This 23-Year-Old Turned Her Love for Bags Into a Biz
For most people, being a shopaholic can be a cause of all sorts of problems—from being a hoarder to being in debt—yikes! But Reeham Afdal, a self-confessed bagaholic turned her love for new bags into a business and managed to turn her love for shopping into something productive. Find out how she started Mon Sac and get inspired to turn your passions into an actual biz.
When it started. I started Mon Sac, which is French for "my bags" in January 2017."
How it started. "Before starting my brand, I was actually already selling my designs to my family and friends. When my family and I saw that there were people with an actual interest in my bags, my dad suggested that I take my business online, which paved the way for Mon Sac."
Why Mon Sac? "At first, I really wanted to start a service-oriented business, but I didn't know where to begin. So I asked for advice from my parents and they told me to start with something small and easy first. Ever since I was a little girl, I've always loved bags. If other girls feel like they can never have too many pairs of shoes, that's how I feel about bags. So I decided to turn my love for bags into an actual business and make my love for shopping productive."
Young entrepreneur. "Starting a business at a young age is definitely hard—especially when you barely have the experience or the background of an entrepreneur. Also, there are already so many brands present in the market today that it’s not enough to have a cool product to sell, but you also need to find a way to differentiate your brand from the rest of the competition."
Drawing inspiration. "My parents have always been my inspiration. Ever since I was young, I've always been in awe at how hardworking they are. I consider them as my mentors. They constantly teach me and give me advice on how I can turn my business into a success."
Flying solo. "I've always liked working alone, so it's really no hassle to me. I consider myself very obsessive compulsive. I always want to make sure that every single detail of the bag is in perfect condition before I sell it to my customers. I literally check everything from the bag itself (pockets, zippers, handles) to the tags and labels. I want to personally ensure that the quality of each bag is good. My goal is to make my customers feel happy and satisfied when they buy from me, so I prefer doing it myself to be sure that the work isn’t sloppy. But when I do need help, my family and friends are always willing to lend a hand."
Little challenges. "There have been problems from dealing with my supplier to my clients. Just a few weeks ago, my supplier wasn't able to start the production of my bags on time and everything else was pushed back. My bags were already sold out and a lot of my customers were already waiting for me to restock."
Staying original. "I like to believe that the designs and colors of Mon Sac bags are something that you don't usually see in the market. As much as possible, I veer away from the basic colors, which is why I also offer a variety of colors for each design. I like to keep my brand as something original, lively, and as colorful as possible."
What's next? "As of now, I just want to introduce more designs to my customers and join as much fairs as I can. I want to focus first on my presence online, build my own website, and who knows? Maybe I'll have my own physical store in the future!"
Entrepreneurial philosophy. "Be passionate about what you do so that you are working wholeheartedly; and when you do, you will generate the best results and make your customers happy.
You're happy with your work and so are your customers, it's a win-win situation."
To young budding entrepreneurs. "As cliché as it sounds, don’t be afraid to take risks. Some people are scared to start from nothing, but no one ever reaches the top without climbing from the bottom. It might be scary and intimidating, but the reward is worth it. Believe in yourself and dream big but at the same time, work for it and when I say work I mean work real hard and put everything you have into your work. Don't be lazy. It’s not easy, but you'll forget all the times you were tired as soon as you start to see the fruits of your labor."
Know any young entrepreneurs? Leave a comment below and you just might see them on the site next week!