updated 01/11/2011 AT 5:00 PM ET
•originally published 01/11/2011 AT 5:45 PM ET
Looking for a fashionable – yet functional – purse that will hold your bare necessities but not brand you as a bag lady? Mika Yamamura’s cute, canine-inspired clutches provide the perfect accent for any pet lover’s wardrobe.
The self-described dog devotee’s creations are an homage to her favorite four-legged friends. “From as early as I can remember, my Dad would sit down and encourage my sister and I to be crafty, draw, be creative,” Yamamura tells PEOPLEPets.com. After earning a degree in design from the Fashion Institute in Los Angeles, she cut her teeth designing women’s accessories for Paul Frank Industries for more than six years, where she learned to make everything from bags and wallets to guitar straps. Yamamura decided to start her own line of accessories and opened her Etsy shop, Cuore, in 2006.
Cuore (which means “heart” in Italian) features her signature clutches ($25), which are fashioned out of materials such as thick cotton and canvas, as well as smaller coin purses ($24-$45). Each piece is shaped like or accented with a canine character such as BBQ the Dachshund, Lola the Boston terrier and Billie Jean the Chihuahua. The coin purses, which are made of sturdy black vinyl and lined with faux suede, are big enough to stash credit cards, money, change and a lipstick or two.
Yamamura finds inspiration for her accessories from the cinema – and simple cloth. “A good fabric store is like being in awonderland of inspiration for me,” she explains. She happily accepts custom orders; just send her a request through her website.
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