Jada Holmes, a California designer, can make a purse out of anything — literally.
She has made a purse from arcade games, a grill, a table, ranch dressing, and so much more.
Holmes told Insider about her process of making ordinary items into art and her love for fashion.
When Jada Holmes shows off her new handbag, it's not a Birkin or a Telfar — sometimes it's ranch dressing or a toilet.
"A purse sets the outfit off," the 24-year-old told Insider. "I feel like a purse is a statement piece to me."
Holmes' purses go viral because she makes them herself with every day, often recycled, items — from potato chip bags to shoes to a fish tank.
Her devotion to fashion runs deep in her roots.
Holmes used to observe her older sister — who was like her second mother —put together unique ensembles that were radically different from her peers. Her Richmond, California community also had annual fashion events.
"I would say that inspired me to begin to create things," Holmes told Insider, adding that she would regularly attend and enter the fashion shows
Also, around the corner from Holmes' childhood home, there was an art gallery she frequented growing up. She even had some of her work displayed there after winning local competitions.
Years later, the social media influencer known as @afropuffjada, showcases her art through fashion online.
@afropuffjada I can put stuff in it guys😭 @thecoldestwater #coldest #imnotblackimoj #fyp #foryoupage #cerealpurse #artistproblems #dunklowcandy #ranchpurse ♬ OkkkAaayyy - BOY2FLY 🕺🏾
'If I could turn this into a purse, that would be epic'
Holmes first went viral in 2020 for a cereal bowl purse she made out of Lucky Charms, which she created to match her sneakers. She used resin with white ink to replicate the milk effect.
"I made the cereal bowl purse to match my Candy Dunks. I couldn't find any purses that had all the colors my Dunks had," Holmes said about the purse, which racked up over three million views on Tik Tok. "So, I was eating that cereal, and I'm like, 'This cereal matches my Dunks perfectly.' So I'm like, 'If I could turn this into a purse, that would be epic."
Holmes' unique bags are inspired by song lyrics that she uses for captions on her photos. For instance, the vision for her fish tank purse was based on rapper Lil Baby's lyrics:" A shark in the water, you swim with the little fishes."
Her creative ideas for purses make her a regular at the local Joann Fabrics store daily to pick up the necessary materials to execute her following big vision. She usually places an order online, and she doesn't need to get out of her car when she pulls up to the store.
The designer recalled the time when she turned a brand-new toilet into a purse.
She wanted a bag that matched her new Jordan 6s and needed the perfect bag to match. At first, she thought about making it out of toilet paper, but she knew she wanted the wow factor. After scrapping that idea, she immediately decided to get a whole toilet from Home Depot.
"I built the toilet…, got the strap, and I was like, 'It needed a little more pizzazz,'" she said, adding that she went to the fabric store to get pearls and took hours to bedazzle the toilet.
"It's go big or go home."
Holmes wants to open pop-up art museums highlighting her purse designs
As time goes by, Holmes' collection continues to grow. Her dream is to have a pop-up museum in different cities, highlighting her purses. Each room would have a theme according to her designs, and visitors would be able to take pictures with her bags.
"I have one room built dedicated to the toilet purse, where it's a bathroom type of theme," she explained. "The next room would be dedicated to the cereal purse, where it's a room full of cereal. The next room would be dedicated to the ranch purse."
She continued: "A lot of my purses are heavy, and I'm pretty sure that people don't want to carry a toilet purse around because that's extremely heavy. So I feel like if I can have a place to showcase my purses, that would be great."
Holmes' approach to her designs stems from her goal to reinvent, similar to one of her inspirations, legendary Harlem designer Dapper Dan.
She also admires rising fashion star Telfar Clemens, the designer behind the latest "It" bag.
"I feel Black designers are important in the culture because many ideas stem from Black designers. I feel like because in the beginning it's called 'ghetto' until it's glamorized by the fashion industry," she said.
"I feel like it's really important for those Black designers to be able to knock down those walls and stand on the side of Louis Vuitton and Gucci."
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