Recently, I had the good fortune of meeting and working with a creative entrepreneur – namely Jessica Marriott of Tantrum Bags. I was fortunate to experience and see, first-hand, how someone with a creative vision, tenacity and hard work, take an idea and a dream and mold and nurture it into a brand with style and potential. Here is the story of Jessica Marriott and the Tantrum Brand.
The Back Story
There once was this girl who grew up in El Paso, Texas who had dyslexia. Every day this girl would cry her heart out to her saintly parents because she couldn’t do much else but read and re-read the same thing over and over for hours until she finally memorized what she had read. She also had to spend months using flash cards, verbally saying and writing multiplication problems on paper and in the air until she learned them. School was so hard for this girl that her mom often joked that the mom went to high school twice. This girl’s elementary principal told her mother to get her child through college and she’d be successful. While to most kids college seemed obvious, but to this family school seemed so painful, like climbing Mount Everest where you can hardly breathe.
This girl’s parents did research on colleges that had strong programs for learning disabilities and found one in Arizona. Jessica applied and was told to take a semester of biology and maintain a “C” average. She met the biology professor frequently to get extra help. Of course her days were filled with nothing but studying, figuring out how to learn something more easily and figuring out how to organize things to make her life easier. And something miraculously happened, she earned a “C” and was accepted to the University of Arizona!
The Hard Climb Pays Off
While at University with the support of the S.A.L.T. Program, maintaining relationships with her professors, learning how to use a computer and fine tuning her organizational skills, something else miraculously happened…she was able to retain facts more quickly, read more easily and write better. From this new-found confidence, years of success in pharmaceutical sales (Yes, Jessica taught doctors about medicine, a science related job and used her organizational skills to help the doctors improve their patients care) and she learned that life doesn’t have to be so hard so she finally could pursue a life-long-dream with the support of her saintly husband and twins.
While to most people pursuing their dreams seems like climbing Mount Everest where you can hardly breathe, to Jessica it seemed like another anything else in her life, hard but not impossible. Jessica wanted to take on the fashion world. HaHaHa is what I know you are thinking right now, but it’s true. So, she called the experts at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) and asked for names of sample makers. She found one and started selling small quantities of her stylish and organized bags online and to a few boutiques in the United States.
But Jessica knew all women complain about reaching into a Coach or Michael Kors bag so frustrated with not being able to find their keys under their wallet, sun glasses, lotion, lip stick etc. And Jessica asked, “Why do I carry around a daily item that is so stylish but not functional? Why can’t we all have both?” So Jessica did research on CEO’s of major retailers and found out that Terry Lundgren, the CEO of The Federated, who owns Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, graduated from the same University as Jessica graduated. So she emailed him and something else miraculously happened…he emailed her back!
After two years of climbing Mount Everest with Terry Lundgren’s kindness of introducing Jessica to Bloomingdale’s, many meetings with the buyers at Bloomingdale’s, they agreed to let her sell her Tantrum handbags inside four of their stores with her helping the sales teams at those stores this past December. She has since learned that no other independent handbag designer has been asked or allowed to do this in Bloomingdale’s. Since customers bought many of her Tantrum handbags in each of those stores, the buyer agreed to let her sell more bags in more stores, again with her helping the sales team this year, 2013. Who knows what other mountains Jessica will climb, but you know she will be successful because of how hard she works, she’ll look stylish and feel confident.
Meet Jessica Marriott, the CEO and Designer of Tantrum Handbags. Tantrum Handbags designs, “The most stylish and functional bags in the world.” One element existing without the other is a product that still doesn’t work. “We believe this is the biggest advancement in the history of handbags,” Our bags are designed with premium leather on the outside and expertly-configured interiors. Visit Tantrum Handbags website at www.tantrumbags.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tantrumbags.
How would it feel like to not have to buy a new handbag for TEN years?!!! Tantrum Handbags is giving 6 people 1 bag from each new collection for TEN years! But you can’t win unless you 1. Like us on www.facebook.com/tantrumbags and 2. Enter contest by clicking the Give-a-way box on our Facebook page and 3. Share and get friends to do the same. Can’t wait to give those many bags away! http://ow.ly/i/1lpZQ