A survivor and thriver, handbag designer Naeela Chopra is breaking through the stigma surrounding sexual abuse survivors by opening up and expressing her healing process through Naeela Designs, her line of evening clutches and handbags.
Launched in the Summer of 2019, Naeela Designs is inspiring and connecting women to embrace their strength and see how their own perceived version of their broken self can be put back together even more beautifully than before.
“Mosiac represents the beauty in brokenness, but when I put it all together, it becomes a beautiful piece of art,” says Chopra on her creations. “For the longest time, I had denied I am a sexual abuse survivor, probably because of the stigma associated with it. I started working with the concept of beauty in brokenness. I naturally gravitated towards mosaic tiles which have a broken element to it. Through a lot of experimentation and testing, it transformed into this beautiful and unique piece of art – an evening clutch.”
At a young age, Chopra was drawn to the concept of creating unique pieces. She started working with a range of materials, including metal, bronze, and embroidery, to name a few. Her designs became an outlet to express her creativity and emotions. In January 2019, she made the unequivocal decision to share her truth through art and started developing the concept of Naeela Designs.
Each design starts with a concept and a sketchpad. Once the concept is visualized, Chopra then sketches each design with detailed specs, color combinations, dimensions, size, and detailing. She then collaborates with highly skilled artisans to create a sample which she reviews personally. Each purse is meticulously handmade with recycled metal and real pieces of mosaic tiles; no two are ever alike. The process for some of her more intricate pieces can take up to 50 hours.
What happened in her past is not who she is; she was a victim but now with a loving and supportive husband and a 2-year-old boy, she will not let that one incident define her but rather strengthen who she is: “My story is sometimes a lot for some to take. I have had people tear up, give me hugs, share their own heartbreaking stories, and tell me I have inspired them to fight their own struggles.”
A portion of each sale is donated to charities that provide victims of sexual violence with the resources and support they need to reclaim their dignity and begin the healing process.
Naeela Designs ranges in price from C$195 to C$250 and is available in select boutiques across Southern Ontario as well as internationally through naeeladesigns.com.