Budget Stylista: Carrying Change With a Della Tote Bag

One of the most refreshing looks to come out of Mercedes-Benz fashion week? The tote bag! Spring is the perfect time to ditch that impractical, understated clutch you’ve grown so attached to. It’s been some time since you took your entire makeup bag out to lunch, so don’t feel bad tossing everything but the kitchen sink into a fab tote bag. For these past few winter months, we’ve been making statements while keeping warm with layers upon layers of clothing. As we start thinking about lighter looks, it’s the perfect time to play up a great statement bag. If you’re looking for a burst of cheery color and fashion with a conscience, check out DellaLA, a company that creates gorgeous products as well as helps the women of Hohoe, Ghana.


What is Della?

Della is a fashionable accessory line with handmade products from Ghana. The company strives to improve the lives of those in need, particularly the women from Hohoe, Ghana, by employing them to make custom products. In return, they are provided with the opportunity for education and skill training, which allows them to become financially independent and safe from poverty.

Where & how did Della start?

It all started in October 2009 when Tina Tangalakis, a native of Los Angeles and former wardrobe stylist, was teaching at an orphanage in Ghana. She connected with a local seamstress named Beatrice and, in collaboration, they created the first Della handbag.

What issues do the women in Ghana face?

Most of the women’s struggles revolve around finding steady work and making a living wage…all while supporting families and extended families. Many of the seamstresses find themselves having to care for extended family members which requires a certain level of income that’s difficult to come by. For example, one of the Della seamstresses adopted her deceased sister’s son and another is taking care of her brother, who has been bedridden for four years. Also, these women have been struggling to obtain an education and equal rights, and this is why Della is so committed to help them in any way they can.

How can CollegeCandy readers help the cause?

There a number of ways readers can help! First and foremost spreading awareness to peers is crucial. Della can only help make a difference if it gains visibility and support from others. Each and every purchase goes towards education and skill training for the seamstresses to avoid poverty. If readers would like to be directly involved, Della just began a Campus Rep program, so that any college student who wants to spread the word and get involved can do so. They can contact Alexandra [at] DellaLA [dot] com for more info.

When I received my Della laptop case and tote, I could not be happier. If there is anything to cure the winter blues, it’s a fresh pattern with popping colors and light fabric. The products were incredibly well made, but what caught my eye was the tag. I was caught by surprise reading the name of the woman who created my bag, Joan. I think it’s incredible, the women of Hohoe sign the products. It reminds every consumer that they’re making a difference. Carry change by purchasing Della products; rock a fresh spring trend as well as helping the women of Ghana.

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