If you’ve ever searched tirelessly for a laptop carrier that didn’t make you look like you’re trying to be a college student, or like you had to tote around your man’s briefcase, then Tiffany Anisette is a lady you need to know. The perky entrepreneur’s B.A.G. (Business Active Girl) handbag on wheels buttons up your tech with with cheery, feminine colors that still let the world know you mean business.
In addition to her growing line and direct-sales network, Anisette is also an active youth mentor and life coach, specializing in helping people focus on their goals. Her Diamond Movement promotes daily affirmations along with her biographical novel, where Tiffany explains how she overcame horrifying situations in childhood and went on to inspire others.
We talked with Tiffany Anisette about her creative B.A.G. line, the ins and outs of building an accessories company, and the ways she applies her own best mentoring and life advice to prosper. Read on…
You created the B.A.G. after finding out about the pain caused by carrying heavy bags via the massage therapy business that you owned. What was the process of making that idea into a reality?
Tiffany Anisette: I began to research the type of bag I had in my mind to create. Because I didn’t know how to draw or sew, I started connecting with people who knew how to do what I didn’t know how to do. My idea was transformed to a piece of paper, and then I sent that drawing to a bag manufacturer to create the initial samples. After receiving my samples, I sent the drawing to some other manufacturers, and the company who created the best bag based on my design is who I placed an order with for production.
How many designs do you currently have, and do you intend on expanding the line?
TA: I currently have three designs of the B.A.G on Wheels, and have since expanded to smaller leather handbags. I am working on re-launching the original B.A.G, because of the customer demand of the original style.
What are some of the challenges thus far in the accessories business? How have you worked to get past them?
TA: The major challenge I have found is working with manufacturers. I have worked with several, some get it right and some don’t. This process requires continuous improvements. I am now more selective on which project I give to different manufacturers. I have learned that each manufacturer specialize in a particular craft. Some have excellent craftsmanship with handbags, and others luggage.
Your work as a life coach must bring a lot of interesting people and stories to your door. What is your favorite thing about it?
TA: My favorite thing about being a life coach is seeing clients move from “stuck to start”. I consider myself the catalyst to push individuals past their comfort zones. Most people have ideas, but have no idea on how to begin or what resources they need to launch.
You also minister to young people, particularly preteens and teens. What are some common issues or concerns you’ve seen in young girls today that you focus on in your mentorship?
TA: A lot of teen girls that reach out to me usually suffer from low self-esteem and depression. Many of them have been sexually abused at an early age, which has caused them to experience these emotions. My focus is finding ways to help them forgive to move past the hurt. I also make them dig deep within to pull out the dreams they once had as a small child, while encouraging them that they are worth it and their past doesn’t have to be a reflection of their present or future.
Do you have a big success story you can share about one of your clients or mentees?
TA: Yes, I had an opportunity to coach a seamstress who was trying to figure out how to make more money doing what she loved. I encouraged her to reach out to the local colleges in her area and offer sewing classes as a new course. She loved the idea, but had doubts of her qualifications to present to the college.
I convinced her that she didn’t need to present qualifications on something she already knew how to do. I explained to her that what she knew how to do was a gift, and it was nothing a book could have given her that her experiences hadn’t. She presented it to the Continuing Education Department of the College, and has been there for the last five years. They have since given her two campuses to offer the course.
How do you balance all of your business and philanthropic efforts with every day life and family? Do you have any tips you can share for others to maintain balance?
TA: I am able to balance my everyday life and family through prayer and meditation. If you have a foundation that can help you stay grounded, everything else that you do will be easy.
The best tip I can share on how to maintain balance is find something that calms you and focus on one thing at a time. I don’t overwhelm my thoughts with things to do. I compartmentalize each activity based on the time frame it needs to be completed.
Do you have goals to expand your work in fashion and accessories?
TA: I will continue to create beautiful leather handbags for my customers. The only other expansion at this time is to create entrepreneurs to sell the Tiffany Anisette Brand. I currently have young ladies who have started their own handbag business with Tiffany Anisette International as Independent B.A.G Consultants. They buy in and receive their business kit that includes two handbags, a wallet, business cards, and brochures. My youngest B.A.G Consultant is 15-years-old.
If you could go back and give your 18-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be?
TA: My advice would be don’t let fear stop you. You will never know what you can or cannot do if you never try.
What do you want people to know most about you as a woman at this stage of your life and career?
TA: As a woman that wears many titles, I would like people to know that I love helping them achieve their dreams and goals. I believe that we all have enough of something to give back, whether it is wisdom, knowledge, a contact, or advice. It is my responsibility to give.