Jun 14, 2012
Ally Bee’s Handbags
Young designer harnessed her sorrow with hot handbags
It’s not easy starting a business, but Christian Walker of Detroit is used to working through struggles.
Walker, now 29, and her seven siblings grew up without their mother, falling into poverty and the city’s culture of drug abuse and street violence. When she was 11, she also lost her closest friend, Ally, in a drive-by shooting. She and Ally loved honeybees, and she promised Ally that when she opened her first business, she would name it after her.
That’s how she came up with the name Ally Bee’s Handbags, the online business she launched in March.
She designs the bags, made of ostrich and crocodile skin, featuring fresh color combinations inspired by Punky Brewster (the favorite TV character she shared with Ally).
Walker also designs bags with special names and themes, such as the “Angel” handbag, a tribute to her fallen friend. Fashionable, yet affordable, the bags are sold exclusively online at AllyBeesHandbags.com.
In addition to running her own business, Walker is a mother of three sons, a full-time computer technician for AT&T and a full-time student. But that only strengthens her resolve to rise like cream to the top.
“Anything is possible,” she says. “I’m the proof in the pudding.”