Gabrielle DeSantis-Cummings and Monica Hillman of Gigi Hill on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™
Two ordinary women who took a dream and turned it into a reality. After meeting on the sidelines of their daughters’ soccer field, Gabrielle and Monica became friends, commiserated over not having a good bag to carry everything around that they needed, and then launched their own handbag line.
The two women, Gabrielle DeSantis-Cummings and Monica Hillman, started their company by literally sitting on Monica’s living room floor and piecing together cutouts they made from brown paper bags from Trader Joe’s. They used those papers and tape to design their bags, picked out the fabrics, and then took it to a seamstress to bring an actual bag to life. With a few more months of research, “focus groups” (made up of wine and friends), and a lot of guts, the two ended up with the PERFECT bag!
I say guts because for Monica this was a huge move from corporate America to startup. Gabrielle is a self-described lifetime entrepreneur so she was built for the risk. Monica had a very hard decision as a practical, no-risk personality. She was determined to have more time with her children though and this new venture would let her do that – plus she really believed in it. It all culminated when she quit her corporate job on her 40th birthday to start Gigi Hill! Gigi Hill is a quirky mix of Gabrielle’s nickname and Monica’s last name – an original company name for an original line of handbags!
The company grew 900 percent the first year and continues to double in growth each year. The company is projecting 900 percent growth for 2013 as well.
Now, Gigi Hill has nearly 50 different bags in fabulous patterns and bold prints. You can see the line at: GigiHill.com. What makes them so innovative is the Gigi Hill Signature Pocket Design that ensures there is a pocket for everything. Designed for items like your cell phone or other electronics, bags also include pockets for water bottles, sunglasses, pens and other essentials like your favorite lipstick! Pockets are also transparent so you can find what you need in an instant. It's perfect for busy moms and women on-the-go!
Their story is truly inspiring for women everywhere – go out and make the life (and the bag) that you want!
Date: Wednesday, February 20th
Time: 8:00 pm EST
Posted by Deborah A Bailey