Another wonderful interview from 2012 with my friend and fellow entrepreneur, Janette Simone…enjoy
C Dyann: Hello Janette and thank you for joining me.
Janette: Hello, it’s great to be able to talk with you.
C Dyann: The first thing I noticed about your handbags is that they are incredible. Did you create them?
Janette: Thank you. That is usually the first response people have when they see my handbags. I collaborate with a designer to create exquisite, wearable art handbags using goat-hair and leather. Each handbag has its own unique, individual characteristics and distinguishing patterns that enhance the natural harmony of colors and markings; that means each bag is one-of-a-kind; no two are alike. This ensures exclusivity which I feel women go to great lengths to seek out and maintain.
C Dyann: Tell us about your company, Simone and KoZ.
Janette: Although not being directly involved with the fashion industry, I chose to take a quantum leap and leave behind a lucrative job in Australia to ‘give birth’ to Simone & KoZ. Really, this was out of years of frustration with the mass-produced handbag offerings found at malls. I recognized a niche in the handbag accessory market where I could offer today’s trendy women a completely unique, exotic, beautifully crafted animal hide handbag that is on the ‘edge’ and isn’t available to the masses.
C Dyann: How passionate are you about fashion and design?
Janette: Fashion is all around us and like it or not, fashion defines us. I have a propensity for exotic animal prints and feel they contribute to my personal fashion sense and self-expression. Handbags are an essential component to any woman’s wardrobe and many women own several handbags (and shoes). Women’s purses are uniquely personal statements. I gain a lot of satisfaction providing women with an ‘inspired’ handbag that combines the traditional with the outrageous – adding a cheeky twist to their usual handbag accessory. I love encouraging my friends to discover their wild side by accessorising with animal prints. Individuality and exclusivity is really an important factor for me in handbag accessories. I wanted to offer a handbag that is not only a conversation piece, but that is also functional and would accommodate a woman’s lifestyle needs season after season.
C Dyann: Who are your favorite designers?
Janette: Of course that’s always a tough question to answer… but I’ll start off with Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, Oscar de la Renta, Givenchy, Louis Vuitton – all have encouraged me on many levels with their personal history, creativity and beautifully crafted handbags throughout many generations.
C Dyann: Who/what inspires you?
Janette: I find Beverly Feldman to be very inspirational. I love her motto of ‘Too Much Is Not Enough’. I completely relate to her when she says: ‘In life, you can sit and wait for things to happen, or you can get up and make them happen’. I’m about making things happen!
C Dyann: What do you consider your favorite accessory?
Janette: I’m a sentimental woman at heart, so this is a very personal item – my mother’s wedding ring – which she gave to me when she died – it has not left my finger in 30 years.
C Dyann: Sentimental with impeccable taste, you sound like someone who has a lot to share with the fashion world for years to come. Thank you so much for spending time with us!
Janette Simone and her company Simone and KoZ can be found at:
Her email address is: