Meet Jenny Spring of brag bags australia. We had a quick chat with Jenny this week about building her ethical business and the inspiration behind her eclectic range of beautiful bags. here’s what she had to say:
We create handbags for the woman who enjoys her individuality and who wants to feel a sense of connection to the things around her.
A brag bag not only provides you with a beautiful artefact, you are also tracing the bag’s journey from the hands of an artisan to it’s resting place on your shoulder.
Knowing the story behind the object is like having the bragging rights to it. There is a growing awareness and hunger in our Western culture to move away from the mass-produced and toward the handmade.
All our products are designed by us in WA, and then handmade in small workshops in Vietnam. We know and respect the people we work with and do not haggle on price. Employees are treated with respect, and paid fair wages with good working hours and conditions.
A lot of the work is carried out in small outlying villages, allowing the embroiders and artisans to earn a good income and remain in their village – which is so important in maintaining community life. We have been working with the same groups for over 5 years and we incorporate some of their embroidery into our products, as we want to honour their unique skills.
We design specifically based on our customers’ feedback, and we incorporate this feedback into the next range. We change our range each season to maintain exclusivity and all of our products are handmade in limited editions. We believe this business approach sets us apart from others.
I used to be a corporate software account executive in Seattle, USA! And before that, a teacher. Eight years ago we moved our young family from the USA back to Australia. The move prompted me to consider a career change, and I was eager to run my own company. When my friends introduced me to someone looking for a business partner in a handbag company I jumped at the chance. Three months later, we dissolved our partnership and I took over as owner of bragbags australia.
My advice to young designers is to keep a business focus along with the creative side. To think of what you want your business to be known for and how you want people to talk about your business.
My friends would describe me as determined, idealistic, a big picture thinker, enthusiastic, mother.
I’m the hockey coach and the scripture teacher. I want kids to choose their faith based on information (so I welcome lots of questions, although I struggle with the answers). And I’m travelling whenever I can, whether it is to Vietnam, or with the family.
I couldn’t live without my kids.
I’m listening to anything from Bocelli to Toto (ugh, my husband’s influence there!).
The blogs I read are springintosales.blogspot.com (this is my little sales business that I’ve just launched to help other small business owners get their minds around selling) and themogulmom.com (corporate mums unite!)
The last ethical product I bought was some clothing made for me in Vietnam. I can’t wait for it to arrive! My friend has a tailor who is so talented and makes up anything I want. I have several silk shirts that I love wearing, they are so comfortable and beautiful to wear. She has made them all!
I’m currently writing a course on “Selling to Women”. I think we do such a disservice by not really understanding how women want to be treated. I am running my first workshop at the end of August (in WA) and hope to have a little blog with some downloads. I want to help artisans who have built a lovely little business, but feel overwhelmed when it comes to selling to build a skill set so that they can, in turn, build a customer base of loyal and enthusiastic followers…
// GIVEAWAY //
**ENTRIES NOW CLOSED**
Jenny has given us this most gorgeous little Leather Pouchette (with bonus button cover) to give away to one of you!
It’s valued at $99, and comes in red, black and cream.
HOW TO ENTER
1 entry = Just leave a comment here telling us which colour you would like!
2 entries = plus head over to Brag Bags Facebook page say ‘Hi’, and tell them that we sent you!
3 entries = plus ‘Like’ us on Facebook