This story is part of our 1,000 stories campaign. What’s your story?

Name: Tara Martin

Business: My Other Bag, a line of eco-friendly and reusable handbags

Industry: Clothing & Accessories

Location: Los Angeles, California, U.S.

Reason for starting: I started My Other Bag because I was living in Santa Monica at the time and they had just passed the plastic bag ban (as they have done in many US cities and countries around the world) and I felt there was a need for eco-friendly, reusable totes bags that were still fashionable!

Related: Read about another Clothing & Accessories entrepreneur here.

How do you define success? Success for me has been the ability to do what I love everyday and to build a brand that is a reflection of my passions.

Biggest Success: My biggest success has been figuring out to to stay competitive in the market while keeping everything made in the USA. It was so important to me and now it’s a key stone of the brand to be a made in the USA. I even took it one step further and now everything is made in LA. We are truly a product of the Los Angeles fashion district and I love it!

Related: Read about another hand-bag entrepreneur here.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? My top challenge has been delegating. As an entrepreneur who has put my blood, sweat and tears into my brand it is difficult to let go of certain aspects. But realizing you can’t do everything and nor should you, allows for others who are so talented in their fields to come on board and add their expertise, building something even more incredible.

Another big challenge for me was the lack of financial support – I was completely on my own. I had put myself through college and had student loan debt but wanted to start a company with the little money I had in my account. It was an extremely stressful year but somehow I did it with zero financial assistance. I am 100% self made.

Who is your most important role model? Because I am in the fashion industry I really look up to other leading women in the industry such as Diane Von Furstenburg. She has built such a huge global brand and is just an exceptional woman all around. And Diana Vreeland for her spirit and tenacity.

Twitter   @myotherbag

Tell us your story!
Read about another accessories entrepreneur here.

Edited by The Story Exchange