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The Short Version: Those who want to give their special someone a unique gift to celebrate a relationship milestone often purchase a JEMMA bag. The company designs stylish and functional handbags with useful features, including laptop sleeves, phone pockets, and keyboard straps. JEMMA bags can help women who lead busy lives and don’t want to spend all their time organizing their handbags. JEMMA is one of the few handbag companies that elevates usefulness to the same level as fashion.
Buying a gift for a partner to celebrate a relationship milestone isn’t always easy, but JEMMA can simplify the process with its functional, stylish bags. The company helps ensure people make the right gift choice with its online Style Quiz.
If a customer wants to buy a bag for a partner as an anniversary gift, the quiz allows them to first select “Significant Other” as the recipient. The quiz continues with questions about the size and style of the bag. If their partner needs to use the bag for work, they choose a medium size and a professional style. After customers answer all of the questions, JEMMA provides two suitable options to choose from.
A popular medium-sized, professional bag for a significant other is the EMMA 37, a beautiful bag that comes in black, navy, or red leather. Inside, it offers several useful features, including a sleeve that fits a 13-inch laptop, a tablet or wallet sleeve, a phone pocket, a key strap, a pen or lipstick holder, and a credit card holder. The bag also has an exterior card holder and an adjustable cross-body strap.
According to Joanna Lau, the company’s Founder and CEO, when a woman receives a JEMMA bag as a gift to celebrate a birthday, holiday, or relationship milestone, she is often amazed. Many can’t believe how such a highly-functional bag can look so sophisticated.
“Women are surprised by our bags from both an aesthetic standpoint and what they get out of them. People get excited by how beautiful the bag looks, and the functionality stuns them, too,” said Joanna.
Joanna said she knew women would be happy with her bags because she wanted something similar when she worked in finance — but she couldn’t find one.
“I noticed that men had work bags or briefcases to take to the office or for travel. Men’s bags focused on the interior, but women’s bags just focused on the exterior,” Joanna said.
Women could only have it one way or another. Attractive bags were usually designed more for looks than function, often having a single large pocket or two inside. Alternatively, useful bags typically weren’t upscale enough to take to the office.
“I felt that the industry ignored working women. It seemed they thought the only thing we cared about was aesthetics. That was discriminatory. Why would they think men need functionality, but women don’t?” Joanna said.
Armed with her understanding of professional women and her extensive collection of handbags, Joanna said she decided to create the kind of product that would satisfy fashionistas who wanted to carry the same bag for all their activities — from the workplace to running errands.
Joanna’s first goal was to design a useful bag. Depending on its size and purpose, each bag comes with practical, non-standard compartments.
For instance, the BIRDIE 43, JEMMA’s duffel or weekender bag, comes with more features than those similar brands offer.
“BIRDIE comes with a toiletry bag, a cosmetics bag, a washable laundry bag, and a ventilated shoe compartment — all these little extras that you wouldn’t expect,” said Joanna.
JEMMA began as a brand for professional women, and that is still a key demographic for the company. However, Joanna and her team have expanded their focus to include women who need practical bags for many situations.
For instance, a woman could take the EMMA 37 to work or the BIRDIE 43 on a weekend trip. If she wanted to go out for a date or walk around her city, she could opt for the BELLA Belt Bag, which features a shoulder strap that converts it to a cross-body bag, a clutch, or a shoulder bag.
JEMMA has revolutionized the clutch with its MAGGIE bag, perfect for a night on the town to mark a relationship milestone. The bag has compartments for 10 interior cards, one exterior card, a phone, a change pocket, three bill pockets, and a front pocket. It also comes with a removable cross-body strap.
The POPPINS bag is for women who have more than can fit into a medium-sized model. The sophisticated case can be carried as a backpack, cross-body, or an over-the-shoulder bag. An interior clasp also enlarges or shrinks the bag depending on how much room is needed.
While each bag has plenty of compartments and functions, Joanna said none of the bags have extra bells and whistles that aren’t useful.
“I center our products and brand around our customers and vision. Every choice, from colors to specific pockets, has been deliberate. We don’t want to create bags that are just trending right now. We want to create bags that will last,” Joanna said.
JEMMA bags are stylish and practical gifts to celebrate a relationship. They are also an ethical choice for socially conscious women.
From the start, Joanna wanted to make sure bag materials were eco-friendly. She found a producer of sustainable leather in Italy, and some of her bags, including the BIRDIE 43, are made entirely of vegan materials.
What’s more, Joanna said she decided to use a manufacturing facility that supported ethical practices.
“I researched the space after I started designing my own bags. I went to Italy and China, Vietnam to find sustainable factories to produce our bags,” she said.
The company has found a devoted following that often uses the #JEMMAgirl hashtag on social media.
“I absolutely LOVE this bag… It is sleek, stylish, functional — everything I have been trying to find in my work bag,” one customer, Robyn, wrote in a testimonial about her EMMA Traveler 39 bag,
Myra added, “I love the bottom compartment for a pair of shoes and all the interior pouches to help keep me organized. I am also excited about the detachable key tag. I see myself using this bag as a purse on days I have a lot to lug around. Looking forward to purchasing more Jemma bags. If you are on the fence, get it, you will not regret it!”
Joanna said she is pleased that she could finally offer women the kind of functional, sleek, and ethical bag she always wanted. Now, JEMMA has a wider variety of clients than she ever could have predicted.
“We have bags that are relevant to college students, working moms, entrepreneurs, doctors, and travelers. We attract the full spectrum of women,” Joanna said.