Leading Ladies 2017

Barbara Materna

BABS Bags

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Barbara Materna has always loved fiber, fashion and color. “It really has been a lifelong love affair,” she says. After a 20-year career as a technical writer Barbara followed her passion and started BABS, an artisan handbag collection. “It started as a hobby to balance my long work hours with my creative side,” Barbara says. Having discovered felted handbags at a local supplies store, she was inspired to construct her own creation. “I started with a pattern, wool and needles. When I was done with my first project, I knew it was more than a hobby. A passion was born,” she says.

For the last six years, Barbara has been designing and creating handbags, one bag at a time. Her studio, located at the dynamic Hope Artiste Village, doubles as a retail boutique that features her award-winning handbags. Ranging from colorful and eclectic to sophisticated and fun, BABS handbags combine fine structured details with unique fabrics such as felted wool and hand-painted canvas. A Foundry Artist board member, she has collaborated with Gail Solomon on the Jack + Cookie line and with Barbara Ottmar on Color POP. “I love the energy in our Creative Capital. It’s so rewarding to be inspired by it, and to contribute to it,” she says.

1005 Main Street, Pawtucket (Hope Artiste Village) | 331-2301
BABSetc.com