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The gift of a sewing machine inspired a radical career change for former health law attorney Kelly L. Marriott Elizondo '97, owner of Sara Langley Designs, LLC, in Rome, New York.

Elizondo, who named her design studio in honor of her great-great-grandmother, now creates unique custom handbags, accessories, diaper bags and home furnishings. According to a story published recently in The Mohawk Valley Business Journal, "Elizondo began designing and assembling handbags after receiving a sewing machine for Christmas a few years ago. She took some sewing classes and gave some of her designs to friends as gifts. As her bags grew in popularity she decided to give the handbag business a try."

While Elizondo says that she enjoyed her work as an attorney, she left "to follow this creative path and have not looked back!"

After receiving her St. Lawrence degree in English, Elizondo earned her law degree in 2001 at the New England Law School. She practiced in Chicago and Albany, New York, before moving back to her home-town area.

Custom-made items are available through the firm's Web site,

Posted: March 4, 2005