Jackie CawthraThe Spring has been a very busy time for us here at Purse Blog. And as we are lucky enough to work with fabulous designers and brands, there is one thing that I continue to notice; it is a busy time for them as well. Come to think of it, I can’t really pin-point a lull when it comes to fashion. Designers are always working on upcoming seasons, promoting current seasons and trying to stay innovative.

Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to the lovely and gracious Jackie Cawthra of Belen Echandia. Commonly referred to as BE, this brand has a huge following over at the Purse Forum. It comes as no surprise since Jackie is as involved in her line and her supporters as just about any designer I’ve met. Jackie’s constant attention to detail, dedication to her brand, and most admirable, dedication and attention to her supporters has made the brand what it is today. As you read through the interview, I am sure you will see what I mean.

Before you get started, one amazing teaser: starting tomorrow, you can help us design a one-of-a-kind Belen Echandia handbag. That’s right we’re teaming up with Belen Echandia to bring you an exclusive Purse Blog/Purse Forum handbag! AMAZING!!!

Click here to read the interview!

  • Maria Perez

    Belen Echandia has great handbags! I love Jackie´s designs.

    I cant read the interview, I hope the link can be fixed soon, thanks.

  • http://www.purseblog.com/ Shannon Mahoney

    Should be all set now! Sorry about that!

  • http://www.purseblog.com/ Vlad Dusil

    Just fixed the link, sorry for the confusion!

  • tamara

    the website really needs work. It’s too “bubble gum” for such expensive handbags.

  • Cindy

    Jackie’s handbags are awesome.

  • Sarah Schwebet

    The website is horrid. For such expensive bags there are too many without images which has been the case for more than a year. It is not user friendly at all, especially the supposedly new and improved bespoke section. Jackie is very lovely but many of us who used to be customers are no longer buying because there are issues that need to be addressed before we return.

  • Maria Elena

    Thanks so much for the wonderful interview! I loved learning more about Jackie and her amazing handbags.

  • Toni

    I’m an avid fan of Jackie and her handbag designs. Her attention to customer service is impeccable! During the holidays, the Belenistas at the BE Forum organised their first Holiday RAOK. Jackie generously contributed to the spirit of gift giving by randomly selecting and sending to several lucky recepients her newly launched “Protect Me”. Name me one designer who is personally involved with her customers/followers? I own several of her handbags and plan to purchase more in the future.

  • Ladyee Boutique

    Such cute well made bags. I MUST have one. :)+

  • mc

    Jackie and her team provide exceptional customer services. She is innovative with her ideas, she keeps it fresh and interesting.

    I do agree the website could do with an overhaul but understand it could be a cost cutting measure by doing it in house.

    I see potential in her bags too but would like a little more luxury in the final details of her bags, particularly the hardware.

    It’s great to see BE thriving, congrats Jackie and team.

  • Janet

    I think the article is great, and I am glad to see a female entrepreneur making it. But did she really need to put all South American designers down to make her point? Italy is great, but the bags should speak for themselves without resorting to bashing whole countries.

  • Anne Byrnee

    ITA with Janet. BE’s CEO clearly feels the competition that South American designers such as Ignes are giving her. As far as customer service while she has many loyal fanatics many others have moved on to other companies due to issues with mixups in linings, leathers and quality control issues. What makes it worse is that as soon as someone posts anything negative, and true, right away everyone is all over her, even the moderators, when Jackie comes on the site to complain or say she is upset. I have had issues with almost every BE bag I bought and frankly in my opinion they are overated and overpriced. I have moved on and will not be buying from BE ever again.

    Furthermore, yes there are many other designers who interact with their clientele. Granted not Karl Lagerfeld or Miuccia Prada for example, but I personally know of at least two others, one of whom is based in Uruguay, who give the same, if not better customer service whose bespoke bags are amazing, whose leather selection is phenomenal, who truly allows bespokes without too much of a surcharge, free delivery and free returns if a customer is unhappy and at a lower price point. I can’t wait to order my first bag from t his company.

    So that’s why the South American bashing. It is not nice.

  • Merve

    I have to agree the site is so tacky it looks like a gossip mag.

  • Elizabeth

    Nice interview and I am happy for her success, but I am not sure why South American leathers and brands had to be put down either. I have bags from BE and from two other South American makers- all three have high and low points. I don’t think that negativity towards South American brands was necessary. There are also other companies that offer bespoke services too, as Anne pointed out.

  • Maryann

    I absolutely love the BE bags and Jackie is a sweetheart. I love the fact that she communicates directly with me if I have any questions about my bag.

    I laud her spirit to leave a drab career (for her) to follow her passion. I have always heard sayings that appeared cliche such as, “Do what you love and success will follow.” Well, Jackie is living proof of this.

    Cheers to her!

  • Like Free Shipping

    Thanks for the valuable information!