The bag you carry is an extension of yourself, says Koren Ray, Founder and Chief Visionary Officer at Hobo Bags, a female-founded, family-run brand that makes leather goods.

“I think we’re drawn to the broken-in, the well-loved, the familiar,” Koren says. “There’s a certain comfort and beauty to those things that are possessions that carry our history and have that beautiful character. Made-to-last is an important message today for consumers.”

Koren believes that during these COVID times, consumers are tightening up and focusing on the “nuts and bolts” of consumer goods. Despite that, Hobo decided to continue its strategy of creativity in design.

“That’s our model: color, creativity, inspiration, self-expression, ways to help women pick a bag that helps them express their style,” she says. “We felt like during these challenging times; we’re going to go for it. We will introduce color, prints, and new materials to our icons. And those are the bags that have just resonated with our loyalists.”

It’s not that Hobo doesn’t follow trends – “We are absolutely tuned in,” Koren says – but more time is spent finding the brand’s expression and filling in what’s missing in the marketplace.

“While we’re keeping our finger on the pulse of trend, we have discussions about what’s happened, what else is happening in the world, what are people doing that’s different than what they were doing maybe last season or last year,” she says.

With 30 years in the business, Hobo has an archive of styles to refer back to because, as she says, everything comes back around again.

“One of our fundamental values in our code is perfect it today, better it tomorrow,” she says.

Koren has some words of wisdom for fellow entrepreneurs.

“I do believe it’s essential very early on to figure out what you’re fighting for – what is it that you have that that the world just can’t live without or what is it that makes it special or different or unique and don’t compromise that vision, whatever it might be,” she says.

In addition, she recommends again cutting corners – an easy but bad habit for any new entrepreneur.

“I think in the end, when you compromise is when you start to lose kind of the integrity of the vision and the power and the passion that is going to make your product and brand successful,” she says.

In Part 2, Koren talks about:

* Why consumers are drawn to broken-in bags.
* The continued emphasis on creativity during the COVID era.
* The design process.
* The importance of color.
* The testing process.
* Launch process and monthly releases.
* Advice for fellow entrepreneurs.
* A tour of the website.
* The partnership with Habitat for Humanity.

Join Ramon Vela and Koren Ray as they break down the inside story on The Story of a Brand.

For more on Hobo Bags, visit: 

This episode is also brought to you by Sendlane.

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