Lindsay and Kathryn just launched Holly & Tanager, a line of functional, fashionable, and durable handbags. These ladies currently sell chic, American-made clutches and wallets that emphasize style and organization - and there is so much more coming! You can check out Holly & Tanager and their many fabulous products at the 'Sip in Style' event!
1. What inspired you to start Holly & Tanager?
Holly & Tanager is the result of a dream that Lindsay and Kathryn both share - of creating a brand that is more than a product, a brand that understands needs and innovates on those needs, and promotes women as leaders. It all started at Kao USA, where Lindsay (originally from Chicago) and Kathryn (originally from Pittsburgh) met. It just so happened that Lindsay mentored Kathryn at Kao, and they became good friends. Both entrepreneurially spirited, they felt that there was never a bag that catered the workingwoman. There was a gap in the marketplace where fashion and function aligned. “We’d been thinking about ideas back and forth for years and finally we decided to give it shot.” With that, Lindsay and Kathryn launched Holly & Tanager.
2. What message do your products send to your customers?
Kathryn: “Functional, fashionable, and made in the USA. When designing the Holly & Tanager handbag line, we design handbags in a way that will help make your life easier. If it’s going to work or going to happy hour, our handbags are designed to be practical, fashionable, and get you where you need to go with ease. We want to make sure the women who wear our bags are prepared for many different situations and have what they need in an easy, organized manner.”
Lindsay: “Confidence & Individuality. Our bags are designed with a customer first approach. We want women to always be prepared - this will aid in confidence. We want women to be individuals, you will see that as we continue to innovate and grow, color will play a big role in our brand. We want you to be you. Furthermore, Holly & Tanager is proudly focused on manufacturing our products in the United States. "
3. What inspired the name Holly & Tanager?
Lindsay: “Well, Holly & Tanager is the intersection I grew up on. You could say it was the start of my entrepreneurial journey, it’s where my first lemonade stand was. As a child a lemonade stand represents your first encounter with the business world - and sometimes you have to innovate. These memories, what life taught me in those moments, and many others made it clear that our journey started at Holly & Tanager."
4. Describe your personal style.
Lindsay: “I fully believe fashion is a way to express yourself. I personally enjoy vibrant colors - particularly orange. We launched with our two tone bags - giving you a chic classic on one side and a bit of fun with the metallic on the other side. We will continue to incorporate color as we grow.”
5. Who inspires you?
Kathryn and Lindsay: “Our moms! "
Kathryn: “I have always looked up to my mom. She was a nurse and she is the most caring and hardworking woman I know. She taught me work ethic and the importance of being kind to everyone, and encouraged me to be my own unique, individual person. These are all ethics I utilize today within Holly and Tanager.”
Lindsay: “My mom was a huge advocate of Holly & Tanager from the beginning. She has always pushed me to follow my dreams and to keep moving forward even when I wanted to give up. She is a pharmacist and taught me the importance of being a strong, independent female.
6. What were your biggest challenges or fears when launching Holly & Tanager?
Lindsay: “Putting your blood, sweat and tears into something and hoping that the market sees as much value in it as you do. You are very vulnerable because you put all this work into something you love. At some points in our journey that has been scary and hard. But getting past caring what people think and just showcasing that what we have created is special - those are the moments we love.” In addition, sometimes you need to make tough decisions on postponing a launch because you know the item isn’t perfect yet. These are big decisions that we are making that will set the course for Holly & Tanager."
7. What makes Holly & Tanager products unique?
Kathryn: “H&T truly focuses on functionality and simplifying your purse so you can quickly get what you need without sifting through a bottomless bag. When we first start the design process, we consider what the customer needs and wants. Then we look at all the handbags we have in our closets to understand what is currently missing in the industry and what can we change. We create all of our bags to be function based. If you look at our current items, we put a handle on the back of our clutch collection because we felt there were multiple ways to hold it, making it easier to travel with. Our bags have two pockets inside them, one that zips and one that’s open to help with organization, and all of our bags fit the iPhone 6S+. It’s the little details that make life easier - and differentiates Holly & Tanager.”
8. What advice would you give teens about following their dream careers?
Lindsay: “Sometimes you wonder, ‘how can I do all of these things”? You just have to remember that you can! Sit down, plan, and really focus. It can be overwhelming at times, but you can’t let that fear get to you. Don’t be afraid of the smallest ideas. Holly & Tanager first started as an idea in an airport. You may start small, but it can really grow into something.”
9. Has fashion impacted your confidence in a significant way?
Kathryn: “Definitely! When I wear a fashionable outfit that I love, I feel like I can achieve anything. I also love wearing heels (even though I am 6’1”) which always makes me feel a bit more confident (maybe intimidating is a better word).”
10.What is your favorite Holly & Tanager bag?
Lindsay and Kathryn both love the specialist—Holly & Tanager’s wristlet wallet. It carries everything you need - phone, keys, cards, cash and more.
11. Please include anything else you want your readers to know?
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