Hanging On To Your Inner Child

Hunting & Gathering

BY BRITTANY MATTIE SRQ DAILY FRIDAY WEEKEND EDITION FRIDAY JUL 19, 2019

As kids growing up, they would call each other 'Mandy Candy' and 'Hannah Banana.' Today, the Bradenton sisters' nicknames make up BananaCandy Designs. “Merging fashion and their inner child,” their motif-driven handbag line sweetens the pot of the lot at local markets like 73 Degree Flea and The Makers Market.

Handmade and sewn entirely here in Bradenton, fabric selection spawns first from a theme or seasonal collection—often from local purveyors such as Jay’s Fabrics in St. Pete or Fabric Warehouse in Lakeland. From funky, and sometimes fruity, the patterned prints BananaCandy source evoke nautical and tropical fun—perfect for Gulf Coast statement-makers. "The basis of my design style is to give your everyday accessory a pop and uniqueness that allows you to stand out from the crowd," says Mandy. "Being a Florida native I cannot help but be inspired by beautiful colors found all throughout nature. Color grabs our attention, makes us turn our heads and makes us feel alive."

Pack your daily provisions for an everyday crossbody purse in Deep Sea Octopus or Festival Sugar Skull. Grab a wristlet for a night downtown in Lemon Breezy or Watercolor Pineapple. Whether you’re feeling a Blushing Succulent print with your outfit or some cheeky Great White Sharks, the designs animate a desire within to deviate from the habitual route of plain, basic, neutral-colored handbags that come with "adulting." Instead, unpack your penchant for exuberant, youthful impressions and reach into your Avocado Please! purse for some bubblegum flavored lip balm.

"BananaCandy it is not just about the handbag," says Mandy. "It’s about expressing yourself, not being afraid to standout, and showing the world what you are passionate about no matter your age or lifestyle."

Photos courtesy of BananaCandy Designs, PO Box 635, Bradenton, @bananacandydesigns_

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