Clare Vivier

TGIF! It's a beautiful Spring day here in Napier. After dropping the kids at school, Sam and I went for a massive run, which always puts us both in a good mood - such a good way to start the day. Then I settled down at my computer with a cuppa, and checked out some of my fav blogs (life is good!). Thanks to Abbey over at Gild & Grace, I was reminded that the latest Rue and Lonny online mags are out (see my side panel, below right).

I always love a good success story, particularly if it involves creative women. So I was quickly absorbed into the article in Rue about Clare Vivier. Ideas and businesses are often formed when there is a gap in the market. Clare's stunning bags and accessories were born from her desire to have a simple tote bag to carry her laptop and clutch. When she couldn't find anything simple and stylish enough, she made her own. This quickly grew into an eponymous handbag line, reflecting her chic simplicity. With a French husband, Clare spends a lot of time in both France, and her home in Los Angeles, and her collection is a blend of classic French glamour and minimalist LA cool.

Two of my favourite bags are the Neon Striped Carryall and the yellow Canvas Weekender.

And you don't have to carry a bag around with the letters CV on it either, you can get your bag monogrammed with your own initials.

Lizzie Garrett's monogrammed clutch via her blog Tomboy Style

Make sure you also check out Clare's blog and tumblr sites. Here you can see lots of candid shots of people in the streets with Clare Vivier bags, interviews with lovely peeps to see what they carry in their CV bag, and news and photos from Clare and her team. Having the blog enables Clare to connect with her customers in a really personal way. "I have a lot of readers of my blog who feel like they know me," comments Clare, "they know the company, and the people I work with because I blog about them. We get a lot of positive feedback from customers for that".

So not only gorgeous products, but you feel like you know and trust the woman behind it all!

Lauren with her blue pebble posted this pic on her blog Perpetually Chic

And ditto for Mary on her blog Happily Grey