Monticello Woman Makes Unique, Popular Purses To Soothe Her Spirit


Cindy Striegel has considered selling her handmade bags on eBay.

But she has not yet had to sit down at her computer to make a sale.

Striegel discovered that all she has to do is walk down the street carrying one of her unique creations, and they will sell themselves. Striegel became acquainted with many people in Monticello while working for decades at her mother’s downtown florist store, Boka Shoppe.

And although she has been making her bags for only about a year, the word has been getting around that her one-of-a-kind creations are available at ridiculously low prices.

She began making handbags to take her mind off events that have been weighing her down. Her oldest son was injured in a 1996 car accident, which has kept him confined in a nursing home, and both of her parents have died in recent years.

“The bags are a therapy and a little bit of an income for me,” Striegel said. “I like to get creative, sewing things.”

An example of Striegel’s imaginative powers is a large bag she carries, with images of a pair of colorful socks sewed onto each side. She produced it in honor of her sister-in-law. An inner pocket is made from a piece of the silky dress she wore at her sister-in-law’s wedding.

“Sometimes, I think about people,” she said. “My sister-in-law always wears wild socks.”

Striegel learned to sew when she was 5.

“Mom started me sewing on writing paper, without thread,” she recalled. “I would sew on the lines, to guide it through straight. I just punched holes in the lines.”

By the time she was 10 or 11, she was winning ribbons for her clothing creations at the Piatt County Fair.

The bags, which range from $15 to $75, may be purchased by contacting Striegel at 762-7445.

Image from Stock.xchng.

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