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Hardwear By Renee Inc.

American Made Since 2003

Renee Sonnichsen

Portland, Oregon
Our mission: to design a line of handbags that prove durability need not be dowdy, nor femininity fussy & fragile. That's Hardwear & that's you.
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Tell us about your business.

Launched in 2001, Hardwear By Renee is a handbag line specializing in contemporary handbags. The handbags are designed with atypical items such as hardware and recycled materials. The collection features a range of modern colors with a clean urban style. Based in Portland, Oregon, the company is owned and operated by Renee Sonnichsen, an artist and designer. Her business started when she sold her wedding dress to buy her first sewing machine. Then the purse frenzy started. First friends started commissioning handbags be made. Then art shows were a favorite weekend hobby to sell at. Today Renee continues striving to create a line of strong, sexy, and smart handbags that easily transition from day to evenings. Inspired by her vision of today's woman, the line of handbags proves durability need not be dowdy, nor femininity fussy and fragile. While continuing this mission, Renee hopes to find more boutiques across USA that appreciating US handmade crafted Hardwear handbags.

What makes your business stand out?

Hardwear By Renee Inc business was first started by selling at art fairs and handcrafted within portland oregon and has evolved over 10 years to a respected company that sells wholesale to over 300 boutiques across America. With a close relationship with the boutique owners, Renee offers personal customer service that leaves a smile. The Hardwear handbag design and tag line (Strong. Sexy. Smart) also set these handbags apart from other bags. By juxtaposing different textures and hardware mixed with creativity these handbags are so different, such a conversational starter, they continue to turn head of all ages of women and men too! Hardwear has received countless orders from husbands purchasing Hardwear handbags and gifting them to their wives/girlfriends. It's because men understood what the handbag was made from, they see the durability, function, and like the clean look. Their wives/girlfriends are thrilled too receiving a strong, sexy, and smart handbag.

What's the best business advice you've received?

Renee's mom has helped her the most. When Renee started her business, for the first year her mother Marita, came over very Thursday for 2 hours to teach her Quickbooks. She learned how to keep up the on the accounting, estimated taxes, invoices, and billings. Her mother taught her everything business related to continue a profitable business.
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Mark Your Calendar

  • NOMINATIONS END
    Aug. 31, 2015

    Final day for entering the Audience Choice Award competition.

  • VOTING ENDS
    Oct. 19, 2015

    Final day to cast your vote for your favorite makers.

  • WINNERS ANNOUNCED
    Oct. 23, 2015

    2015 Editors' Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.

    See past Award Winners
  • AMERICAN MADE SUMMIT
    Nov. 7, 2015

    Don’t miss our networking event and maker lecture series in New York City. Tickets are available now.

    Discover the American Made Summit

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