Darling Clutch Co. founder Stacie Rathel was born and raised in Orlando, Florida. Stacie learned at a young age to work with her hands on creative works, approaching each project with perseverance and a do-it-yourself attitude. That same tenacity led Stacie to combine to passions for art and fashion into a new venture - a styling handbag business that became the Darling Clutch Company.
Having always loved antique wooden bags, Stacie designed her first bag as a retro cigar-box clutch based on a classic Orlando graphic. Perfect strangers stopped her to compliment it. Stacie followed up her initial design with a few holiday designs. People inquired where these unique bags could be purchased. The business grew from there, evolving over the years into the existing wide line of bags and clutches — each driven by the same passion... each, in its own way, Darling.
Stacie Rathel, Founder and Chief Designer, believes handbags do more than carry our most important items. The handbags themselves can be treasures that reflect our style, values, status, and priorities. Since our handbags speak volumes about us, why not control the statement by carrying a Darling bag? Inspired by history, heritage, and heart, Stacie strives to design each bag to be as unique as you.
Vintage art with touches of contemporary style inspires me. I adore modern trends but love to blend them with classic and retro looks. I like to create a design that pleasantly surprises.
In creating my vintage pieces, I act as a modern revivalist. I take inspiration from some period piece - an illustration, logo, advertisement, label - and then reinterpret, retell, and refresh it. Using these treasures to make new art is a way of honoring previous generations. The final goal is to create a bag that is memorable and hints at a secret romance with the past.
Each of our lines follows a similar process. I like bags to be flirty and fun, but also recognize the invaluable contribution of understatement. Each clutch is thoughtfully designed to stand out and be noticed, but organically — without pretension. As a designer, it is an exhilarating process to watch the transformation of each bag unfold. Whether it is traditional or modern, preppy or abstract, incorporating classic art or a travel theme, the end goal is to create a unique bag that captures delight and self-expression.
When you've found the right Darling Clutch Co. bag for you, it will make your every accessory sparkle brighter. I invite you to be confident and bold in exploring another exciting part of yourself and to always be darling!