Today is an emotional and particularly proud day for me as I write the first ever Jacq Leigh Blog post. By sharing my story, I hope to show you what it means to be connected to Jacq Leigh. I want to share Jacq Leigh’s values with you in the hope we can truly achieve amazing things if we support one another. Let me start at the beginning…
I grew up in London and first entered the corporate world when I was just 16 years old. With a neoprene laptop bag firmly under one arm, I set off on countless business trips, full of ambition and working around the clock; weekends, nights, before sunrise; (you can see where I’m going with this) to become the youngest female director in the Fortune 500 company I worked for. As much as I appreciated the aforementioned laptop bag, gifted to me on my first day in the office, I needed an upgrade to look and feel the part. Walking into a board room (typically crowded with men) to present or run a meeting is daunting in its own right and feeling confident in the way I looked was important to me to make a statement. So why ruin this with a laptop bag that was far less desirable!
I searched everywhere, from high-end designer stores to high street boutiques, every time receiving the same response; “we don’t have any laptop bags for women; you could just use the ones for men”. I couldn’t help but feel shocked by this archaic underlying message and it was this experience that led me to the creation of Jacq Leigh. The whole experience was eye opening. I found vast ranges of men’s beautifully crafted laptop bags yet when it came to women’s laptop bags there was little to no choice.
With the same fire in my belly that I started my career with, I co-founded our new venture with my partner Ed.
Our vision was clear from the beginning, we committed to achieving two things:
1. Create a beautiful range of laptop bags for women across the globe. And;
2. Provide a platform to celebrate our customers’ successes and share their inspirational stories
Our first range of women’s laptop bags include four styles and 16 different variations. We thoughtfully selected leather colours to include black, cool grey, royal maroon, golden tan and midnight navy. We chose leather texture variations of pebble and saffiano with gold or silver metal hardware to match your personal style. Because like you, we obsess over the small details. I’m almost certain you’ll find a laptop bag you love, but on the off-chance you don’t, I’d love to hear from you.
Celebrating female successes and sharing stories to inspire others is something I’ve felt passionately about for a very long time. Even admitting that you’re ‘successful’ can be difficult for a lot of women. Playing down our achievements is something I see consistently; even in my friendship group, when talking about promotions, new jobs or projects we’ve worked on. We must pull each other up, celebrate each other’s successes and encourage one another to be proud and stand tall in our achievements.
When you connect with Jacq Leigh, don’t be surprised when I email you and ask you to share your story. Learning from you, hearing about your journey and sharing it with our community to inspire others is the reason we exist. So don’t be shy, and even if you are, we’ve got you – we’ll shout your story from the rooftop because we think you’re brilliant!
It’s only recently that I’ve started to own my own story; having left home and school at 16 it wasn’t something I felt comfortable sharing, especially in a corporate environment. Embracing your story, the tough times included is important; it’s made you who you are today!
The power of a female network is astronomical. I’ve had some incredible women in my network that have offered me guidance and mentoring that has truly changed my life. One thing I’ve learnt is that nothing is handed to you on a plate, to get to where you want to go you need to be vocal about it, surround yourself with the right people and just go for it. Building a supportive network around you takes time, dedication and often I’ve had to do things that make me feel uncomfortable. Attend networking events alone where you don’t know anyone, going for jobs I don’t feel ready for or leading teams in different cultures I know little about. Pushing the comfort zone means you’re learning and growing which has only ever been a positive thing.
We have created Jacq Leigh Blogs where, each week, some of my favourite guest bloggers will post to provide you with content that will resonate with corporate women, female hustlers or anyone who wants to grow and challenge themselves to achieve greater things. If you want to become a contributor to our Jacq Leigh Blogs, would like to nominate someone inspiring to tell their story, or want us to write about specific topics, please drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you.
So here we are, launching Jacq Leigh to the world. We couldn’t be more excited to see what the future holds for our brand and our community of supportive, amazing women.