(Article written for LAsThePlace.com)
Anne Harper created OMG Accessories with an emphasis on letting girls be girls while recognizing that kids are growing up faster than ever in our hyper-connected world. Besides being eye-catching, the bags are practical, too. Translucent bags are now required by some schools and for a good reason: they want to be able to see what students are bringing on campus.
The story of Anne Harper, founder of OMG Accessories, sounds like the premise of a TV show or movie; a woman cultivates relationships from her waitressing job to launch her own fashion company which becomes an overnight sensation. Like most great stories, there is more to it than that. For one thing, it didn’t happen overnight.
Harper determined at an early age that she wanted a career in fashion. She worked in a neighborhood restaurant for sixteen years, beginning at the age of fourteen and formed relationships with her customers. After studying fashion design in college, Harper spent 14 years working in the industry. She landed an internship at a handbag and accessories company which she parlayed into a full-time job as a head designer. When she recognized a major shift in the market, she decided the time was right to strike out on her own.
In 2009, Harper launched OMG Accessories out of her apartment using investment money from her past waitressing customers. The brand has enjoyed phenomenal success with major retailers such as Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Macy’s, and Kohl’s among others.
The fact that it didn’t happen overnight doesn’t make the story any less impressive.
Currently, the brand is unveiling 20 new styles of translucent bags featuring a panorama of colorful designs ranging from pink mohawk sporting unicorns to stylized llamas and kitties. Whimsical graphics populate the companies cosmetic bags, duffles, and backpacks, with animals both real and mythical being favorite motifs. OMG Accessories uses iridescent bursts of color and glitter to create youthful fashion statements that are compliant with school policies without being boring.
Harper mines the latest fashions and trends for inspiration. Social media allows designers to track what’s hot almost in real time. It’s an improvement over old-school research that is often out of date by the time products reach consumers. OMG Accessories is about discovering what resonates with girls and helping them to incorporate it into their own individual style.
A new shoe line will be arriving soon, but, it won’t be rushed. Harper says the expansion requires careful planning to ensure it meets the needs of the companies loyal customers. One thing is certain; OMG Accessories will employ the same dazzling designs in their shoe line that have already found favor with tweens, teens and young women who aspire to be both fun and fashionable.