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Out of China production for handbags and belts

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All handbag designers have heard about the "Trade War" that is currently going on with China and the United States.

President Trump as of September 24, 2018, has imposed a 10% tariff on all handbags imported from China to the United States. Word on the street is that in January 2019 the tariff will increase to 25% on all handbags. While that is yet to be seen, many major fashion brands are planning to move their production out of China to avoid these hefty duties.

Good news! I am working closely with a reputable China factory group that has handbags and belt factories in Cambodia and Myanmar. In Cambodia, many handbag factories have been in place since 2015. The workforce is mature and well trained. The Cambodia handbag factories can handle large orders from brands such as Michael Kors and Guess?

In Myanmar, although the factories are newer, the factories are up and running smoothly. I have connections with great belt, soft luggage and handbag factories in both of these coun…

The Downsides of being a Female Entrepreneur

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As a female entrepreneur, I have had really good luck until recently. In the past decade, I have founded a startup fashion handbag brand in Seattle. After one year I was able to secure a loan through the Startup community, and about a year later I went to a VC forum in Seattle and I met an investor. He invested in my handbag brand, Rocco e Dante after one meeting and helped me build my company for several years until the economy tanked and we shut it down. I have had an overall positive experience as a female entrepreneur in the fashion industry. My investor was always professional and was a great mentor. I ended up getting to know his family.

In the past two years, I have started another brand of commuter and bicycle bags - the brand is Pendolare. www.pendolaregear.com I have spent over two years building the brand, I have the samples and have tested them, I have a business plan and an explainer video.
In March 2018 I reached out to 15 startup Venture Capitalists on LinkedIn. About 5…

New article in FORBES for Two Neighbors!

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I am super excited to see the brand I work for be covered by Forbes! Check it out here:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/michellemartin/2018/08/31/how-fashion-is-bringing-women-from-israel-and-palestine-together/#72245bd9515c

When retired American couple, Dr. Whitman Jones and his wife Paula createdThe Center for Emerging Futures, a nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing some of the most difficult situations that humans face, they didn’t realize they would also be launching an innovative fashion brand soon thereafter.  After visiting Israel and seeing the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians firsthand, Jones began looking for ways to facilitate peaceful connections that could transcend the conflict. Given the skill sets of women in the region, Jones had the idea to bring Israeli seamstresses and designers together with Palestinian embroiderers to create a high-end fashion collection that could create jobs and highlight talents from both sides of the conflict. The result, Two Nei…

WOW! Two Neighbors Julia Cocktail Dress

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Introducing this lovely piece of art! 
As part of my work with Two Neighbors, I help design the apparel collection. The new Julia cocktail dress just arrived from Tel Aviv. This dress was handmade by Palestinian women and Israeli women. This joint venture is called Two Neighbors, Peace Between the Eye of a Needle.

It is a very unique innovation idea to bring women together from a challenging region to make fashion apparel and handbags. As the USA Marketing Director, I am very proud to be part of this inspirational mission.

You really have to read the back story to learn about the brand. Please go to www.twoneighbors.com and read "our story"

In the meantime, if you would like to support this wonderful peace project, please shop online at www.twoneighbors.com/shop





Slow Fashion vs. Fast Fashion.

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One of my main clients is a slow fashion innovation brand Two Neighbors www.twoneighbors.com  Everything is made by hand. However, we often get questions such as why our prices are more expensive than Zara or Forever 21. The majority of people that work in the fashion industry understand fast fashion and slow fashion dynamics. However, the average customer may not. I decided to write a blog about the difference between fast and slow fashion 

What is slow fashion? Once in a while, we get questions from people that are not familiar with the workings of the fashion industry. Recently someone wanted to know why our dresses were not competitively priced like Zara or other fast fashion brands. There is a big difference in the way that fast fashion brands produce their garments as compared to slow fashion brands like Two Neighbors. Fast Fashion brands like Zara, Old Navy and Forever 21, have hundreds of stores throughout the world and produce products in massive quantities to fill all their …

Celebrating Diversity!

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Celebrating Diversity
For Two Neighbors, the Israeli/Palestinian brand that I work with, our latest photo shoot featured normal women from all walks of life.

Check out some of the images here and let me know what you think. All images were shot by LaRae Lobdell - a photographer based out of the Greater Seattle area. To see more images please go to the website at www.twoneighbors.com 

Thanks,

Tara












TWO NEIGHBORS! New Handbags!

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After waiting many weeks for our Palestinian embroidery artists to finish the straps and trim, we were able to complete the production of the Two Neighbors joint venture leather bag collection. I am excited to share that the bags are now in stock, they are ready to ship from Israel and we have some stock here in Southern California to ship to our friends in North America.

A few quick photos here to share the newest styles. There is the "Romi" round bag which features a handcrafted shoulder statement strap, then there is the "Mira' saddle bag which is available in black, tan or red Italian leather.

We also have the "Adeem" carry all tote which is great for work and can fit any size laptop! Check out the images here on our model and to shop please go to www.twoneighbors.com/shop