New Handbag Manufacturer Shows Plenty of Heart

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More than just a provider on high-end hand-sewn handbags and travel bags with a whole lot of style, manufacturer Laga Designs International promotes rebuilding efforts in Indonesia by donating a huge portion of proceeds from sales to the area and its people.

With the coming of spring, our minds naturally turn to fresh new looks and fashion trends. We want to know what’s hot and what’s not, and we put time aside to find the right accessories and handbags to match each new outfit. Fortunately, there’s a new handbag manufacturer in town -- Laga Designs International -- that recently hit the market running with two lines of quality handmade handbags and one travel bag line from Indonesia that offer as much eye appeal as they do form and functionality.

Buyers everywhere have begun to snap up the handbags for reasons beyond fashion sense. First, with more than 30 handbag and travel bag styles to choose from, the lines offer lots of options. More important, however, is that a portion of the proceeds from every handbag purchase goes to help the tsunami victims of Banda Aceh (pronounced A - CHEY) in Sumatra, Indonesia. The latter is a story of hope, help and healing for the people of Banda Aceh, and a tale of a path less taken for Laga founders Roy and Louise Van Broekhuizen.

What started as a short-term assignment to distribute funds donated by members of the church to those hit hardest by the devastating tsunami event a month earlier turned into an ongoing personal effort for Roy and Louise, who created Laga Designs International as a way to continue helping the victims of the tsunami-ravaged country. It was following their initial visits to Banda Aceh when the Van Broekhuizens decided that manufacturing high-quality handbags could help them help the tsunami victims on an ongoing basis.

“We began manufacturing handbags after I had made several visits the tsunami-torn area of Banda Aceh,” explains Roy. “We were asked by Pastor Rick of Saddleback Church [Lake Forest, Calif.] to lead volunteer efforts in Banda Aceh in January 2005. We didn’t know the trip would put us on a path to a lifelong mission, but it has become our personal goal to help the people hardest hit by the tsunami to rebuild their lives.”

The Van Broekhuizens put their money where their mouths are, making regular visits to the Banda Aceh area to work side by side with the locals to build homes and care for the sick and needy. Currently, Roy and Louise are in Indonesia on an extended tour of the area, lending much needed helping hands to the Indonesian people.

“The devastation left behind in the region of Banda Aceh continues to be heart breaking,” says Louise, who finds it difficult to hold back tears whenever she speaks about the people there. “They are still rebuilding and need a lot of help. In our manufacturing facility, we employ 20 women currently and will hire more as we grow. We want to provide a new life for the people of Banda Aceh. We cannot give them back the loved ones they lost, but we can do a lot to help them rebuild their area’s infrastructure as we help them rebuild their lives and livelihoods.”

To read the whole story behind the creation of the company and how Roy and Louise hope to change the world of the tsunami victims … one handbag at a time … visit Learn:

  • Who makes all the handbags and why – All Laga Design International handbags are handmade by the local island people of Indonesia. It is the hope of Roy and Louise that the memory of what happened to these gentle people on December 26, 2004 will remain in the hearts of those around the world so that work to rebuild their lives can continue.
  • More about Roy and Louise van Broekhuizen – A former VP of International Business Development for Online Trading Academy and owner of several businesses, Roy has partnered with wife Louise to create a truly unique and charitable handbag company.

  • What’s so different about Laga Designs International – Aside from manufacturing beautiful, high-quality, one-of-a-kind handmade handbags, the company was formed to provide employment and income for those who lost their livelihoods as a result of the tsunami disaster. By hiring and training local victims, Roy and Louise hope to help the people of Indonesia restore their economy and infrastructure.

To learn how a simple handbag purchase can help support the victims of the tsunami and to view Laga’s product lines, visit To schedule an interview with Roy and/or Louise, contact Sandra McGinty at 949.291.2265.

About Roy and Louise Van Broekhuizen

Born in Jakarta, Indonesia, in 1948, Roy fled Indonesia in 1957 to Holland, immigrated to the US (Portland, OR) in 1961 on a soccer scholarship from Lewis & Clark College. Simultaneously, he pursued entry into the music business as a professional guitar player. His musical dreams were realized in the early 1970s, as he toured with Ike and Tina Turner, and opened for Jimi Hendrix and other groups. He then moved on to the business world, starting a number of import/export/international trade businesses (exporting American products to SE Asia), as well as a 300-seat restaurant, a catering business, a construction company, and a mortgage business in Southern California. Managing a number of large operations, Roy became one of the first day traders in the world in June 1997, before eventually being named VP of Sales and Marketing for Online Trading Academy, where he taught teaching people how to trade via special educational seminars.

Louise Van Broekhuizen was born in The Hague, Holland, in 1955, immigrating to Pasadena, Calif. in 1961, where she eventually attended Torrance High School and El Camino Community College. She co-owned a variety of businesses and became involved in the mortgage loan business, where she was responsible for processing and underwriting mortgage loans for her own mortgage company (Harvest Mortgage Inc.) as well as DiTech, Consumer Portfolio Services and First Bank. Louise is a very organized, detailed and focused individual, traits that come in pretty handy working alongside Roy in the tsunami area of Banda Aceh, importing handbags and other products from Indonesia.

About Laga Designs International Handbags

Laga offers two distinct styles of handbag, no two the same aside from quality manufacturing practices. techniques. Delightfully distinctive, Laga handbags offer something for everyone in style and functionality. Laga is currently accepting applications from those interested in becoming Laga Handbag Consultants on a part-time or full-time basis here in the United States. Laga is also looking for good party hostesses, distributors, and volunteers to assist with day-to-day operations of the company. For more information or to apply, please contact Roy or Louise by phone at 714.623.3671 or 714.623.3672.

For more information, contact:

Sandra K. McGinty, Public Relations Director



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Sandra Mcginty
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