Young Millionaires Part II

David Leib, 31, & Caren Schlom, 29

Company: Siany Bag Co.
Year Started: 1991
Start-Up Costs: $5,000
1997 Projections: $1.6 million

While traveling in Europe, Caren Schlom stumbled upon the discovery of a lifetime: Leather tote bags in Greece sold for one-fourth the cost of their American counterparts. She purchased two-and upon returning to the States was showered with compliments.

Convinced they could turn a profit, her boyfriend, David Leib, quit his mortgage banking job, maxed out his credit cards and targeted California college campuses with merchandise the two imported from Greece.

But that was six years ago. Today, the two are married, and Van Nuys, California-based Siany Bag Co. has expanded from a tiny apartment into a 2,000-square-foot office building. They've even expanded the line to include name-brand briefcases, handbags, belts and shoes. "Every day has been a learning experience," Schlom says.

Success, it seems, is in the bag: Last year, the entrepreneurs sold more than 18,000 leather accessories from their five retail locations in Southern California.

Contact Sources

African Heritage Network, 295 Greenwich St., #368, New York, NY 10007, (212) 227-8391

Cellular Works Inc., (800) 235-5967, http://www.cellularworks.com

Dillanos, 15301 Main St., Sumner, WA 98390, (800) 234-5282

Excel Professional Services Inc., 5600 S. Quebec St., #310-D, Englewood, CO 80111, http://www.excelps.com

ExchangeNet, (216) 615-9400, http://www.en.com

Gatorz LLC, (800) 767-4287, http://www.gatorzusa.com

Langham Transport Services, 7136 Zionsville Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46268, (800) 727-3962

New Image Media Inc., 73 Spring St., #501, New York, NY 10012, (212) 941-0774

Papa John's International Inc., (502) 266-5200, http://www.papajohns.com

Siany Bag Co., 8101 Orion Ave., #11, Van Nuys, CA 91406, (818) 988-7650

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This article was originally published in the November 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Young Millionaires Part II.

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