November 20, 2011
New bags and a journey that’s come full circle
Hey guys! Sarturday night, Sunday morning here in LA. Super tired but wanted to give you an update so you know I’m still alive!
First off, I want to say thanks for your continuous activity and enthusiasm on facebook! The community that you have built on there is phenomenal. You’re answering each other questions, you’re sharing your recipes, your feelings, and we’re all getting to know each other more closely each day. Some of you have been showing EXTRA leadership…so I will be announcing some of your new ambassadors of POP shortly. I was supposed to do this a while ago but as usual, got side tracked! Anyway…
A week ago, I think I wrote a semi-nostalgic post about quitting my job and following my passions but told you I’d have to revisit the whole story again in more detail. Today is that post! I’m getting pretty sleepy as I type this, so I will do my best to make sense.
As you can see from the title and the first picture, my new oGorgeous collection has been released. Super excited!! It’s been a long and challenging project.
As some of you guys know, I quit my corporate 9-5 job in the fashion buying world last year. In fact, it is the 1 year anniversary of my resignation this week. You guys don’t know but I hated my job so much. I dreaded work, didn’t really believe in what I was doing so was constantly in a state of fear and self-doubt. This led me to become someone who I wasn’t. I literally lost my sense of self. It was bad times.
When I quit, it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Even though I had no plan in place, I knew it was the right decision so I wasn’t scared. I began to teach up to 12 Pilates classes a week to pay the bills while giving oGorgeous 100% of my attention. (Well, split with a bit of YouTube time of course!) An entrepreneur friend once told me that you can’t ever expect something to be successful unless you put 100% of your time and energy into your business. I had always been running oGorgeous between my college classes and on lunch breaks at my job, so to be fair to myself, I needed to give my bags undivided attention. I never want to look back and say “shoulda, coulda, woulda.”
One day this past April 2011, a friend of mine was traveling abroad so I asked if I could come with her. I wanted to go to one of the largest world trade shows for handbags, clothing, and accessories – The Canton Fair in China. When she said she’d love for me to accompany her, I literally bought a ticket on Friday and left on Sunday. I kid you not. I have never been to China before, nor do I speak the language, but I wasn’t scared. So I packed my suitcase and hailed a taxi to the airport.
It was a LONG plane ride from Boston to Chicago to San Francisco to Hong Kong and then a 2 hour train ride to Guangzhou to top it off. There I met so many great people and made wonderful contacts. I also made sure that whoever I was dealing with was practicing fair labor and had references from reputable companies I knew.
I only spent a week in China, not nearly long enough, but it sufficed. From early May til now November (6 months), I have been working day and night on my new bag line. I never imagined how hard it would be to develop a whole collection from the bottom up. I sketched my own designs, picked my fabrics, my hardware, dealt with factory reps nightly on Skype (that’s why I am up so late), approved and disapproved samples, picked even more fabrics when the ones I originally chose were out of stock, designed my new logo, my hangtags, handled logistics, international wiring, customs, HS codes, cargo ships, financials, web design, HTML coding, product naming, photography, photo editing, photo shoot directing, bag styling, pricing, look books, line sheets, marketing, PR – OMG the list goes on but you get the idea. I have touched EVERY SINGLE ASPECT of the handbag business.
I believe that a true entrepreneur has to know his or her business from the bottom up and from the inside out in order to drive their business. I may not be the best at everything but at least I can do it and I know what’s going on. For this much, I am happy. Exhausted, need sleep, but happy. That’s why you guys haven’t seen frequent uploads from me lately and why you’ve been getting tweets from me at all hours of the day. Been working around the clock!
So I wanna get back to that corporate job I quit a year ago today. When I left, I think I was pretty bitter and over it. I never wanted anything to do with them again. But guess what? Just guess.
Okay, fine I’ll tell you.
Exactly 1 year later on the day I quit, a buyer from that company calls me and asks to sell my bags in their department stores.
I was like…”whhhattt!!??”
From being possibly one of the worst employees at that company to being a vendor that they want to pursue? Talk about coming full circle. Karma works in magical ways.
Haha, so I leave you with this. Work hard, follow you heart, and opportunities will present themselves in the most surprising forms.
The 2012 oGorgeous and Flomme Collection
This is one of my fave fave gym bag designs! This bag is so much prettier in real life, the picture just does not do the intricate pleats and sparkle fabric any justice. You can’t tell, but the top of the pleats where that first “v” is – that’s actually a pocket! So clever and hidden huh?
As you can see, I made sure that the front and back of the bag are identical so that it does not matter what shoulder you wear your bag on – it will look identical. I don’t like bags that have an obvious front and a definite back. A bag should be 360 degrees of gorgeousness! One of the COOLEST features on the gym bags is the hidden yoga mat carrier. You can actually zip the vertical zippers up and slide your mat the whole way through. If you’re not a yoga or Pilates girl. the zip it down and that’s another pocket for you to use however you like.
Bright sweat-free lining is what oGorgeous is all about! Check out that nifty water bottle pocket and large netted pocket!
Oh you’ve got to check this out. From L to R, a lock loop so you’ll never misplace your lock, a key clip so you’ll never have to dig around the bottom of your bag, a cell phone/mp3 player pocket, and a jewelry window! (Uhh so yea, basically spending a lot of time traveling between classes and working out allows me to better understand the features that should be included in a thoughtful gym bag!)
Comes with a matching shoe bag!
Vent holes!!! So you will not stink up your new bag with sweaty clothes 🙂 The great thing about this bag is that it can be more than just a gym bag. It’s a handbag, a school bag, a laptop case, a travel bag, and well, maybe even a diaper bag! The possibilities are endless.
Those are just some of the bags I have selected to share with you today. You should take some time and browse the new products on the oGorgeous.com site. There are a total of 18 new styles!!!! Let me know which bags you like and if you have any suggestions.
In conclusion…I am super tired and am about to die at the keyboard. I want to take a moment to thank my BF and my family for being so supportive throughout this journey. I look forward to an awesome holiday season. We will see what happens.
Good night and farewell POPsters. Til tomorrow!