I admire people who chase their dreams. I especially admire people who manage to catch them. Dynamic sisters Jessica and Madeline are two girls who have done just that.
The girls have combined their love of beautiful handbags and fashion with their creativity, tenacity and business prowess to launch an incredible new online venture called The Agency.
I had a chat with Jessica (above left in black) to find out all about The Agency and their incredible bags…
1. First of all, tell us a bit about yourself.
I am Jessica, one half of The Agency heart.
Currently I work in a professional environment whilst running our new business venture and studying. I come from an academic background having worked at large top tier firms over the past 5 years. I am completing my economics and marketing degree at the moment and don’t think I am on the path to slowing down anytime soon.
I divide my time between Sydney and Melbourne, as my partner lives in Sydney. So I am able to appreciate both sides of the Melbourne vs Sydney argument. I grew up on the Mornington Peninsula and often venture home for some TLC and great food.
I am constantly inspired by the people around me and believe that if you surround yourself with talented, smart and energetic – just all around good people – that eventually some of that has to rub off on you!
2. Describe yourself in 5 words.
Ambitious, competitive, fun, real and honest.
3. Who are your style icons and why?
I respect the style of Eva Mendes as she has the curves and look of the old Hollywood sirens – think Monroe, Taylor and Loren. She always looks immaculate yet oozes sex appeal in a classy way. I also like the off-the-cuff style of today’s icons like Kate Moss, Emma Stone and Nicole Richie; understated cool factor that is so hard to reproduce.
4. What are your favourite brands?
I don’t classify myself as a brand worshipper by any means. My entire wardrobe is combined with some semi-high end pieces and the more relaxed “picked this up” pieces. I often find that the more boutique type of pieces are what work best on me. I do enjoy Michael Kors for trenches and watches, Siren for Shoes and Zara for a blazer.
5. What inspired you and your sister Madeline to start The Agency Boutique?
My sister is ultra creative and is the type that spends hours getting ready. She never leaves the house looking “ordinary”. We are chalk and cheese as my mum says.
I think it is this combination of her appreciation of beautiful things, my brain and our mutual love of fashion that led us to this idea. Ultimately, we both adore accessories and are firm believers that accessories complete the outfit. The pressure to always look good and buy quality pieces at times is really hard. Particularly when not everyone can afford to spend $4k on the latest designer bag.
Trying to locate bags that weren’t over the top expensive and weren’t produced by the masses was really hard. It was in this Oprah style “aha!” moment that we thought we are onto something here. If we are having this problem, then it was guaranteed other women were.
It has been a whirlwind 6 months since then, planning, thinking, making connections, understanding different cultures of our manufacturers and suppliers, and getting to know each other even more. Learning how to bring out the best in each other and the business.
6. What can we expect when we place an order with The Agency Boutique?
We have designed The Agency to overall service the highest of expectations – our own!
In designing the format, we combined our own experiences with what we think buying online SHOULD be. We want people to be excited to do business with us from when they first look at our website, to placing the order, the anticipation and then of course unwrapping their special black ribboned parcel.
7. Do you and Madeline see yourselves designing your own bags one day?
We are in current negotiations and meetings to do exactly this. We are hoping to expand the business over time. We are firm believers in if you doing something, then you do it right, hence the careful considerations taking place.
We are however currently involved in every element of the bags that we sell. From choosing the leather, the colours, the hardware, the sizing, every inch of the overall bag is our very own vision. We are in constant contact with our manufacturers in Spain, China and America to ensure we are able to present the highest quality bags to our clients.
8. What is your ultimate dream bag (from any designer)?
I don’t think I could go past a Hermès 40cm Birkin tote in lemon with gold hardware. Classic, understated, but also announces, “you’ve arrived”.
9. What styles and colours will be seeing in the coming months?
During Winter we are trying to shake it up a little with pops of colours and patterned pieces whilst also introducing quality warmer leather pieces in traditional tans, navy and black. Spring will be a whole new chapter. Think more out there one off pieces that are attention seeking in an enviable way – neons, lace & bold.
10. If we could only buy one piece from the current collection, which bag should it be?
This is so hard as all of the bags are beautiful and I am proud of them in their own individual way, as they all offer something completely different.
I am obsessed with the ‘OPI’ (Olivia Palermo Investment). It is so chic and classic, yet fun in a New Yorker kind of style.
I am toting around with the ‘Boyfriend’ this week. Next week? Who knows…!
For some serious eye and arm candy, check out the full range of bags at http://theagencyboutique.com/
As a thank you for featuring The Agency on She’s Sonic, I was gifted a bag of my choice. Please see my Disclosure policy for more information.