According to American Express 2018 State of Women-Owned Businesses, women-owned businesses have grown from representing 5% of all business to 40% since 1972. Despite that, our economic authority has not seen an increase in equal measure. In 2018, women-owned businesses represented only 8% of total employment and 4% of total revenues. Men still make 94.1 % of the decision making at venture capital firms, and they are twice as likely to raise at least 100k in funding than women. And yet, women control $20 trillion in worldwide spending, and 74.9% of women identify themselves as the primary shoppers for their households. Women have been a driving force in our economy for decades, and yet we receive little recognition for it as business owners, entrepreneurs, and shoppers.
In the current retail climate we inhabit, we feel it’s important to take the decision making power behind what goes into production out of the hands of the retail buyers, and into the hands of the end-user and the designer. More than 3,800 stores closed across the US in 2018, and 22% of retails stores carrying GG Maull closed in 2018 That’s why, on International Women’s Day, GG Maull hosted our inaugural Voice Your Vision event, a new concept we undertook because we love involving our customers, and because your feedback is important to us. We’re about transparency— it’s aligned with our preference for ethics and quality and our love for our customers. A woman’s handbag is one of the few private spaces she has left, and we want to be there to support her.
We fashioned the Voice Your Vision initiative because we want women to use their purchasing power to become part of our production process. Seeing something come to life is empowering and energizing, and we hope that wearing a bag that you were part of creating will provide the feelings of confidence and authority that each and every woman should be entitled to!
How does the Vote Your Vision process work? For each quarter of 2019, we will present the new designs in fresh, custom colors that will be open for voting and pre-purchasing—and you get to choose what style and colors we use! We will number each one of these ltd. silhouettes according to how many we produce. We see fashion as an art, as a love story, as anything but disposable. By participating in Voice Your Vision, and pre-purchasing the new design that you voted for, you are funding a small, female-founded business. And if you pre-purchase now, not only will you receive a discount, but you’ll also be supporting our small team of Italian artisans and suppliers!
Furthermore, your pledge will go towards:
- Paying the labor of our NYC patternmaker.
- Paying the wages of our team of 8 artisans in Italy.
- Purchasing Italian leather and Nubuck from a minimum cruelty tannery outside of Florence.
- Purchasing denim from a cotton factory in Spain.
- Ground shipping materials from the tannery to our factory in Bologna.
- Paying for the die-cuts of factory pieces that go into making this specific bag.
- Purchasing the hardware, trims, magnetic snaps, edge paint, hangtags, dustbag, etc.
- Shipping completed handbags from Italy to the USA.
- Paying US import customs and duty.
- And shipping the handbags from NYC to your home!
And here’s how!
Step 1: Discover the backstory to GG Maull’s VOICE YOUR VISION
Step 2: Meet the Outlaw Clutch 2.0 (image of the black /white bag) We have incorporated our customer feedback into the new design, and now we want more!
Step 3: Select the Color that sparks JOY FOR YOU!
Step 4: VOICE YOUR VISION: Either Vote your color choice or pre-purchase (add to cart) at a $100 discount to support a female-owned, female-run business.
Click here to Voice Your Vision
These new designs made their debut at the Voice Your Vision event held on March 8th, our International Women’s Day, where a group of diverse, incredible women convened at our studio on 195 Chrystie. (Fun fact: historically, the Lower East Side is a part of the city that has always incited change through art and culture!) That evening, Gretchen and our marvelous team touched on the traditional wholesale method (the handcrafted, sustainable model on which GG Maull was founded!) We drew awareness to the issue of economic equality for all women, as well as how we can all better support female-founded enterprises! And as part of our mutual endeavor, we decided women-owned businesses should supply the beverages and snacks we procured for happy hour. Among these treats were…
Thank you for helping us host this event, and for allowing us to show our support!
It was wonderful to see so many women inspired and excited by our new designs and to be able to view the sketches, feel the leather swatches, and try our handbags on for size. We conversed about everything from politics, to music, to the limited resources given to women-owned businesses, and the toils of riding the subway with an overstuffed purse. It was enlivening and motivating to see all of us celebrate our achievements and discuss solutions to the problem of women’s economic authority. Most importantly, our Rebels (and Rebels In Training!) gave us incredible feedback on our handbags, our Outlaw 2.0, and what they might like to see in the future!
Everyone had such fun ideas. Some wanted gloves by GG Maull, some wanted wallets, larger belt bags, backpacks, and interchangeable straps, but the one thing everybody at the Voice Your Vision event seemed to agree on was color! Every woman who came to voice their vision had a completely unique sense of style, and yet we all share a passion for vibrant colors. It only makes sense that our Nude / Neon Orange Outlaw was the belle of the ball—the pop of color caught everyone’s attention!
By the end of the evening, we felt like we had learned so much more about the women who support GG Maull, and that they had learned just as much about us, our purpose, and the painstaking process in which our handbags are crafted. And knowing that we all came away with a renewed mutual respect for one another is heartening. We, as women, can do so much more together without a middle man.
The Voice Your Vision event was an incredible experience for all of us at GG Maull. We want to thank the women who continue to make what we do at GG Maull possible. Your loyalty and feedback are crucial to every aspect of our business, to other female-founded companies, and more. As long as there are strong, intelligent, and hard-working women in the world, every day can be International Women’s Day!