Friday, March 26, 2010

say hello to Beso Handbags!

i'm excited to introduce you to a new a friend i met through fabulous etsy...the creative and talented mastermind behind Beso Handbags, Johanna! i'm thrilled that soon i will have a beso bag of my own! Johanna and i have worked out a trade, jewelry for handbag...check out her fun bags at her website here and buy one for yourself at her big cartel shop here get to know her a little better by reading more about her below...


What do you create?

I design and sew custom-made handbags.

When and why did you decide to start your business?

After high school, I went to college and graduate school and became a school psychologist. I worked as a psychologist in a school district for nine years. My children were both small and my heart was at home, while I was at work. So in 2007, I resigned. I had never owned a sewing machine, nor had I ever used one, but in the Summer of 2008, on a whim, I asked my mom to help me sew my first tote bag. She did, and told me I could have her old sewing machine. I've always been in love with purses, so I began designing and sewing bags, very basic at first, I didn't even know how to put in snaps or sew in zippers. After lots of practice and encouragement from friends and family, I began selling my beso handbags.

Where do you get your inspiration for your projects?

I am a mom. My inspiration comes from my own wants and needs as a mom, as well as those of other moms and working women I know. I know first hand what makes a good bag. It has to be modern, yet practical. Lots of pockets and a place for everything. I love the idea of letting the customer design her own bag. And I love to get feedback from my customers. Adjustable straps, sewn in key hooks, the back pack...all ideas that came from my customers.

Which of the tools you use is your favorite?

Right now, I am absolutely loving vintage fabrics. Every time I sew a bag in vintage fabric, I want to keep it!

What keeps you motivated?

I love what I do! Ever since I was a little girl, I have been designing and drawing and creating things. When a customer orders a bag, I can't wait to make it and see how it turns out! And I especially can't wait to hear what she thinks when it arrives. Loving what I do and getting the positive feedback that I get, knowing that my customers are waiting to see what new styles and fabrics I will release in the next season absolutely keeps me motivated.

How do you get the word out about your work?

Facebook has been amazing for my business! But I also have a few good friends who have agreed to work with me as regional representatives for my business. They organize home-based trunk shows and earn a commission from their sales. They have been invaluable to me. Also networking with other artists, like you Lily, have definitely helped me get the word out about my bags.

What is your main goal for the next 6-12 months?

I just released my Spring 2010 line in March. In September, it will be time to launch my Fall line again. This will mark my one year anniversary of beso handbags as it is today. Each season, I change up my fabrics and add a couple new bag styles. So my main goal for the coming year is to design a few new bags that I know my customers, both new and old, will love. Each season it is my goal to raise the bar a bit, from the previous season and go beyond my customers' expectations.

What advice would you give to someone starting a creative business?

My advice to someone starting a creative business, is to first and foremost love what you do. And second, stay true to what you love. Along with all the feedback I get, I also get suggestions to make things that just are not me. I don't make a bag, unless I would love carrying it, unless it reflects my style.

What’s the most important thing you’d like people to know/understand about your work?

My heart goes into each bag that I design and sew. When a client carries a beso bag that she designed herself, she can be sure that it was made with attention to every detail and that I enjoyed making it for her.

What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned while running your business?

I've learned many things while getting my business up and running. One of the most important lessons I've learned is that I can't be happy running my business unless I am creating pieces that I love and projecting an image to people that reflects me, as a person. My style of design may not appeal to everyone. I've had to work hard to find the right market for my designs and my price point. I have had to stay true to the vision that I have for my business. I have had people along the way, just trying to be helpful of course, try to steer me in a direction that they felt would be beneficial for me and my business. But in the end, it is always my decision, and the image that I choose to project, always reflects who I am as a designer.

If you had the time, what new craft/medium would you like to learn or use?

Design is one of my passions. I would love to expand my knowledge in this area and learn pattern making and clothing design.

What's your definition of a perfect day?

A great cup of coffee, kisses and hugs from my husband and my kids, a clean house, laundry done, an organized studio, a long walk, a great meal, a good show on t.v. and a good night's sleep. Its the little things.


thanks Johanna!!!

No comments: