Inspired by Design

I was date raped in high school. As I read the news of Jeffery Epstein (and thousands of other stories) unfold, I find myself thinking why have I never had the strength to talk about my experiences. I realized I there have been countless times for decades that I have been a victim. I found myself wondering why I have never had the courage to speak up.

I no longer feel powerless. As a single mother raising two boys, teaching them respect and accountability for their actions has been my top priority. The feminist writer Jessica Valenti, author of Sex Object, has some valuable advice: “It’s important to normalize a healthy reaction to the rejection of affection.

Thank you Leigh Ann Barnes for inspiring me to find my voice. Leigh Ann who was a victim of date rape in college found her passion designing handbags.

Let’s rewind….
Leigh Ann Barnes was sparked by a challenge from her family: create a transparent stadium-approved bag that is stylish, functional and fun. What came to be: a dynamic accessory collection providing jobs for women in-need.

Hit play….
Emboldened by the challenge, Leigh Ann harnessed her ingenuity and created a chic convertible handbag. During the creative process she realized a sense of purpose was needed that went beyond the Gamechanger Bag.

The Aha Moment: connect ideas with action, need with purpose and, ultimately unite women of all ages. The smaller leather goods could be made by survivors of abuse. Creativity, kindness and compassion through hands-on manufacturing.

Fast forward…..
Leigh Ann Barnes is defined by transparency, creating joy and making change happen. Her long-term goal is to introduce other brands to the Cottage Manufacturing Model in Los Angeles and Georgia.

The end [but really, it’s just the beginning]…..

Leigh Ann Barnes business model is more than a handbag or an accessory; it’s about recognizing and embracing that we are all equally important and deserve the same opportunities. Though Leigh Ann Barnes is only one step in the journey to these women restarting their lives, it connects ideas with action, need with purpose and ultimately unites women of all ages.

From this game changing foundation, Leigh Ann Barnes partners exclusively with accredited factories when manufacturing overseas to ensure women working abroad have a safe work environment.

In the U.S. company aspirations include growing the Survivors Cottage Manufacturing Program in Los Angeles and Athens, Georgia. The goal is to incorporate brands and manufacturers into the Program as a resource for reclaiming and repurposing their own excess materials. A duality of doing good as they support work for women in need of reclaiming and repurposing their lives.

image: @photo_flo

You can buy her bags at Neiman Marcus, via her website or her pop up shops {where you can find Leigh Ann telling her story and inspiring other young women}.  Cast your vote for Leigh Ann via the Accessories Council Design Excellence Award.

Game on.

  • Bonus for all readers. Save 25% off your purchase through September 30th, 2019. Use code #sostylate at check out.

 

 

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The Monthly Round-Up

monthly roundup: july 2014

1. Pochi Restaurant & Wine Bar’s new website has officially launched! Check it out here.

2. We attended the Diner En Blanc preview party at Terrain and can’t wait for the big event.

3. Fall photo shoots have begun!

4. Sydney & Lauren put together their Summer-To-Fall Favorites for Miss Sophisticate magazine. Take a look!

 

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Anxious for Autumn

anxious for autumn

Jeweled sweater from JCrew Factory. Love the combination of textures, mix of color and the addition o the jeweled collar! Can’t wear to wear with rolled up boyfriend jeans.

Madewell Biker Boot. Love the caramel color, the height is perfect with a cropped jean or cord for fall.

Essie Fall Collection 2013. Always excited to try new colors at the beginning of each season!

Academy Blazer from GAP. Perfect layering piece. Will wear it in lieu of a jacket in the beginning of autumn. Very collegiate and preppy.

Phillip Lim for Target handbag. So excited for this debut in mid-September! This bag is a gorgeous pop of color in a classic shape.

Anthropolgie blouse. Loving the sleeve. Always on the lookout for unique take on a white top.

Smoking Loafer by Tory Burch. Love, love, love these colors. Looks super comfy and chic.

Jo Malone Nutmeg & Ginger cologne. Love the idea of a warmer fragrance in the fall and winter months.

 

 

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