Ardor Fashion Collective

Using ingenuity to inform, inspire and connect the global fashion community

Discovering a Need in the Luxury Handbag Market

When the journey of an entrepreneur begins, it’s not always intentional or constructed in any particular fashion. This is the story of a determined woman to make it in an already difficult fashion industry, and how she’s setting herself up to take on the sector with her own line of handbags.

Back when Lisa Hu was studying at the university, she thought she’d be in accounting and finance because it’s a steady job and a fairly stable industry. She graduated Magna Cum Laude at the University of Missouri – Columbia and completed her MBA at Washington University while working in accounting for a large firm. She was climbing the way through the ranks, as she was promoted twice while obtaining her MBA.

During her work and study life, she would go work out, and then head to the office. And during this routine, she was getting very annoyed that there wasn’t a bag that fit her lifestyle. So this is where the idea began, although she wasn’t quite sure if she was going to follow through with it. It was an initial idea that she kept holding for quite some time. 

Lisa ended up teaching herself how to sew, putting together the pieces she needed in order to frame her concept. She started working with a seamstress to put all of the touches to her work, and then traveling to New York and China to conduct more research on the right manufacturers for her brand.

Calculating the 52-Week Challenge

After much upfront work and determination, Lisa decided to take the jump and leave her job - going out into the world of startups and entrepreneurship. And with her background in finance and accounting, she took the leap with calculated risk.

So as she’s been on her 52-week startup journey, she’s gone through all the details, and now she’s launched her Kickstarter campaign. She’s lined up her handbag line – Lux and Nyx – with names such as Claire, Zoe and Bella. Each symbolize something different and unique when it comes to historical female figures, friends who inspire her and inspirational women altogether.

Lisa is not only turning her brand into a luxury hand bag line, but a total social impact company – from the eco-friendly and recycled materials she’s using, as well as choosing artisans in China with years of experience, making each bag by hand.

From each purchase of the bag, 10% will go toward funding a school in South Africa through an organization in which she shares her passion – Love to Langa. The school is plans to be built in the next year and a half. Lisa is deeply passionate about the topic of education, as it was her vehicle to get to where she’s at, being able to leverage her MBA in the corporate and entrepreneurial landscapes. She was born in a small farmer town in Hai’an, China and moved to Saint Louis, MO when she was young.

Having been born in China, there’s traditionally a stigma of growing up as a female needing to prove others wrong, working twice as hard to show how females are strong. Lisa wants to bring this essence to her line of handbags, which is why she has developed the line into something of great meaning and purpose. 

Stretching the Marathon, Building the Brand

After her 52-week mark, Lisa’s goals include being able to invest back into her brand to scale the handbags even further. She also partnered with Caroline Fan, being very good with soft skills and compliments Lisa’s accounting and finance background. Caroline is very keen on building connections and having the vision for partnerships.

In early May, Lisa plans to reach out to boutiques nationwide to start carrying her handbags – right in time before the holiday season and to expand her distribution channels.

Whether or not you noticed, Lisa launched her Kickstarter campaign on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 – her ode to the tax deadline, being in the financial world.

Lux and Nyx are Greek for light and night, therefore the difference in time. It’s representative to change in time and life, going through transitional periods of time.

Learn more about the Kickstarter campaign for Lux and Nyx and Lisa Hu’s journey as an entrepreneur.