Thursday, February 12, 2009

Entrepreneurial Adventure

BeansTalk: Tell us about your line. How many products are available at this time?

Suzanne Gabos (seen here) : We have four different style bags: the Charisma bag, the Beauty Mark bag, the Parfait bag and the Le Petite bag. We just added the Chi Chi bag for the Spring Collection 2009. The Chi Chi, the Parfait and the Le Petite are the most popular.

We offer several lines in the Fem-Tote™ product – a Junior Collection for the teen and pre-teen (available in glitter, faux snake skins and animal prints), the Luxury Collection (croco embossed leathers), the Denim Collection for a more casual look (also holds pads), and the Bridal Collection, a perfect gift for the female members of the bridal party!

We’re very excited about our Spring 2009 Collection, which features our new Panty Pouch™ product, used as an organizer for panties and other feminine undergarments in a valise or overnight bag, with matching Fem-Totes™ made from PVC fabrics.

BeansTalk: How long did it take you, from idea to production to sales?

Suzanne Gabos: I started in September 2007, while I was enrolled in a design program at the International Academy of Design in Tampa, Florida. It took about six months until I was able to secure people who could assist me in getting this idea off the ground and into production. Once I developed my initial network of designers, graphic artists and marketing consultants in March 2008, everything started to fall into place. So, from idea to production to sales, or my first tradeshow...I would say about a year.

BeansTalk: Where are your products available?

Suzanne Gabos: At and in small boutiques throughout the United States, primarily on the east coast. I would love to see the Leather Panty Pouches™ and leather matching Fem-Totes™ in the Specialty Department stores by year-end. Also, I would like to see the lower priced items in the mass merchant channels later this year.

BeansTalk: What are your price points?

Suzanne Gabos: They vary between $35.00 and $45.00 retail in the Junior Fem-Tote™ Collection to $75.00 - $135.00 in the Luxury Fem-Tote™ Collection.

The Bridal Collection, designed to be a luxury item for the bridal party, consists of matching fem-totes and panty pouches retailing between $45.00 and $150.00.

The Spring Collection, which features matching panty pouches with matching fem-totes in PVC, retails between $45.00 and $75.00.

For the younger and more casual crowd, the Denim Collection retails for $45.00. The Dotbella Collection, available this summer and targeting pre-teens, will have a soft body contoured shape and will retail for $20.00.

BeansTalk: What are your future plans, in terms of expanding the line, new developments, etc?

Suzanne Gabos: In terms of expanding the line, there will be a soft contoured bag which will fall under the name “Dotbella," which we branded as a cute way of saying, “beautiful period”. This line was designed for the cost conscious young lady who favors a softer, more casual bag. They will retail for a much lower price, around $20.00, but will still be fun and friendly! These bags will host some funky patterns such as camouflage, skulls, cool prints, and possibly some college logos.

The company also plans to have bags made in plain colors for the ladies who are crazy about monogramming their products! I found this to be a huge craze at the tradeshows!

We are also planning to expand the fabric portfolio for the Panty Pouch™, eventually offering soft designs and smaller bags.

BeansTalk: Have you gifted any celebrities or been in any gift bags, award suites, etc?

Suzanne Gabos: I was so excited that my bags were included in the Official Grammy Gift Bag that was presented at this year’s Grammy Awards and the 2009 Academy Awards Gift Bags. Also, I have gifted to the Buzz Girls Mamma Mia DVD Launch Event, which took place back in December 2008 in Los Angeles.