Cape Elizabeth designer 'Happy as a Clam' to benefit Yarmouth festival

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CAPE ELIZABETH — Ann Perrino, owner of Ann Veronica Handprints, has designed a “Happy as a Clam” ladies shoulder bag to honor and benefit the volunteers at the Yarmouth Clam Festival.

Perrino has been an exhibitor at the festival’s craft show for many years, and decided to introduce the clam handbag as a way to give back to the annual community event.

“The Clam Festival helped me get my business off the ground six years ago,” Perrino said. “The people are wonderful and there are hundreds of volunteers who give of their time each year for the betterment of the community.”

Perrino, a native of Marblehead, Mass., created Ann Veronica in 2001, first working out of her home, then opening the retail shop on Shore Road in Cape Elizabeth. As a trained textile designer, Perrino creates each pattern, mixes the colors, and cuts the fabric by hand.

The “Happy as a Clam” bag comes in blue-violet and raspberry sorbet, and is available on the Ann Veronica Web site, or by visiting the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce at 162 Main St., Yarmouth. Half of the proceeds will go to the chamber to benefit the Clam Festival and other programs. The introductory price is $15 for the bag.

According to Sam Dell’Aquila, 17-year-old employee at Ann Veronica, there have been many online requests for the festival bag.

Lauren Perrino, Ann’s daughter, also works at the store and said she has watched the business grow since she was in fifth grade. The 16-year-old said shoppers and businesses from other states are interested, as well as a local customers.

“People from Boston and New Jersey are calling about the purses,” Lauren said. “Having a Facebook and online presence is important.”

Perrino said the bag benefit idea is a win-win situation for the festival and her business.

“This event benefits the local churches, the school groups, the restaurants, the service groups,” she said. “There is truly nothing like it. I find it very unique.”

Volunteering has been an important part of her life, she said, and she would like to see the people who make the festival run receive something for their efforts.

“Giving back is very important,” Perrino said. “If we all help each other out, so many people can benefit.”

The 2009 Yarmouth Clam Festival runs Friday, July 17, through Sunday, July 19. There will be live music, an abundance of festival food, a parade, crafts, races, and rides. Perrino will be at the festival selling handcrafted bags and raising money for the event.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or

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s-ceclamfestpurse.JPGSam Dell’Aquila, left, and Lauren Perrino display the “Happy as a Clam” fabric and bag at the Ann Veronica store in Cape Elizabeth. Perrino, owner Ann Perrino’s daughter, said one bag can take several days to make. Half of the proceeds from sales of the bag will benefit the upcoming Yarmouth Clam Festival and the volunteers who make the festival possible. (Anderson photo)