Meet JEMMA: The Luxury Handbag Brand that Caters to the Working Woman

Hey, you! Have you heard of the brand JEMMA? If so, you’re probably obsessed with it. If not, here’s everything you need to know:

JEMMA is a brand of luxury handbags geared towards the working woman. “With JEMMA bags, we focus on producing timeless looking bags with modern functionality. As much as we see ourselves as a fashion brand, we see ourselves as a utilitarian brandwhat the customer needs, we’ll give them. With all of our bags, there is a purposethere is a reason for existing. We don’t just create designs. They’re specific to our customers,” explains Founder, Designer, and CEO of JEMMA Joanna Lau, who's pictured below.

Joanna launched the brand in January of 2016, and it gained traction purely by word of mouth of Joanna’s friends and family. “Starting a business is never easy for anybody. It’s even harder if you don’t have the support of family. I had my parents, obviously my sister, and a very strong group of friends who have been there from the beginning. When I couldn’t even pay for models, the models were my friends,” Joanna ever-so-humbly replied when asked what the secret to her success was. “We spread organically,” said Joanna. Now, though, JEMMA combines social media, press, and paid marketing with their already established network of supporters.

It’s clear to us how important family is to her: “JEMMA” is a combination of “Joanna” and “Emma,” her sister’s name. Despite her success, Joanna doesn’t let her job get in the way of her priority: family. “Being an entrepreneur is a twenty-four-hour job. When I’m with my family, I try not to even look at my phone, to be present. It’s very easy to get carried away with being focused on business, but what matters is the people closest to you,” affirmed Joanna.

Prior to the JEMMA launch in 2016, Joanna studied finance and statistics at NYU. Her only formal training in fashion was a three-month Fundamentals of Fashion Design course at Parsons, where they focused on making clothing. The designer says she gained much of her sketching skills from this course. During the school year, she worked at Tommy Hilfigeraltogether giving her a solid foundation ins-and-outs of the industry. She then went on to work as a banker at J.P Morgan right here in New York before working as a trader in Asia. While working as a banker, Joanna recounts that she realized that men had beautiful and functional bags while women simply had handbags. "They weren’t catered to the workplace; no attention was paid to the functionality of handbags.” *pursed lips, two thumbs down*

JEMMA’s goal, then, is to “combine the aesthetic of handbags with internal functionality,” certified Joanna, “we build our brand around the JEMMA girl.”

And just what can the JEMMA girl do with her bags? Well, the Italian leather and nylon bags are über multifunctional. Here are Joanna’s suggestions for using the bags:

The “EMMA” work bag“Women can take it to work and then out to dinner later.” And, on March 20th, the EMMA is coming out in three new colors! Need I say more?

The “POPPINS” convertible crossbody, backpack, satchel, and tote“For the woman who loves, commuting, traveling, and being out and about. It’s my weekend bag.”

The “BIRDIE” gym bag“I love using it to travel. I can fit magazines, clothes, all of it.” Not to mention, it’s workout chic- which is very in right now.

The “MAGGIE” wallet cross body- “My daily essential,” crooned the designer.

For more colors and styles or to purchase your very own JEMMA bag, click here