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Show Us Your Purse

■ Who? Jennifer Henry, local artist and owner of Flockflockflock

■ Location: Flockflockflock inside Emergency Arts

■ Handbag: Etro tote

■ Are handbags status symbols? It’s not the bag, it’s the way you carry it. I’ve had vintage bags that cost me less than $5, were generally nondescript and made from run-of-the-mill leather that my friends have coveted because I loved it and treated it as though it were precious because, to me, it was. Conversely, I’ve had big ticket designer bags that no one ever took a second look at because I wore it as though it wasn’t anything special.

■ What does this bag say about you? Over the years I’ve learned there are a few fashion items that have improved greatly over time. Handbags are one of them. This bag says I love classic design, I carry a lot of stuff with me and I know the value of a quality piece of hand-tooled leather.

■ If someone found your bag and looked inside, what would they think of you? That I’m busy! I’ve always got a stash of material receipts, business cards, art show fliers, etc. Buried at the bottom somewhere is my phone always buzzing with e-mails, text messages and voice mails.

■ What’s the most important item you’ve carried in your bag? My in-laws recently celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary and after a family dinner, I rifled around to find the souvenir I’d gotten for them from my very first trip to Disneyland (the place they had honeymooned). It was a brass and enamel pin in the shape of Mickey and Minnie mouse in formal wedding attire.

■ What’s the strangest item you’ve carried in your bag? Baby doll legs or, more specifically, half of an image of my little art muse "Lola." I found her lower half at the bottom of my bag one day, a remnant of an element for a collage piece I had been completing for a small works show.

■ Tell us about the first special bag you owned. As a congratulatory gift for successfully balancing my first year of full-time university attendance, a 40-hour workweek and living on my own with my then boyfriend (now husband) Brian, he stretched our meager household budget to give me a little "prezzie." A very little candy apple red leather Coach bag.

■ Image is … how you see it. Style is about personal taste and individual choice. If you wear what you love (and you love it because you know it looks good on you), everyone else will share your admiration.

■ What’s in your bag? A hotel mending kit, my "vanity kit," heart-shaped Post-It notes, loose change, USB cable, vintage scarf.

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