It is hard to imagine that a few years
ago, handbag designer, Reese Li, was wearing combat boots
and issuing orders to a platoon of 40 soldiers. These days,
this former Army veteran is more likely to be found in
an off-beat fabric store searching for hip fabric for her
newest baby bags rather than running in military formation.
Yes, Reese Li has traded in her ruck sacks for diaper bags
and is fast becoming a popular designer with a loyal online
" I never imagined that I would be running my own business" says Reese
who is a first born generation American of Chinese immigrants. Although I went
to business school, I always pictured myself working on Wall Street, not sewing
away in my home studio." Reese graduated cum laude with a B.S. in business
administration from Boston University where she was also an R.O.T.C. (Reserve
Officer Training Corps) scholarship recipient. After college, she was commissioned
into the U.S. Army where she served as a Quartermaster Officer. She and her
husband, her college sweetheart, were stationed in Savannah, Georgia for 4
years and eventually
settled in Alexandria, Virginia where they now live with their 2 small children.
Reese's business was born out of her frustration at not being able
to find the "perfect diaper bag". Everything she saw in stores
was "too big, too ugly, or it didn't have enough pockets".
Plus, she was tired of carrying the same generic black bag she had
used for years. After the birth of her second child, she sat down one
day to design a fashionable yet functional baby bag. "I wanted
to make a diaper bag that didn't look like a typical diaper bag. Something
that you'd love to carry around whether you had a baby or not." Armed
with some fabric remnants and busy at her sewing machine for a few
hours, she stitched up her first bag and viola! – Reese Li
Fanciful fabric combinations and innovative pocket designs have now
become the signature elements of every Reese Li Baby bag.
In October 2002, she began selling her unique baby bags on the popular
internet auction site, eBay. Her bags were an instant hit with mommies
all over the country and within months, she qualified to join the coveted
eBay Power Sellers group. Soon after, baby boutique stores and online
retailers clamoured to carry her line of diaper bags.
Highly successful, Reese Li has caught the eye of Lifetime Magazine
and will be featured in their February 2004 issue for her unique product
and smart business sense. The newest Reese Li Baby bags
will be available for retail purchase at www.reeseli.com and in select
boutique stores in 2004.