Trip to Florence was the start of a successful handbag business for Amanda

DETERMINED not to be beaten when she failed to land a part time job, mum of three Amanda MacNutt flew off to Florence in search of stylish handbags to sell.

That was the start of Amanda’s Bags - and Amanda now runs a successful company, offering for sale a colourful array of stylish bags at affordable prices, sold at Ely’s Saturday market and on-line.

Amanda - who went to school at Ely College and Soham Village College - began her business called Amanda’s Bags just over a year ago, and is now selling almost 100 bags a month.

“It all began when my youngest son started school and I looked for a job,” explained Amanda, whose step-father Tony Hull used to run Ely Service Garage.

“I found it incredibly hard. Then I remembered how a few months previously I had found a lovely handbag when in Bath. I had just decided to abandon my rucksack in favour of something more grown up and elegant.

“I had been shocked at the price of designer bags, they were �200 or more. Then I found a tiny little shop selling bags from Italy, it was just a revelation, they were so colourful, and inexpensive, it was like walking into a sweetie shop.”

“I bought a bright red bag for around �50, and at that time I laughed and said that could be a job for me some time.”

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A year later, Amanda went off to Florence and bought 10 high quality and colourful bags which she quickly sold to friends and family. “ I thought there must be something in this, but at first had problems sourcing more bags from Italy.”

After finding a reliable supplier in the UK, Amanda choose her stock, and gave each bag an Italian name, She now sells her range of bags at around �50 each.

Amanda , 44, is also looking into the possibility of creating her own branded handbags. But she says: “The prices won’t change a bit. Amanda’s Bags was always meant to make the most fashionable and stylish handbags available at affordable prices, and that will never change”.

For more information contact Amanda on 07717 293787, or e-mail Amanda at or view Amanda’s Bags at

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