Bag Lady

It's a Hollywood story for this stylin' designer.
This story appears in the July 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »
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As an aspiring actress, Poppie Harris was familiar with rejection. But in launching a business, she wouldn't take no for an answer.

Having designed a mini handbag she knew would be a hit, Harris, 26, founder of Poppiebags in Los Angeles, approached accessory showrooms in New York City. Though the cell-phone-sized handbags elicited oohs and aahs, Harris' request to show the bags to high-end retailers like Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman and Henri Bendel was met with caution. So Harris fashioned another approach.

She made countless calls and finally landed meetings with buyers from the three "B" stores--and walked away with orders for her stylish leather hand-sewn bags. Her PR efforts earned rave reviews in such magazines as InStyle and Marie Claire. Soon, stars like Jennifer Aniston and Cameron Diaz were clamoring for Poppiebags.

With 2002 sales projected at $1.2 million, Harris has herself to thank. "I knew if I took control over the most important parts of the business, I'd know exactly what was happening," she says. And with a product that can literally "hold" her calls, she's only a ring away.

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Edition: October 2016

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