time if I weren’t an accountant.

ally bu handmade hobo bag

Tell us about your fabulous store and what products or serviced do you offered?
In my shop, I offer handmade fabric purses, totes, hobos, messenger bags and accessories. Every bag is designed and personally made by me.

How would you describe your personal style?
I would describe my personal style as sensible chic. I love to mix affordable pieces with accessories that transform an outfit from ordinary to show stopping. I love color which is apparent in all my bags!

Who is your favorite designer?
I don’t have a single “favorite” designer. I like pieces from Ralph Lauren, Prada, Dolce and Gabbana as well as Donna Karan. I’m not a “cookie cutter” type of girl so I don’t adhere to any one designers fashion philosophy. I’ve been known to buy pieces from Target as well as Saks.

ally bu print hobo bag

If you had a choice of all designers in the world, who would you prefer to work for? Why?
There are so many fabulous designers with a wealth of knowledge to share, however, at this point in my life, I really prefer being my own boss.

Are there any special projects you would like to work on?
I am always adding new bags to my shop. I believe it’s important to be aware of changing trends and to be able to adapt I’ve contemplated getting back into the home décor end of fashion which is really where I began.

Which magazines do you read? Which magazine is your favorite?
With a full time job and a business, honestly, I just don’t have time to do much reading right now. I do occasionally enjoy Instyle, Harpers Bazaar and Lucky. I prefer magazines that reflect mainstream fashion options as opposed to “haute couture”.

ally bu color handmade hobo bag

What do you see on stores that you think is really great?
I’m always drawn to accessories. Jewelry, scarves, etc. I constantly find myself rummaging through the accessory racks looking for that unusual piece that makes an outfit pop.

What do you do in your down time?
What down time??? LOL I enjoy getting outside and digging in the dirt and working in the yard. We recently bought a new home and it is an ongoing process putting our own stamp on it. I also enjoy visiting friends at the lake or just curling up on the couch and watching a movie with my family.

What motivates you?
My motivation doesn’t come from any one place or thing. It may come from a new piece of fabric, a custom order from a client or just a thought that popped into my head during my morning workout.

What’s next for you?
Who knows??? Stay tuned!

Thanks to Ally for sharing her story! You can visit her Shop for more info.

Images by Ally Bu

Author: Rose Wheeler

Rose Wheeler works with words on a daily basis as a content manager, writer and blogger. When she's not working with her awesome clients, Rose enjoys cooking, yoga, blogging, styling, and running her online boutique.

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