How a San Francisco Mom Started a Fashion Accessories Business and Made it to the Princess of Monaco

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A Cinderella-like story about an upstart accessories designer who makes beautiful things out of (well, almost) nothing, and gets noticed by a princess.

You don't need to be big, in order for people to notice you. You need to offer something fabulous and very different.

When Irina Kenderova, a San Francisco mom of two girls and a former business consultant, stumbled upon a mountain of necktie silk samples, little did she know where this would take her. She has always enjoyed making things (rather than buying them) and has been looking for ways to step out of the corporate world and find that elusive balance between family and career. The mountain of silk samples beckoned and on a hunch, with a few truckloads of material and a few weeks of experimentation, she started Paisley and Stripes,

The company offers flower corsages, scarves, headbands and other accessories, handmade from re-purposed necktie silk samples. These are either samples that have fulfilled their purpose of "show-and-tell" - fabric manufacturers send thousands of them to their customers to show their latest designs - or remainders after the ties are tailored.

"The idea is to make that one glamorous piece people will love, but to make it from the sample or remnant that nobody else sees any further value in. I am re-purposing pieces that would have been discarded otherwise. You can make something spectacular out of very little", says Irina. “We live in a world where almost everything has become disposable. We are used to throwing away so much."

Customers appreciated the originality and the craftsmanship, and the order books started filling up. Gump’s - an iconic San Francisco store and legendary destination for luxury gifts - became a customer and more exciting news came this October when Princess Caroline of Monaco was presented with the flowers and wore them at a luncheon for the AMADE Mondiale Foundation, founded by her late mother, Grace Kelly.
"It was enormously gratifying to see that picture", says Irina. “You don’t need to be big, in order to be noticed.”

About the company:
Paisley and Stripes was founded by Irina Kenderova in 2009 and is located in San Francisco. For it's production it exclusively uses samples and remnants of necktie silks. All pieces are handcrafted in the Bay Area.
To view the collection or place an order, please visit the website at For questions and inquiries please contact Irina at irina(at)paisleyandstripes(dot)com.


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Irina Kenderova
Paisley & Stripes
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