I am Sarah Haran, the founder of Sarah Haran Accessories, a luxury handbag brand that has redefined the industry with its innovative designs and unwavering commitment to craftsmanship. Since our establishment in 2017, our brand has quickly gained recognition and acclaim for our unique approach, seamlessly blending functionality, elegance, and modern lifestyles.
My journey began from personal experience as a businesswoman in search of a handbag that effortlessly accommodated my work essentials. As the former COO of a leading tech firm, I understood the need for a versatile handbag.
Fuelled by my entrepreneurial spirit, I immersed myself in the world of handbag design and leatherwork. I undertook extensive training and had the privilege of apprenticing with the former Creative Director of Mulberry. This invaluable experience laid the foundation for my vision of creating handbags that not only met practical needs but also allowed women to express their unique style.
The hallmark of Sarah Haran handbags lies in their exceptional versatility. Each bag is meticulously crafted with a popper system, empowering wearers to restyle their bags endlessly, creating entirely different looks with just one handbag. With Sarah Haran, women no longer need to settle for one style; every bag becomes a distinct expression of their personal taste and individuality.
At Sarah Haran Accessories, our commitment extends beyond creating exceptional handbags. We host events throughout the UK, providing our customers unique opportunities to connect and forge a sense of community while celebrating our exquisite accessories.
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
I have always trusted my intuition and embraced the opportunities that have come my way. I believe in taking leaps of faith and being open to new possibilities, which has led me on a fun and fulfilling career path.
Have you faced any challenges along the way?
I think like many mothers one significant challenge was balancing motherhood and a career in the corporate world. However, this ultimately inspired me to create Sarah Haran and embark on a new path.
How did you persevere through the tough times?
I always try and focus on joy. Bringing joy to other women through our brand is at the core of everything we do, from our bags to our community events and communications. It’s important for me to spark joy in other women’s lives, and if we can achieve that as a brand, it brings me great happiness. Taking care of myself and staying focused on my work helps me navigate through challenges and keep moving forward.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
It’s difficult to pinpoint a single biggest achievement because I am immensely proud of how far the brand has come, thanks to the efforts of everyone involved but to have achieved 5 years in business has to be some sort of achievement right? Also, the critical acclaim we have received from esteemed publications such as The Guardian, The Scotsman, The Times (“These bags are a stroke of genius” Anna Murphy) and Marie Claire, as well as the loyalty and support of our customers, including notable personalities like Anthea Turner, Kate Garraway, Jenni Falconer, Jean Johannsson, Rachel McTavish, and Tonia Buxton, are all significant achievements that continue to inspire and motivate me.
What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in your achieving success?
Perseverance, working with an incredible team, and finding joy along the way have been major factors. Understanding our audience and being passionate about our community is also crucial. We offer more than just a bag; we provide an experience and a sense of belonging. Women crave connection, especially after dedicating years to raising families, and that’s what we strive to bring them.
How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?
I strongly believe in the power of women to support and uplift each other. I have personally mentored a few women through their early start-up life in business and I am delighted to share my knowledge and experiences to inspire and encourage other women. This belief is deeply embedded in our brand’s ethos, and it is reflected in our efforts to foster a sense of community through platforms like our Facebook group, the Bags of Joy Club and our local events, with the aim of empowering and uplifting women in every possible way.
If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Parity, what would it be?
I would ensure that more women have the resources, networks, confidence, and funding necessary to set up and scale businesses. Creating equal opportunities and removing barriers for women entrepreneurs would greatly accelerate progress toward gender parity.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Trust your instincts and have confidence in your abilities. Embrace the journey and follow what brings you joy, and remember every day is a school day!
What is your next challenge, and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?
We are currently focused on expanding Sarah Haran into international markets, and I am incredibly excited about this new chapter. Additionally, we are piloting an initiative that brings together Sarah Haran and other female founders to inspire women with their stories and insights, alongside the world of fashion. I am looking forward to what the future holds and the impact we can make.
Sarah Haran is the founder of Sarah Haran Accessories, a luxury handbag brand established in 2017. Sarah previously held the position of Chief Operating Officer of iomart Group Plc until March 2017. Sarah served on the board leading to its listing on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM in 2000.
After years of not being able to find a beautiful and functional handbag that would be ideal for a laptop by day but wouldn’t look out of place at evening events Sarah decided it was time to create her own. Driven by her entrepreneurial spirit and passion for handbag design and leatherwork, Sarah dedicated herself to extensive training and apprenticed under the former Creative Director of Mulberry. This invaluable experience laid the foundation for Sarah’s vision of creating handbags that not only met practical needs but also allowed women to express their unique sense of style.
The hallmark of Sarah Haran handbags lies in their exceptional versatility. The brand has received critical acclaim from publications such as The Guardian, The Scotsman, The Times and Marie Claire. Anna Murphy, Fashion Director, The Times referred to the bags as “a stroke of genius.”
Going beyond creating exceptional handbags, Sarah Haran Accessories fosters a sense of community and connection. The brand proudly hosts events throughout the UK, providing customers with unique opportunities to gather, celebrate exquisite accessories, and forge lasting bonds.
Sarah Haran leads the talented team at Sarah Haran Accessories, constantly pushing the boundaries of design and craftsmanship to create handbags that empower women to express their unique style with confidence and joy.