Hickory, NC (PRWEB) September 9, 2010
In a struggling economy where the longstanding furniture industry and supporting businesses have been forced to downsize and even close, one woman has made it her personal mission to put local people and companies displaced by overseas manufacturing back to work.
Karie Siciliano, founder and designer of KarieAlls designer handbags, is hoping to spark an economic revolution in Catawba County by developing emerging vertical markets for manufacturing.
An unlikely “Lord of Industry,” this wife and mother of three is well known for her generous volunteer work for area charities and schools. However, it’s her passion for design and sewing of beautiful creative handbags and the source of her materials that has the local Hickory business community, the state of North Carolina, and the fashion world at large taking note.
Many companies look oversees for inexpensive material and labor. Blessed with an eagle eye for utility, Karie recognized that the fabrics, hardware, industrial sewing machines and skilled labor required to produce her designer products were all readily available in her hometown of Hickory compliments of a failing furniture industry. The real challenges of making her vision a reality were lack of capital income, equipment and no prior experience owning and operating a business.
Like many women, however; Karie felt championed and inspired by Oprah after viewing an episode featuring women entrepreneurs. In 2007, with the blessing and support of her husband and family, she took a leap of faith and launched her company, “KarieAlls.”
Her concept is simple. She has designed a complete line of handbags varying in style, shape, color and size; but all with the same base structure, specifically designed to fit one uniform transferable bucket. This bucket allows women to quickly and easily transfer purse contents to the next KarieAll bag and makes bags collapsible for storage and travel. In addition to handbags, KarieAlls designer products include tree skirts, dog beds, baby blankets, pillows, throws and more.
Concerned about growing unemployment and the economic stability of the area, Karie saw an opportunity to reach out to the local business community and take advantage of exiting resources and available labor to grow her company.
After years of planning, designing prototypes, lining up equipment, securing manufacturing space and identifying talent, Karie Siciliano is realizing her dream of manufacturing designer handbags locally and marketing and distributing them globally.
“Furniture does not have to be our only legacy here in Hickory. My hope is that Industry leaders will keep an open mind. Together we can re-write our history and take control of our fate. Let’s use the products that we already own in a new way to provide a brighter and more economically stable future for all of us. It just takes a little hard work and a leap of faith.”
Karie’s company mission, “Change with Grace,” invites people to use their gifts and talents, especially now in their own communities to help others. She is personally volunteering with Safe Harbor Rescue Mission, an outreach program for women in Catawba County, who are attempting to rehabilitate back into society. The long-term goal of Karie’s involvement with these broken but courageous women is to improve their job skills, identify their unique gifts, and help them to develop the spiritual strength to “Change with Grace.”