Everyone has heard of the luxury handbag line, Botkier, right?? And what mom wouldn't give their left arm to own one (um, I think I would carry one on each arm, if I could). It's so nice to see a business start from scratch and develop into a household name - from hard work and dedication, of course. Designer Monica Botkier is a fav of mine not only for her classic luxe bag (and shoe!) designs, but for her work ethic and her dedication to family. She is a mother, a designer and a great person. Yes, girls, we can have it all! Monica chats with us here on how she keeps herself in check (I'm sure a closet full of Botkier bags helps?).
I Heart Heels: Botkier has been around for almost 10 years now. How have you tried to keep your brand fresh and new?
Monica Botkier: I'm very proud that Botkier started almost 10 years ago! We pioneered luxury contemporary handbags with the launch of the Trigger in 2003. The principal is still relevant today; Botkier is the statement piece for everyday. Modern women want fashion, function and luxury at the right price point. We're excited by design, so staying fresh is a matter of keeping up with our labor of love.
"My three kids are my world," -- Monica Botkier, designer
IHH: You have three children, so, of course, everyone wants to know how you keep your work/life balanced? Is there a secret?
MB: My three kids are my world! The balance is difficult as everything needs so much of my attention. For me, I choose the focus point of my day to keep from going crazy or feeling guilty. On a family-focused day, I come home early for dinner with the kids and homework. It's important to manage expectations. Having a helpful partner helps, too!
IHH: Would you encourage any of your children to go into fashion?
MB: My oldest daughter shows promise in fashion. She's always changing and creating her own outfits at seven years old. We'll launch apparel when she comes to work for Botkier!
IHH: I love New York, and you're a native New Yorker. How has New York shaped the way you design?
MB: NYC is a major source of inspiration, and being a native I suppose I soaked it up from an early age. It's a chic, but also edgy city where people push the envelope with fashion everyday. With that being said, your bag has to be practical, often taking you from day to night. Botkier celebrates that.
IHH: Tell me all about your shoe line - how is it going since it launched a few years ago?
MB: Shoes have been amazing for us and we'll continue the collection again in 2013. Botkier is also working on some amazing collabs - like a Swatch watch due out in the fall. There are others that I would love to talk about, but can't just yet.
IHH: With Mother's Day quickly approaching, what are some items from Botkier that would be great for mom? And what's on your personal "wish" list?MB: The Valentina satchel or shoulder bag in the new colors - just out this week - are perfect for Mother's Day. On my personal wish list? Anything made by our kids always tops the list, while a little luxury from my hubby only makes it that much sweeter. I like the element of surprise!
[Photo Credit: Botkier.com]