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How much thought, time and love goes into making your handbags? Brooke is continuously and thoughtfully working to make sure that the purses she designs are going to be worn and loved by their owner. We love learning about what happens behind the scenes, and we sat down with Brooke to talk more about the process that goes into designing Sapahn’s bags!
Branding was a main consideration for Brooke when she started creating Sapahn's iconic leather bags. These gorgeous pieces took some consideration before they made it out to market.
“When I first started designing Sapahn purses, I realized that I needed to have a staple. I had to think of a way that I could brand Sapahn with something that would make it memorable for consumers, and that’s when I thought of the Omega hardware," she reminisced. She began to incorporate the hardware in her first collection, and everyone loved the statement. Over time, the equestrian-styled Omega hardware has become Sapahn’s label of identification.
When Brooke designs a bag, she always tries to pull inspiration from the consumers. Starting at craft and design shows such as the One of a Kind show in Chicago, Brooke asks potential customers what kind of bag they need to complement their everyday busy lives and what is going to help them stay organized throughout their day.
"When I began doing shows in the Midwest, this is where I started to pull inspiration from people. I want to do everything I can to fulfill those people’s needs, and I believe this is one of the greatest ways to make that happen," she says, beaming with pride.
At Sapahn, we put the customer first by directly taking their ideas, dreams, and desires and making them the perfect purse. Many of the purses in current Sapahn collections were made to fit a specific need for a customer's lifestyle, per their request. In fact, there are three key concepts that guide Brooke when trying to design the perfect handbag.
"I want the wearer to feel like they can take on the world when they accessorizes with their Sapahn purse," Brooke states.
One of the first designs that Brooke came out with was the M Crossbody. This purse is a small, compact, and lightweight bag that can accommodate many people’s lifestyles. The classic look of this particular design is very sophisticated, and that is something Brooke tries to incorporate in all of her purses.
At Sapahn, we want our purses to empower women all over the world - from our female artisans in Thailand to the business woman on her way to a meeting. We want women to feel as good carrying our bag as we feel making it. That means it fits a woman's lifestyle but also provides a strong look that makes a woman feel stylish, timeless, and sophisticated.
When designing, Brooke focuses on clean cut lines to create the structure of the purses. Some bags provide more structure than others, but Sapahn prefers to leave these options open to allow customers to choose what they like best.
A lot of thought goes into the stitching process, hardware placement, and the pockets. "I design these purses so they can be very practical, simple and classy for anyone," Brooke says. "Many women love the sense that their Sapahn purse is genuinely unique, special... and almost secretive. These ladies know something about their bags that no one else may know."
For example, we love that the Ciara Oversized Wallet has a hidden message embedded into the leather, or the creative cotton linings in each bag. Looking at a polka dot lining or seeing a hidden message on a bad day is bound to bring a smile to your face, which is exactly the point! These unexpected surprises are meant to delight Sapahn customers as they go about their days and, ultimately, make the world just a little bit happier.
The other key to designing the ideal purse is to design it so that the customer falls in love with its classy and timeless look. Sapahn purses are meant to fit anyone’s style; they can be worn with dress clothes or even with joggers, since we value versatility first and foremost.
"I believe that is what makes Sapahn’s products so valuable and purposeful," Brooke says. "Classy and timeless will never go out of style, so you can wear them anywhere and everywhere!"
As with any business, there are always going to be challenges that come along the way. One that Brooke still has trouble with is keeping up with the runway trends each season. "These purses can take some time to design and create," she says, "and it is crucial that I put a lot of thought into every design to make sure that people are going to love these products no matter the season."
Keeping on top of the latest trends can be tough. However, this year we are a step ahead of the game, and aligning very closely to spring's New York Fashion Week trends. With our Aida and Diana Bucket Totes, our Joyce Duffel Crossbody bag, and our Sarah Ann fanny pack, Sapahn's designs are right on track this year!
Brooke has mentioned her favorite ‘it’ bag is our Ciara Oversized Wallet.
“This is such a perfect wallet because it is so functional," she says. "I love that with this oversized wallet, you can use the Omega hardware as handles. You can clasp it with two fingers while walking into a meeting or even wear it by the wristlet while traveling. This wallet is so easy to put in luggage and it has a very tailored look to it. In it, I can fit all of my essentials PLUS more! This style is timeless and is great across any age group.”
“I am so excited to share with you all a little sneak peek behind our newest designs!" Brooke exclaims. In this year’s Sapahn collections, one thing Brooke is looking to incorporate more of is a lightweight leather. Along with this lighter leather, I have a couple of new designs being created right now; one of which is a smaller backpack.
"This year I’m working towards using new materials, new leather and I’m doing more different linings for each product to keep them fresh and unique. I can’t wait to test out these new products on the market come spring!”
Brooke, along with the rest of the Sapahn team, can't wait to show you our newest designs this spring. Who knows -- maybe you will find your perfect ‘it’ bag in this year’s collection!