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Why Donatienne's Founder Sent Her Childhood Toy Out to Sea

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Remember that one Christmas or Hanukkah gift you always wanted as a kid? Be it a Tickle Me Elmo or My Little Pony, your entire life revolved around that item, and nothing could stop you from receiving it—except maybe your parents. Just like last year, we're asking LA style stars to reveal their best childhood wishes. This is All I Wanted For Christmas.

We first fell in love with Nikki Erwin last year, when her oversized Donatienne bags were spotted on stylish moms like Katherine Heigl and Gisele Bündchen. A visit to her beautiful West Third Street studio back in April solidified our girl crush, leading us to nominate the LA talent for this year's Racked Young Guns search.

Before becoming a celebrity-beloved designer, Erwin manifested her fashion destiny early on with the help of an oh-so-'90s Mattel product.

I was in second grade, and I remember obsessing over this commercial for Fashion Plates. They were a set of pink-colored plastic plates you could mix-and-match with different tops, bottoms, and hairstyles to create your perfect look. It was all I really wanted that year, and I was lucky enough to get them. I felt that my fashion ability needed to be known by the world, so I did the only natural thing and made a message in a bottle. I put ten of my best sketches in there along with my home address and phone number, and had my dad throw it out to sea. After a few washes back to shore, we finally got it out in the world. I have yet to hear back from any top designers, and come to think of it, it stresses me out a little bit that my contact info has changed!

· Donatienne [Racked]
· All I Wanted For Christmas [Racked]
· How a Fever Dream Launched LA's Sweetest Bag Line [Racked]
· Donatienne's Nikki Erwin on Her Celeb-Approved Mom Bags [Racked]
· Inside Donatienne's Beautiful, Bag-Filled Studio on West 3rd [Racked]