Who is the face behind The Bag Collective?
I, Zeena Anthony-Qureshi, am the brains behind The Bag Collective. I am the sole company director and business proprietor. That being said, I have a myriad of support behind the scenes providing invaluable assistance. Whilst a lawyer by day, my passion and enthusiasm is truly manifested in expanding my brand worldwide. Go big or go home!
How did you come up with the concept of The Bag Collective?
I was literally on my sick bed, having taken the day off work and started thinking about my personal interests. As a woman, I undoubtedly had a proclivity for all things fashion and sought to exploit that further. I knew there were two leading companies already in existence in the fashion industry that focussed on monogrammed leather products. So, I threw caution to the wind and thought “why the hell can’t I do this?!” and from there, began my journey into the unknown.
I see that you primarily focus on creating pouches, baby bags, and baby mats – why these three products in particular?
My first thought when delving into this enterprise was that I needed to start with something cost-effective to manufacture whilst at the same time being easily marketable, particularly to the younger generation. When girls go out (be it catching up with friends for brunch or a night out on the town), they don’t generally want to carry a big cumbersome bag and so emerged the idea of producing a pouch. It really is the perfect size to fit all your essentials from your phone to your keys and makeup. Knowing that I couldn’t just rely on one product to make a name for myself, I contemplated coming out with a product that set me apart from my competitors. At that stage, neither had emerged with baby products, which is how the concept for baby bags and baby change mats transpired. Due to its appealing exterior, we have had many customers use our baby bags as sports bags, travel bags and general “carry all” bags, so they are certainly multi-functional.
Who is your target audience?
My target audience is really all women because, let’s face it, every woman carries a bag! I will be extending my line of products to handbags very soon but had to carefully consider what items I would bring out first given the overwhelming overheads with which every small business owner is faced.
The idea of branding your custom-made leather products is ingenious! What a great way to personalise your purchase How did you come up with that idea?
I cannot, unfortunately, lay claim to coming up with the notion of personalising products but saw an opportunity to capitalise on it. It certainly is a way of taking a product that a number of people may have and making it your own creation.
Is there a reason that you only do Gold embossing?
Personally, I prefer using gold foil to emboss as I think it looks more sophisticated. It also marries up with the fixtures and fittings on my leather pouches, which are all gold metal.
How long does it take to create your products for sale?
From brainstorming, conceptualising products for release, having multiple samples made and critiqued to manufacturing products ready for sale, it takes approximately 6 months. I am a perfectionist so the idea of producing something with which I am not 100% happy does not bode well with me.
What materials do you use to create your products? How do you source them (locally/nationally/internationally)?
I am meticulous about using the best quality materials, fixtures and fittings on all my products. I know some companies think their customers won’t notice if they use a lower grade material or plastic fittings but, to me, that is of paramount importance. My pouches are made from Saffiano leather and all fittings are genuine gold metal. My baby bags and baby change mats are made from a very soft and durable nylon of a superior grade and all leather fixtures are completely genuine. My products are manufactured internationally, sourced through two of the most reliable companies with outstanding credentials.
Whereabouts can customers go to purchase your products (apart from being online)?
For the time being, whilst I still hold an “ordinary” vocation, I will only be selling my products online via my company’s website. Occasionally, however, we do pop up here and there at various events and markets so keep your eyes peeled, South Australians!
What do you hope your customers to feel when they buy your products?
My main objective, whenever a customer walks away with one of my products, is that they are thrilled and excited by their unique purchase. Like any company, I want my customers to be entirely satisfied and satiated. If not, then I will do everything to turn that around.
Why should customers support you?
Why wouldn’t you want to support local South Australian businesses and help them thrive?! Plus, I’m a girl boss looking to kick ass in this male-dominated world!
Is there anything else that you’d like your customers to know about The Bag Collective?
All embossing is undertaken by us personally.
Photos supplied by The Bag Collective // Fatema Sitabkhan
The Bag Collective
Monogrammed coin pouches and clutches are the new staple that every girl boss needs to have! Having attended an event recently, I came across Zeena from The Bag Collective. I had never thought of seeing my initials on a blush coin purse or a classy looking black clutch, but thanks to Zeena and myself; who were there at the right place at the right time; I walked away with a truly special gift that brings me joy and a sense of identity!
I had the opportunity to interview Zeena via email - read through to see some (of the many) reasons why you should get behind this fashion movement with a minimalistic appeal that seems to have taken the Adelaide fashion scene by storm.