Sarah started designing handbags as gifts for friends and family. The bags received so much attention that she began selling them at trunk shows, in between raising her children, Annie and Will. Soon, stores began to call and Sarah realized there was a business opportunity. . . but, says Sarah, “I knew I did not want to manufacture overseas. With fond memories of knitting with my mom and grandmother, I decided to approach the Activities Director at The Redwoods Senior Retirement Community, in Northern California, to see if they would post a sign-up sheet for knitters interested in working with me. The response was overwhelmingly positive and I soon found myself with a whole team of amazing knitters, who named themselves The Purlettes +1.
The Purlettes now hand knit every one of our bags and they are the backbone of my company. They love the work and I love them! I know that this is a unique business model that can do good on so many levels.”
As Kay, who just turned 98 said, “I never dreamed I could be part of something so fun at this stage of my life. I just love Sarah and I love Sarah Oliver handbags.”