Brooklyn, New York, United States
I am the creative director and partner of Fleabags LLC, a small handbag company located in Brooklyn, New York. I am one of two co-owners, and we currently employ three interns at any one time. We produce around 1000-2000 bags a year, in addition to yearly collaborations with other designers or retailers (previous collaborations include those with Urban Outfitters, J. Crew and Club Monaco). We also employ a public relations firm in New York, and have a sales showroom with outlets in New York, Chicago, Atlanta and Los Angeles.
Here’s just a bit of what we can cover in our PivotPlanet session(s):
• Creating the right product. No matter how organized you are or how much money you have, it doesn't matter if you don't have a product people like.
• How to succeed - success is a combination of a lot of hard work, a little luck and utter devotion to succeeding.
• Building cohesion for the company – i.e. your logo needs to feel appropriate to your products, and your website and social media accounts need to all seamlessly create and expand that world.
• Knowing your customer and letting that knowledge guide your decision-making process, such as determining price-points and marketing strategies.
• Determine your costs. It is crucial to be able to determine how much money you will need to launch your business not just to produce the product, but for other items like shipping, customs (if applicable), paper collateral (i.e., hangtags, line sheets), website development,
Every decision I make actually matters, and I learn from both my mistakes and my successes. My business partner and I always joke that running our own business has been the equivalent to earning an MBA. As someone with a background in arts and design, I didn't have a lot of business experience before launching Fleabags. But working with a partner who is a lawyer, combined with having to deal with business decisions on a day-to-day basis, has provided me with a crash course in the economics of entrepreneurship.
I wanted to be a designer since I was seven years old and ultimately earned a master’s degree in fashion design. I went on to work as a clothing and accessory designer for three years before launching Fleabags in 2009. At Fleabags, I am creative director and head designer and design handbags, hats and belts. I also run the business on a day-to-day basis.
I love owning my own company and having our products showcased. I was thrilled when Fleabags was featured in Elle magazine with a photo and a picture of our bags. I began looking at the magazine as a child. Seeing myself in it symbolized a type of success I had dreamed about but never believed would happen. Another thrilling moment was watching our bags go down the runway on VPL models during New York Fashion Week. I had designed clothing that walked runways, but never received any credit for it because I was designing for other designer's labels.