Bags of elegance that are big and versatile?
Yes! They do exist and Jamie Lewis has created them!
Meet, Female Founder Jamie Lewis
What/who inspired you to start your business?
I didn’t set out to start a company per se. The inspiration snuck up on me, truly. Look at women bustling through the streets of New York or racing through an airport, hauling kids and running errands and you’ll find one thing that stands out, now that I call your attention to it. Women are dressed and accessorized impeccably, yet they all seem to carry multiple bags . . . one high end, one low end. The low end one always appears out of place and it’s often a freebie shopping tote or cheap gym bag she grabs on-the-go. I kept searching for a bag that was big and versatile enough but also looked elegant to transition from airplane to office to gym and when I couldn’t find one, I set out to make my own. Through much trial and error, I became energized and determined and went back to school at The Fashion Institute of Technology at night to learn more about bag construction and pattern making before taking the business to the next level.
Where did you grow up? What was your childhood like?
I grew up in Newark, Ohio and when I look back I think NOT making the cheerleading squad in high school was one of the best moments in my childhood although I thought my world had ended at the time. I became a super nerd, playing flute in the marching band, harp in the orchestra, carillon at church, piano in the choirs, serving as President of Student Council, giving the commencement speech at graduation and the list goes on and on, truly . . . I’m sure my brother Andy would be more than happy to share more embarrassing stories! My brother Herk used to call me four-point-dumb actually because I was so book smart (think 4.0 GPA) yet an absolute moron when it came to pop culture. I spent all of my time studying, working and practicing music that I never had time to listen to the radio, watch movies or TV.
Tell us a story/incident that happened while operating your business that may have made you feel defeated. Now tell us how you overcame that.
I had no idea being an entrepreneur meant signing up to ride an emotional roller coaster! Honestly every day there’s something and each time it comes back to shifting your perspective. When competitors copy us my immediate inclination is to get frustrated wanting to scream, “Hey, that was OUR idea first!” . . . but then I realize copying is a form of flattery. It means they admire, respect and appreciate what we’re doing. Look at our sponsoring of an Olympian, bags with a silver lining concept, or the event series we created, for starters. Each time competitors copy us we use it as fuel to do bigger and better things rather than letting it frustrate us.
Tell us something fun/unique about you that most people don’t know.
Let this serve as the official announcement that I’m getting in the ring in May to fight at BB King’s in Times Square! It’s a charity bout with proceeds raised to help give a kid a dream. You can read more here: https://www.crowdrise.com/jamie-lewis
Have you ever been underestimated simply for being a girl/woman? Tell us how.
I’m sure I have. The story I tend to tell when people inquire about this topic is simply that I believe I got my shot at interviewing for an investment banking job because the people sorting through resumes likely assumed Jamie was a guy, not a gal. It still makes me laugh because my mom actually named me after Jaime Sommers, the Bionic Woman . . . wonder if they would have interviewed me had I shared that fantastic fact!?!
What are you doing currently and what are your goals?
Right now we’re having a hard time containing our enthusiasm about the collaboration we’re working on with YOU! We can’t wait to show the world what two female founders focused on empowering other women are doing to help one VERY DESERVING AMAZING FEMALE ROLE MODEL.
Should we tell a tiny bit about it? We’re making a JLEW clutch that will be stamped with the #NeverTooPretty logo and a portion of the sales from each clutch will be donated to support this amazing woman as she continues to break barriers and pave the way for other females . . . follow us on social media and join our mailing lists to make sure you’re the first to know when they’re released, as they won’t last long.
You will get a chance to win a JLew clutch tomorrow with a Too Pretty jumpsuit for the Female Founders Friday Giveaway!
Go to our Instagram by noon tomorrow to enter. You have 24 hours! Good luck!