Dagne Dover | Handbag For Working Women | woman at work

How Startup Dagne Dover Is Building The Perfect Handbag For Working Women


If you’re in the handbag industry, you don’t get much closer to your customer than working the sales floor in an airport store. Melissa Mash did just that, selling Coach bags at London’s Heathrow.

Then 24, she was already a veteran of the leather goods giant, having started out as an intern during her New York University days. In the U.K., she handled buying, visual merchandising, and operations, as well as running a 9-person international sales team.

Crucially, Mash also got to hear from women directly, learning about their “handbag problems,” as she calls them. Why were otherwise chic bags often blighted by logos and branding? Did totes have to turn into black holes, swallowing keys and sunglasses?

 “Everyone’s been screwed by the water bottle that’s tipped over and ruined a phone, or a computer, or papers that can’t be replaced,” she said.

Now armed with a Wharton MBA and two female cofounders, Mash is the CEO of Dagne Dover, a investor-backed, direct-to-consumer handbag and accessories startup selling carryalls for working women. She’s competing not just with her former employer Coach, but the likes of Michael Kors, Tory Burch, and Kate Spade .

Dagne Dover's totes have intuitive pockets built in for organization. Photo c/o Dagne Dover.

Dagne Dover’s totes have intuitive pockets built in for organization. Photo courtesy of Dagne Dover.

The company’s stylish coated canvas totes each come equipped with a padded laptop sleeve that closes magnetically. There are compartments perfectly sized for wallets, tablets, smartphones, ID cards, lip glosses, and pens. A detachable key strap means you won’t be fishing at your front door.

“It’s not just about having a bunch of pockets on the inside, which some brands do,” Mash said. “It’s about making sure that the pockets are so intuitive to the consumer that she doesn’t have to think twice. Of course that’s the sunglasses pocket. Of course that’s the laptop sleeve.”

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News and Image Source: forbes.com

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The team behind Woman At Work magazine, the first-of-its-kind professional magazine and digital platform for talented women at work in India. The team brings forth fresh perspectives, insights, and tips for developing a professional woman’s career along with some fun stuff on board such as gadgets, books, and auto reviews. They believe that when you work hard, you need to play harder!

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