Success Story: Angela and Roi Lee of A & R Handbags
When I came across Angela and Roi handbags earlier this year, I knew I had to feature their story here. Yes, I bought my first A & R and I was truly impressed. When I received my purchase, I could not help but admire the beauty of the bag and also their strong community responsibility and their philosophy behind their products. I love what they do and most of all I love their classic designs with a contemporary twist! I also love the fact that I was able to support a cause from the purchase I made (made me feel good!). Each A & R handbag is designed with a color signifying a certain cause that the company supports. Each purchase you make, A & R donates five dollars to the designated charity.
“Angela & Roi was founded by a couple, Angela Lee and Roi Lee. They decided to name the company Angela & Roi because their relationship is the most important part of their lives.” It is a Boston-based company whose handbags are meticulously crafted from from vegan leather and are manufactured in Korea.
You can buy Angela and Roi handbags at http://www.angelaroi.com/. You may also contact Angela or Roi via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call them at 781-742-3501. Trust me, they are very very friendly!
This is their amazing and inspiring story:
Alpha: Tell us about A and R and your mission? Who or what inspired you to start A&R?
Angela and Roi: Our mission is to build a community where fashion can intertwine with philanthropy. With a portion of our sales, we promise to support various health related causes.
When we attended a fashion show that supported the ribbon movement related to AIDS, we were inspired and applied the concept to our handbag brand. We believed that we could create a sustainable model where fashion consumerism meets philanthropy. Since Roi’s father had diabetes and faced a serious cerebral hemorrhage when Roi was 10, he realized that the most significant factor in individual life is health. Therefore, we decided to include health issues in our company model. We realized that there are so many people and families in the world who struggle with health problems and don’t get enough support.
Alpha: I love the concept of A&R being a socially aware brand but why did you start creating vegan leather collection for modern handbags and at the same time tying it to every color with a cause?
Angela and Roi: Using vegan leather is good in two ways. First, we don’t harm animals. Second, we get to keep our price affordable. Although we are not focused on building an animal-friendly brand, we are aware that it is better not to harm living creatures. We realized that designer’s handbags with leather are thousands of dollars and even more. We try to find a right price point so that consumers can enjoy luxuriously designed handbags at consumer-friendly price.
We strongly believe in moral principles and ethics. The two factors we mentioned and ‘Donate by Color’ mission represent our belief. We try our best to Do Good for society and to satisfy fashion consumers.
Alpha: So, you started A&R last year, correct? What has been the most challenging part of your journey? What has been your greatest achievement since its launch?
Angela and Roi: We did start A&R last year even though we recently re-launched with our own handbag line and the philanthropic mission. The most challenging part was to find right bag manufacturers. One thing we focus on most is the design and quality of our handbags. We struggled with some suppliers since their quality was poor. Even though we finally discovered right partners to make our handbags, it took great effort and time.
Alpha: How do you envision A&R in the next year? How about in ten years?
Angela and Roi: We would like to build more variety of handbag designs and colors for consumers and to support more causes in the next year. In a long term, we would like to apply our belief of fashion consumerism meets philanthropy to other goods.
Alpha: As a business owner, what would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs to be successful? What do you think are the most important skills they should have in order to make their dreams come true?
Angela and Roi: First, it is very important to have a strong belief and philosophy. If your belief and philosophy are strong enough, you won’t do anything that’s against it and will build something around it.
And, in order to build something around your belief and philosophy, you need to be a hard worker. There are no shortcuts. Working hard is the most important skill.
Alpha: With your current collection, what is your favorite and why?
Angela and Roi: We treat our bags like our babies. Each of them is special in its own way and all of them are our favorites.
Alpha: Lastly, what is your definition of success?
Angela and Roi: Keeping one’s belief and philosophy from the beginning to the end.
To read other inspiring Success Stories, click here.
Alpha Sanford is the creator and editor of Aspire.Motivate.Succeed! a personal development website which aims to inspire and motivate people from all walks of life through its bi-weekly articles. She interviews and features inspiring individuals whose extraordinary work impact the lives of many people in the community. You can contact her via facebook, twitter, and email. You can also join her FREE monthly newsletter where you will get tips to a more successful life. Emailamsdaily@yahoo.com with the heading NEWSLETTER to join. If you are already an amsdaily subscriber, you will not automatically receive these monthly newsletters unless you email her.