Sheila Oviedo, boxing fan and contributor to The Grueling Truth and The Fight City, recently spoke with our founder, Jamie Lewis, over coffee.   Read the full article here.  Excerpts follow:

JLEW fits an emerging mold of local, sustainable companies that produce minimalist but functional products. They cater to multifaceted women with families, careers, hobbies. I dare say, this is not your mother’s handbag.

“Everyone who’s pretty successful believes in health and wellness, and invests in it. This is what this (bag) represents. It’s an investment in you,” Jamie says. “These active, high-earning women tend to have fast-paced lives. They travel a lot, they’re doing a lot of different things, their life is so busy they need something to make it more simple. So the idea is, here is a bag with all these different compartments (that can fit) shoes, laptop, change of clothes, hairdryer. It’s a personal assistant. You don’t have to change to 10 different bags.”

“I love strong women. I’ve had fight in me my entire life (like) fighting to get to Wall Street,” she says.

Jamie acknowledges that choosing athletes to represent a luxury brand has its risks. Women who are likely and can afford to buy a JLEW bag are unlikely to be found in fighting gyms, much less like getting punched in the face. In reality, JLEW athletes and customers run in different worlds that rarely collide.

“I know I’m not conforming with that choice and I’m owning what that means. I’m taking this huge risk,” she admits. “It would be so easy for me to show these models (from the JLEW brochure) and take the easy route. But I want to build a brand and not just a bag business. I’m not Kate Spade, I’m not Tory Burch. I’m multidimensional. I have a lot of messages to get out there basically.”