Product Partner spotlight – Sarah Haran
Each week we are going to be putting the spotlight on one of our Product Partners so they can share their stories and inspiration behind their business. We will also be asking them a few questions around their challenges and successes.
This week and the first Product Partner we meet is the incredibly inspiring Sarah Haran. We love how Sarah turned her search and need for a functional handbag, that would still look great in multiple situations, into to her full time job and business.
As Founder, Creative Director and Mum of two, what started as a hobby – when I taught myself how to make handbags, became a passion that I finally turned into my career.
Previously the Chief Operating Officer of iomart, an AIM-listed cloud computing business, I was frequently flying all over the country and needed a stylish bag for business, travel and personal time. A bag that would keep me organised during my busy day but look stylish and chic at night.
Unsuccessful in my search for the perfect bag, I learned how to design and produce handbags in my spare time and came up with the idea of a bag-in-a-bag that could be easily restyled, the Dahlia Tote. This beautiful & functional leather tote bag soon became my everyday bag and as friends and colleagues began requesting their own, the Sarah Haran brand was born
Sarah’s favourite product – Dahlia 2-in1 Leather Tote
Our quick Q&A…
1. What was your ‘on fire’ spark that made you start your business?
Travelling frequently and going straight out from work to evening events, I realised I needed a bag that look good and could easily be adapted for different occasions. I didn’t really want to change handbags and when travelling I didn’t want to have to carry an extra bag with me. I was making handbags as a hobby and decided to design a bag that would solve my issue.
2. What has been your biggest challenge to date and how did you overcome this?
Biggest challenge for any new brand is getting your name out there. There is no quick fix unless you have millions to spend unfortunately! When we started we were mainly off line doing corporate events but with the advent of Brexit we had to change our business model almost entirely as the events stopped. That was a great challenge and forced me to change my business model to an online model. It took almost 10 months before we really started to get any traction.
3. What has been your proudest moment?
Proudest moment has been actually starting the business. I was in IT in a very comfortable well paid job so having the courage to give that all up and start my handbag business was a very risky thing. I am also proud to have helped so many women in their day to day life’s with my handbags.
4. What advice would you tell yourself if you could go back to the start?
Have confidence and courage to try opportunities that come your way. Don’t hold yourself back with “What If’s”
5. Share a quote about your business or life that you stand by?
Do more of what makes you happy!
6. What is your fav product
Oh so many but obviously my Dahlia handbag. It really does help me organise my life and make it a little bit easier
More of Sarah’s products