Emily Gimmel, Graceship, Handbags, The Story ExchangeYour Name: Emily Gimmel

Business Name: GRACESHIP, a maker of laptop bags and briefcases for women

Type of Business: Clothing and Accessories

Business Location: Louisville, Kentucky, United States

Website   www.thegraceship.com
Twitter   @graceship
Facebook   www.facebook.com/graceship
Pinterest   www.pinterest.com/GRACESHIPBAGS

Reason for starting
I started my business out of necessity. The worldwide mobile computer market is only 14% penetrated, yet growing at an annual rate of 37%. While this creates rapid business opportunities, existing mobile computer accessory brands continue to leave behind the most powerful, profitable consumer on the planet – professional women. Almost all mass-market computer related accessories are either too masculine, athletic, or tacky. There are very few affordable options for stylish, professional women. I decided to take this information and turn it into a business, creating tangible products for women like myself. I developed my own company GRACESHIP, taking the concept of ” a laptop purse” and turning it into a stylish and functional bag that any business woman would be proud to carry.

How do you define success?
I think the biggest key to success in most things in life is not to give up. Never quit. Believe in yourself and don’t stop until you achieve what you set out to do. It sounds basic, but so many people never completely try, or never fully finish. If you don’t quit, eventually you will become successful.

Biggest Success
Creating my first sale and meeting satisfied customers makes all of the hard work worthwhile. It’s really an indescribable feeling to watch something that was once just an idea in your head, grow to a tangible real life product that people want to pay money for.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
So far the biggest challenge was also our biggest hurdle – just getting to market! It takes an immense amount of time to figure out all the endless details that are attached to creating a product out of thin air! The idea truly is the easy part, building a quality product, determining every point of business operation, and how you are going to financially obtain these things are far more complicated. There are so many components to consider when building something from scratch, you really can’t even begin to prepare for them. You get to a point where you just have to tell yourself to role with the punches.

Who is your most important role model?
My parents have played a crucial role in helping this business become a reality. They are my biggest cheerleaders and supporters. They provide a strong family foundation and encouragement which has been truly priceless to the process of building a business.