Natalie Hemmens, who grew up in Waldo as third of the four talented Hemmens siblings who are making their marks on the West Coast, is in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign to launch her collection of fashion handbags.

With an early love of fashion but limited access to it, Hemmens experimented with unique ways to present herself to the world. Wearing shirts inside out, backwards or creating new shapes with recycled clothing was the norm to update her trendy wardrobe while growing up. While studying business management at the University of Maine, Hemmens made and sold clothing out of her apartment basement and opened an online fashion boutique to supplement her income.

After graduating, she moved to New York to study fashion at Parsons The New School For Design and work on 5th Avenue, where she learned the foundation of managing a handbag line. She continued her fashion education in an advanced study program at the prestigious Los Angeles fashion school, Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM). Hemmens started her own line of leather handbags in 2007, which now features the HEMMENS Collection of men’s and women’s high-end luxury leather bags and accessories.

One to set the tone of a trend and who does not always follow the rules of fashion, Hemmens has seen her bags capture the attention of celebrity clientele and clients from around the world. To meet the demand of customers, she aims to expend her Los Angeles business and provide clients increased access to her beautiful leather bags and accessories.

To help launch the HEMMENS collection, Hemmens created a project on Kickstarter to raise funds and promote the line. The campaign launched Aug. 12 and runs until Wednesday, Sept. 26. To see the project, visit

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401 or