Diversity Woman Magazine

WIN 2018

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

Issue link: https://diversitywoman.epubxp.com/i/927951

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10 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N W i n t e r 2 0 1 8 d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m decided to create her own. Forget plain totes: these bags radiate confident cou- ture, while acknowledging that women need a place to stow goods even when not in the most stylish places. Hence, her line includes an Italian nylon gym bag (with venti- lated shoe compartment and laundry bag so you can enjoy an "après burpee" Frappuccino) and a leather backpack tote that can be adjusted to be worn crossbody or carried as a purse. Bonus: ose who loved Julie Andrews's never-ending inventory pulled from her carpetbag will appreciate that the back- pack is named Poppins. "Women do care about how the bag looks aesthetically and the way it's carried—whether our bags can be carried in different ways," says Lau. It's no surprise that Lau thrived in two different industries—banking and entrepreneurship—that are typically male dominated. Her youth in Singapore positioned her for success. "For school projects, I would always come out with an idea much crazier than what was expected of me," Lau says. "In middle school, I was interviewing CEOs of major corporations for my school project when ev- eryone else was sticking to their immedi- ate circle of family and friends." Now based in New York, she's focused on her rapidly growing company: "I live for the thrill of not knowing what tomorrow's challenge is going to be." Next J oanna Lau has never been one to wallow in the status quo. Even as a youngster, she prized standing out over fitting in. "I grew up in a family that always championed dreaming big," she says. Some businesspeople might rest after establishing a successful career as a banker, but Lau kept going. She's the founder, designer, and CEO of JEMMA, a chic handbag company that she started in January 2016. Originally concerned that she couldn't find a work bag that was both fashion- able and functional for the office, Lau Young Entrepreneur: Joanna Lau It's in the Bag Upfront > Because she couldn't find a bag both stylish and functional, Lau founded her own handbag company

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