Redondo Beach, California
“Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.” – Paulo Coehlo
I love discovering new brands. Even more, I love learning about the founders and their reason for being. While busy doing some research on today’s blog post, I happened to read an interview about the founder of Banda Bags, Brianna Jane. The minute she quoted one of my favorite inspirational authors, Paulo Coehlo, I knew it was a match made in heaven.
I don’t quite remember how I came across Banda Bags on Instagram. What I do know is the minute I saw their gorgeous gallery, I had to send them a DM to get their attention. I knew in an instant, Banda Bags were special. They were so much more than a fashionable tote. Brianna calls them a “Fashionable Cause” which is far closer to the truth! And all links here will automatically get you 25% off the entire stock! Or, use code CATHERINE25.
Brianna looks like a beautiful supermodel. Blonde, blue-eyed, and clearly a winner in the gene pool lottery!
In her own words, “she came into this world with a lot of blessings.” She also came with a heart of gold, one that is easily tugged by the heartstrings of humans faced with immense adversity and tragedy. The beauty of Banda Bags is that it was born out of the tsunami that devastated much of Indonesia. Banda is an emerging brand built upon progression and the principles of slow-movement fashion. In the states, we’ve grown accustomed to fast fashion made possible through cheap labor and oftentimes, exploitation.
Brianna’s company was built the opposite way – on slow fashion or old fashioned artisans and hand crafted beauty. Upon learning of the suffering of the Indonesian artisans, she was moved to launch Banda to share the beauty of the artisans while also giving back, and allowing these women to improve their quality of life.
In Brianna’s own words, she describes the inspiration and intention that led her to create Banda’s Ecommerce platform: “I’d like to think that Banda Bags is more of a fashionable cause. We are cruelty-free, ethical, and we’re committed to raising awareness about conscious consumption, educating our audience about slow fashion and artisanal made items.” I love that – a fashionable cause! One that celebrates slow fashion. The bags are not only stunningly beautiful, they do double duty by providing a better life for the artisans and their families. Now, that’s a reason to shop! Brianna shares how the women who make the bags light up when they see women around the world carrying their bags. If you’re a conscious consumer, you’ll find comfort knowing that the bags are 100 percent vegan. They’re also brimming with the most exquisite colorful embroidery.
I discovered Banda not long before heading to walk the coveted NYFW Runway after winning a wonderful contest by DSW and Create & Cultivate. I reached out to Aga who heads their social media and she sent me a few of my favorite bags to bring along with me. I coveted the “Weekender Bag” as it’s the perfect bag for a weekend getaway. I carried it with me throughout the week as I was constantly changing looks for fashion week. It’s nice and roomy to fit lots of goodies but it’s also super lightweight. It comes with a detachable shoulder strap. There’s also a mini version, appropriately called “The Mini Weekender” that’s ideal for those times when you need something larger than a purse but smaller than a weekend tote. I was stopped throughout the weekend as curious women couldn’t help but ask where to find the bags!
Banda has a whole selection of bags from weekend totes to this adorable “Cutesy Bag!” I know! Isn’t it the cutest thing? I’m also a huge fan of backpacks and I loved the wide selection of backpacks in lots of gorgeous colors of embroidery. I’ll admit that I had a very hard time choosing. They have lots of different styles such as round handbags or nano handbags.
They also have beautiful belts. You can get lost perusing their website. My favorite part of their site is the video that shares the women’s stories. When you purchase a Banda Bag, you empower women. It’s really that simple. Buy something beautiful for you and make life more beautiful for another woman on the other side of the globe.
Growing up in the US, most of us can’t imagine what life would be like without all the amenities and blessings we take for granted. I know I can’t imagine what it must have been like to be impacted by a tragedy on the level of a tsunami, one that wiped out over 200,000 people in Indonesia. It feels comforting to be connected to these inspirational women through Banda.
Why not join me and Banda Bags and let’s “Band together” and help these incredible women and their families live a better life. What better reason to shop? With the holidays around the corner, you can make your loved ones smile with a gift that gives back while empowering women around the globe. and don’t forget all links will get you 25% off or use code CATHERINE25. Cheers Beauties and Happy Shopping!