“Make it Be” was started by Brigid Devney-Rye in January of 2010. A former paralegal with a streak of creativity, Brigid Elizabeth, or B as her family often calls her, has always loved to create–or in her words to “make it be”.

“I love making something out of nothing,” says Brigid. “The process of starting with a few basic supplies, in this case yarn, fabric and a handle, and creating a functional work of art is exciting.” Brigid was always the child who said, “Look what I made!” and with four sisters and an enthusiastic mother, she always had a captive audience. Now the little girl is all grown up, but many evenings her husband walks into the door to the refrains of “look what we made!” coming from his wife and daughter, who is also a creative soul and a source of inspiration. With Make it Be, Brigid’s audience is even bigger.

Brigid started knitting in the Spring of 2009 after seeing a handbag that was knitted and felted. She wanted to make one for herself, but the first task was learning how to knit. Having never knitted, Brigid found an excellent teacher at her local knitting store and went to work. “The beginning stage was rough,” Brigid says, “and there were days that I didn’t think I was going to be able to make a scarf let alone a handbag.” Eventually with much devotion and many ripped out stitches, Brigid learned to knit.

“I then went away for the summer and knit handbag after handbag as that was all I knew how to knit, but I never tired of it. I loved knitting. I came home from a summer spent on our boat with seven large handbags in need of felting.” She went to work finishing them, teaching herself how to do this as she went along. Soon after, women started seeing the handbags and wanted to buy them. A business was born.

The handbags are one of a kind, and Brigid creates only one handbag at a time. Although she starts with a pattern, the handbag takes form as she works, usually turning out quite differently from the original design. Brigid creates by intuition. “Ideas just come to me,” she says. For example, “Sometimes I will wake up with an idea such as ‘I need to check for brooches on Ebay’, I then follow-up on that thought and often find the perfect brooch marked ‘time ending soon’ and will design a handbag around it. I also live my life by use of affirmations, the moniker “Make it Be” is really just an affirmation,” she says. “Make it be, make it happen, make it be wonderful is my motto.”

The process of creating each handbag is quite involved. First, the bag is knit using a natural wool yarn, then put in the washing machine. (Prior experience accidentally shrinking wool sweaters comes in handy here.) The bag is then shaped and set in the sun to dry, easily done in Arizona. After that, the bag is lined, a handle is sewn in, and the outside bag is embellished. Brigid either makes felted flowers or finds a brooch for the outside. “I love to create new designs and never tire of the process.” Brigid takes custom orders as well so feel free to reach out!