REFER A FRIEND by lindahy


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									                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Monday October 22, 2007 19

b IT’S     A SOODA

Amanda gets handle on bags
Zsa-Zsa Bowie Wilson                           With a connection to a suc-
                                            cessful fashion label and con-
                                            tacts in advertising, it wasn’t
Amanda Hancock is holding an                hard for Hancock to source
eye-catching purple suede sack              material and manufacturers to
bag and looking at it with                  make up her bags in Thailand.
disdain.                                       But she soon discovered there
    ‘‘I’m just not sure about some          was a lot more to learn about
of the finishes,’’ she admits. ‘‘I          running her business than sim-
think I’d prefer the handle to be           ply creating a new bag brand.
made out of rope instead of the                ‘‘The business side of things
material.’’                                 was a challenge,’’ she admits.
    As the owner and designer of               ‘‘I’ve always been creative and
SOODA bags, Hancock’s criti-                have never been heavily rooted
cal eye is responsible for the              in numbers, so I had to learn
quality and detail that she                 how to do a business plan, look
believes sets her handbags                  at numbers, understand pricing,
apart from competing brands.                importing and exporting.’’
    Soft leathers, vintage fabrics,            It wasn’t until she arrived in
canvas, silks and satins are                Australia a year ago that she
luxuriously finished with semi-             was able to test her bags. She
precious gems, crystals and                 didn’t know what to expect.
porcelain.                                     ‘‘Bag parties are one of the
    ‘‘When I set SOODA up, there            ways I have marketed the brand
appeared to be a gap in the                 and they have been received

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    F B 1 2 3
(Australian) market for interest-           really well and helped me figure
ing handbags,’’ Hancock says.               out what the market wants.
    ‘‘Everyone seemed to have                  ‘‘I’ve also done a trade show,
black or brown bags, but noth-              set up a website and now have
ing else, so that’s where I saw a           a PR outfit marketing it.’’
business opportunity.’’                        It may be a small start, but
    Hancock had just decided to             Hancock has big plans for SOO-
quit her job as an advertising              DA, including her own boutique
executive in Bangkok and move               and having the bags stocked in a
to Sydney for a ‘‘lifestyle change’’.       major department store.
    ‘‘The bag idea came up about               ‘‘I want people who are in the

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    C M Y K
six months before moving here               know, to know the brand – it’s a
and I decided that the change of            conscious choice for girls who
lifestyle would be the perfect              are cool and funky.’’
opportunity to try something.’’                             Amanda Hancock is more than happy to be a bag lady with SOODA Bags.                                                                      Picture: BRITTA CAMPION

                                                               REFER A FRIEND

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    MEL 22-OCT-2007 PAGE
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