In the bag | VailDaily.com

In the bag

Laura A. Ball

Special to the DailyTrista Sutter and her dog Tank sit among custom-designed B's Purses. Sutter, who owns several of the bags herself, began hosting purse parties last year and is now the top saleswoman in the company.

AVON – You have to respect the woman. She found the man of her dreams on reality TV (hunky Vail firefighter Ryan Sutter), moved far away from Tinseltown and made a home for herself (where she didn’t know a soul), and has spent the last year keeping old friends and making new ones by throwing parties all in the name of her “job.”Now you ask, how did Trista Sutter get so lucky?She didn’t. The beautiful, bubbly 5-foot-2, very former “Bachelorette” won’t settle for anything less than perfect. And why should she? She knows what she wants and she goes for it.

Last fall, when Ryan returned to his noble profession of fighting fires after a steady year in the spotlight, reality hit that Trista needed go back to work, too. “At the time, Ryan was kind of hinting at him wanting me to get a job,” she says. “Not rudely, but just kind of joking around like, ‘Hmmm when are you going to start working again?'”With her hand in several projects, like writing a column for “Redbook” on life as a newlywed and entertaining offers within the television industry, she needed a job that would give her the freedom to maintain her new lifestyle. A physical therapist prior to “The Bachelorette,” the 30-something knew the 9-5 schedule simply wouldn’t do.So what else did the impossibly natural socialite find to do, but throw parties and sell custom-designed B’s Purses all the while making friends. A party at Trista’s home that began as an excuse for a college friend to visit, quickly turned into a career that easily fit into her lack of routine. A year later, as the pattern holds, the woman who doesn’t consider herself a saleswoman at all is the top seller in the company of 300 plus sales reps. Although some people might say she has it easier because people will buy to say they bought it from Trista, that’s not the case. The purses are so cute, she says, they “sell themselves.”

For a woman who is used to making choices, the purses come in a variety of styles from wristlettes to hobos, as well as a luggage and a baby line. When women come to the parties they look at samples, but they pick the style, they pick the inside fabric, the monogram, the piping, the handle”I put them out and I sit back and I talk to people and I socialize at the parties, and then I write up orders,” she says. “I don’t like to be pushy. I don’t like walking in stores and having people breathing down my neck asking if I need any help, so I implement the same strategy when I have parties.” Eagle resident Yvonne Dodds discovered Trista’s purses when a friend brought one to a baby shower.”They’re unusual and they’re really well-made,” Dodds says. “I really love their duffle bag. I have a toddler and you can get them lined with plastic, so if you have kids you can just wipe them out.”

Dodds says the quality of the product combined with Trista’s personality mean surefire success for the reality star. “I think it’s the perfect job for her here,” Dodds said. “She seems to really be a part of the company as a whole, and it’s an incredibly great way to socialize. She’s so energetic and happy that I think it goes very well with her personality.”Trista calls it the “perfect job” because she can travel anywhere and throw a purse party. She just came back from her hometown of St. Louis and visiting friends in Chicago where she hosted seven parties.”It’s great, because I got to write off part of the trip to visit my friends because I had parties,” she says.More importantly, it leaves her plenty of time to act like a newlywed, and she does. During the interview Ryan calls her twice in 15 minutes and a huge smile sweeps across her face.

Lucky? Not likely. In love? For certain.Staff Writer Laura A. Ball can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 619, or laball@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado