Last updated: August 28. 2013 7:51AM - 82 Views

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Sara Kahrs spared no details when she started designing a purse for a nationwide contest.

The 16-year-old saw a sign for Project Handbag outside of Maurices, a clothing store at Thompson Hills Shopping Center and decided to enter the contest.

Sara is the only high school student selected as one of 10 finalists.

“It’s an honor to be up against design students. The fact that I’m only a kid, it’s a big deal that I got picked with adults,” she said.

When the Northwest High School student sat down to design her purse, Sara tried to think about what she would want.

“Basically, I looked at the purses I already had. I thought of things I looked for in purses and thought of personal style that made them my own,” she said. “I thought about how it would sit.”

Sara likes her purses to sit and to close. She likes the purse she’s carrying to have handles for shopping so she can sling it on her shoulder, she said.

Sara has been competing in 4-H fashion design contests for a few years.

“Everything I’ve made has been clothing. This year I made calf-length wool coat,” she said. “I try to make it more challenging each year that I go to compete.”

Sara’s father, Rusty Kahrs, said he was proud of her accomplishments.

“I’m not sure what we’ve done to deserve kids as good as ours,” he said.

Maurices Web site is having visitors vote for the purse they like the best online. Sara created cards to distribute to solicit votes among her friends.

“I have a huge network of friends to get the word out,” she said. “It helps that I have a larger, wider variety of voters.”

The three top vote getters will be judged on creativity, functionality and style.

The winner will go to New York in May, and the winning handbag will be launched in September.

To vote for Sara, go to www.maurices.com and click on Project Handbag. The deadline to vote is Monday.

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