Local is finalist in handbag design competition


By Barbara Wood

Special to the Almanac

Fame, if not fortune, could be just around the corner for Woodside native Mary Spenser Poletti, a 2009 graduate of Scared Heart Preparatory in Atherton, whose design for a lambskin and rabbit fur backpack is a finalist in the 2012 Independent Handbag Designers Award competition.

If Ms. Poletti wins enough online votes for her backpack to become the "Audience Fan Favorite," it will be featured in the September issue of InStyle Magazine.

The Woodside Elementary School graduate is attending the Savannah College of Art and Design, in Savannah, Georgia, where she is working on a bachelor's of fine arts in accessory design.

"I am studying under top cobblers and handbag designers, in order to actually design, pattern, and hand produce my own creations," she said. Her white-pearlized lambskin and rabbit fur backpack, is in the French modern style, Ms. Poletti says, and is a finalist in the Best Student Made Handbag category.

People can view the handbag designs and vote for their favorite before June 8 by clicking here.

Ms. Poletti, whose parents are Susan and Paul Poletti of Woodside, says she will be in New York City at the awards ceremony on June 13.

To see a YouTube video about the competition, click here.


Like this comment
Posted by Environment
a resident of Atherton: Lloyden Park
on May 25, 2012 at 10:25 am

That's awesome. I wonder what PETA will think of her design. Soooo Atherton

Like this comment
Posted by Christy
a resident of another community
on May 25, 2012 at 12:25 pm

I thought we had educated ourselves on the subject of using living, correction dead animals, for human pleasure. And this is to be celebrated? Extremely disappointing.

Like this comment
Posted by In style
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on May 25, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Don't blame the designers -- blame the magazine. If the magazine promoted designs that did not use dead animal materials, the designers would follow suit.

Like this comment
Posted by WhoRUpeople
a resident of another community
on May 25, 2012 at 2:48 pm

For the first two posters, so, given every meat section in every grocery store in the US features lamb chops and rack of lamb, and the vast majority of them feature rabbit, you don't think its just being efficient and non-wasteful to make some use of the pelts?

Like this comment
Posted by Woodside
a resident of Woodside School
on May 25, 2012 at 8:38 pm

This bag is beautiful and functional - I went online and voted for it.

Thank you to the Almanac for reporting on one of our local teens following her passion and making a success out of it!

The story was meant to inspire support for this young lady - the above posters (except WhoRUPeople) need to get a life and follow their own interests instead of expending energy on cutting down someone else.... you'll also have to boycott every grocery store and almost every restaurant on the Penninsula to avoid seeing meals made from animals. Oh, maybe you already do and I are within your own little world at home with nothing else to do but hate on people having lives.

Congratulations Mary! Awesome achievement!

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on May 25, 2012 at 8:48 pm

I felt some trepidation when I read the description of the bag - I'm not a big fan of fur even when the meat had been used for food & I'm too well acquainted w/traditional Atherton bling. I found the bag attractive, understated & even elegant in its simplicity. Some of the other bags shown are also great, so there's definitely some competition.

I, too, think it's marvelous that Ms. Poletti is following a passion for which she shows talent. I liked reading that she's learning under master craftsmen. I will admit to a mild handbag habit (my preference is for vintage bags), so I'm happy to follow Ms. Poletti's career. I even posted the link on my Facebook page to encourage more voters.

(As for the PETA post- PETA kills a lot of animals. I know the commenter was being tongue in cheek, but PETA is worth looking into as an organization NOT to support.)

Best of luck to Ms. Poletti, with this competition & her career!

Like this comment
Posted by member
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 25, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Congratulations to this fellow teen community member!

Do not be clouded by these silly PETA references. Anyone who is bringing up using leather in accessories, is just envious of your achievements. You did not invent leather - it is used in cars, accessories, jackets, etc. Your one handbag is not the only thing ever made by animal pelts.

To bring up animal rights in this article, clearly shows the lack of professionalism we bay area members have, and we should be ashamed of ourselves.

Your design is unbelievable and you will succeed in your career path! I hope to purchase your handbags soon.

Like this comment
Posted by Judy
a resident of Portola Valley: Woodside Highlands
on May 25, 2012 at 9:34 pm

what an inspiring article! Will this be in the newspaper as well?

Like this comment
Posted by Gram Marian
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on May 25, 2012 at 10:45 pm

Interesting misspelling of Sacred Heart...

Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on May 26, 2012 at 11:33 am

Good luck to our local talent.

Don't pay attention to the trolls.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle

on May 30, 2017 at 12:41 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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