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Sash and Belle Handbags - Meet the Mumpreneur

Welcome to our new series where we feature some of Australia's amazing mums that are growing their own businesses.  It's hard enough to run a family let alone run your own business, too.  As a mum of two, Kristy, the owner of Sash and Belle Handbags is keen to get her business growing from strength to strength and she has lots of exciting developments in the pipeline.

I first came across Sash and Belle when their bags were featured on Agent Mystery Case.  Kristy has a keen eye for detail in her bags and her range has something for everyone.

I'm pretty sure you know that I love a great leather bag, so I was thrilled when Kristy sent me two bags of her new season handbags to review. (Style Tip: Sash and Belle have a great range of non-leather bags at great prices, too).

The Heather bag in purple (can I call it Mulberry as that's the colour I think it is) is absolutely beautiful.  The smooth and thick leather belies the price, which is only $130.  The quality of the hardware speaks of much more expensive brand.

Sash and Belle

Sash and Belle

The other bag I chose is the Ebru in dusk pink.  It's a great neutral pink shade which works well with my neutral wardrobe of greys and black.  The bag has on-trend detachable tassels which I LOVE!  This bag is $130 too, and is just as high quality with thick grained leather.

Sash and Belle

Sash and Belle

Sash and Belle also design an exciting range of non-leather bags, I've chosen a few of my favourites below.

Megan in Light Grey, $55
Kalya Tote in Stone, $65
Anika in Red, $65
Bianca Tote in Charcoal, $55

I asked Kristy a few questions about her life and her business.  Grab a coffee and meet our Mumpreneur of the Month.

Tell us a little about the woman behind Sash & Belle.

I’m a happily married Mum with 2 beautiful kids, a 7 year old girl and 4 year old boy. I have a day job in the Public Service working on animal health surveillance, which is a very different occupation to my handbag passion. I enjoy being busy but then also binge TV watch and love hanging out with my family and friends.

Where does your business name come from?

I chose the name Sash because you wear your bag like a Sash, plus it just sounded cool. Belle is because my friends and family call me Kristabelle. I loved the sound of the two together, very stylish and exclusive.

Who is the “Sash & Belle” woman?

There are two types of Sash & Belle woman, the first is a professional yummy mummy who juggles many things and needs a functional and stylish handbag to get her from A to B and look great doing it. The other is a stylish and sophisticated woman who may have grown up children and wants a timeless accessory that looks good and is comfortable to use.

Tell us a little bit about how your bags are manufactured.

I manufacture and import my handbags from China but I only work with suppliers and manufacturers who are part of the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI). The BSCI is a leading business-driven initiative supporting retailers, importers and brands to improve working conditions in supplying factories and farms worldwide. Their vision is a world of free trade and sustainable global supply chains, in which factories and farms are compliant with national labour legislation as well as with International Labour Organisation Conventions protecting workers’ rights.

What’s next for Sash & Belle?

Since Sash & Belle was established I have been focusing on setting up our brand and retail business but this year we have changed our focus to more design and wholesale. I have designed a number of bags that will feature in our wholesale range. From August we will be looking for retailers who match our ethos and style to stock our bags in their stores. This will also hopefully include international stores in the USA and UK!

How do you stay motivated to keep on reaching your goals?

Staying motivated all of the time is hard, especially when I have a day job and a young family, I get tired! So while I am not motivated 100% of the time I am a lot of the time.

Some of the things I do to stay motivated is:
·      Remind myself regularly of my goals
·      Track my progress
·      Reward myself when I achieve a big goal
·      Take breaks – I chill out on the lounge or go to the gym or have a massage
·      I try not to be hard on myself (this is a difficult one to beat)

Staying focused is easy when our brand and product is amazing.

How easy is it to juggle being a business owner and mum?

If the kids are behaving and doing as they should it is easy, if they aren’t it is difficult! The kids are super supportive of my business, while they don’t say it in so many words they understand when Mummy has to do work. However it is definitely not all work there is equal amount of play with the kids. Because I have a day job I do a lot of Sash & Belle work after the kids are in bed. My husband is very supportive too and will take the kids out to play if there is something I must get finished.

If you had any advice for a new start up, what would it be?  Is there anything you’d have done differently?

Do it! Don’t give up your day job, find a way to balance both, it will be more difficult in the beginning but the pressure of a start-up life may take all of the fun and enjoyment out of it anyway. It is also a great way to test the waters before taking the plunge.

If I had my time again, I would do a small business course at the beginning. I may have wasted more money on some things than I had to so having a bit more knowledge and understanding would have helped.

Apart from online, is there anywhere else we can buy Sash and Belle bags?

There will be very soon! Our wholesale line (it will be different from our retail line but just as lovely) will be available from August. Retailers will be able to be order through our website. There will also be a list of stockists on our website.

As a special treat for all our TFM readers, Sash and Belle are offering 20% off your first order with the code TFM20 - make sure you use it before 31 July 2016.

1 comment:

  1. I am a sucker for a handbag, these look divine! Great to hear from an Australian business too.


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