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The Designer

Hello, I’m Karen Cardoso and my story may sound familiar. I’m a working mom.  I live in Long Island, New York, with my husband, two daughters and our dog, Rusty.

I’m also a trend spotter.  For more than 20 years I worked in the heart of New York’s fashion industry as the head designer on dozens of handbag, cosmetic bag and small leather good projects.  I have a good intuition for what works in design and what doesn’t.

Now you’d think a handbag designer would have a home full of pricey purses and never be seen wearing the same one twice.  That’s not me.  I’ve never been one to change my bag every day nor have I ever felt the need to pay extravagant prices to be a billboard for a particular designer.  Don’t get me wrong, I love designer brands as much as the next person, but my approach is more practical.  Meaning I always look for a well-made leather bag that can carry me through the work week, transition from day to night, age gracefully and is fairly priced.

It hasn’t been easy finding the perfect bag.  I launched Bolsa Nova handbags to change all that.  It’s a simple idea.  I use 100% full-grain leather in all my designs. That’s not as common as you may think.  A bag need only be 55% leather--just slightly more than half--to carry the label.  If the strap or bottom is made of simulated leather, the colors won’t match and the bag will start showing signs of inconsistent wear.  Learn more about how are bags are made in this video.

Luxe leather handbags.  Versatile styling.  Fair prices.  I hope you love my bags as much as I love designing them.