Getting to Know Susanna Chow

MEET THE FOUNDER

Susanna Chow, creator and founder. Photo by Carly Tumen.

Susanna Chow, creator and founder. Photo by Carly Tumen.

Hi, everyone!

Welcome to our blog! We are so excited to use this space to share our brand stories, behind-the-scenes, and styling tips with you, our beloved supporters!

We want you to get to know us better, so we are dedicating the first post to featuring our #girlboss, the creator and founder of the brand, Susanna Chow! Because without her, we really wouldn’t be here in the first place.

Well, to be exact, without Susanna’s mom – whom we like to refer to as Mama Chow – everything we’ve created thus far would not have been possible. In fact, Mama Chow is Susanna’s main source of inspiration to launch this brand! She started beading in Chinatown way before they became trendy accessories; really, she’s one of the OG’s in the world of beaded bags! Mama Chow is also the superwoman leading the team of talented women making our beaded bags today in our Chinatown studio. And yes, we actually know every single artisan who works with us!

“At my core, I think I've always had a passion for creation. When I was a teenager, I would literally rip off the old wallpaper in my house and repaint every room. My parents thought I had lost my mind but I always had a vision of what I liked, and I didn’t stop until I found it. And if I couldn’t find it, I’d make it myself.” – SUSANNA CHOW

Born in Manhattan and raised in Long Island, Susanna developed a passion for fashion as an intern at Harper’s Bazaar Magazine. She later transitioned into strategic marketing roles at Ogilvy & Mather and other prestige beauty brands, but her love for fashion and keen eye for beauty always remained strong.

Read on to learn more about Susanna and the brand!

Susanna Chow with Mama Chow, who inspired Susanna to create this brand, handcraft each bag in New York City. Photo by Carly Tumen.

Susanna Chow with Mama Chow, who inspired Susanna to create this brand, handcraft each bag in New York City. Photo by Carly Tumen.

The inspiration behind the brand.

My mom learned how to bead as a young girl in Hong Kong and immigrated to New York City at a young age. She went on to graduate from college, earning her master’s degree while working a full-time job at a top financial bank (all while simultaneously raising three children). She taught me the true meaning of hard work, dedication, and being an independent woman.

After she retired several years ago, she began to volunteer at a senior citizen home in Chinatown where she taught people how to bead. As soon as I saw what she was doing, I knew I needed to help share her designs with the universe because they were too beautiful and truly unique! That was also when she taught me how to bead, as well.

More than just an accessories brand, Susanna Chow is where creativity meets devotion and craftsmanship. We, as a brand, recognize the lack of care and attentiveness in the current industry where fast fashion dominates the majority of the market. That’s why we are dedicated to only offering products that are handcrafted with love and attention to detail in New York City, where everything started.

“I think that's an important trait my mom and grandmother instilled in me at a very early age – to work hard and never settle for anything.” – SUSANNA CHOW

We also wanted to launch this brand with the intent to help others, namely orphan children. My grandmother lost her mother at a very young age, and she always reminded me how grateful she was to have people around her that looked after her and loved her. I wanted to do something for orphan children that would make my grandmother proud if she were still alive today.

One of our artisans proudly showcasing our beaded bags. Photo by Carly Tumen.

One of our artisans proudly showcasing our beaded bags. Photo by Carly Tumen.

About the talented women making Susanna Chow bags.

Right now, we have three other women making our bags with us – but my mom and I still hand make the bags ourselves in Chinatown, too! The women we work with genuinely love to create these bags. The crafting of the bags is a meticulous process since they are each made with more than 1,400 beads!  

One of our artisans, Mui, is a woman who immigrated from China. She doesn't speak English very well, and due to an unfortunate leg injury, she wasn’t able to commute to her previous day time job. However, this job offers her a way to stay at home while still financially supporting her daughter who is still in school.

Here at Susanna Chow, we are strong believers of empowering women in our local community, offering a sustainable income, while still allowing their artistic skills to shine through our products!

Describe the Susanna Chow bag owner.

Our original designs embody the characteristics of a modern woman who values timeless fashion and versatility. Having worked at global beauty brands such as MAC Cosmetics and NARS Cosmetics, Susanna understands that true beauty is derived from one’s individuality and confidence.

The Susanna Chow bag owner is bold, poised, and chic!

She likes to mix elements of soft femininity with a touch of sophisticated edge. She doesn't strive to be like everyone else and seeks for expressions of individuality.

She is not afraid to be herself and goes against the norm. She is always on the go, and therefore looks for a bag that can be used for any daytime or nighttime occasion. She likes to have fun and not take herself too seriously but appreciates and values design and minimalistic accents.

Her style is understated, yet refined and forward-thinking!

Susanna’s current favorite, the Rosie bag (above). Photo by Ashley Gallerani.

Susanna’s current favorite, the Rosie bag (above). Photo by Ashley Gallerani.

Susanna’s current favorite from the Spring 2019 collection.

My favorite bag right now is our Rosie bag. I named this bag after Mama Chow, Rosella, because she is the inspiration behind this brand- all her friends call her Rosie. The Rosie bag is so playful yet chic. It’s versatile enough to be dressed down for a casual weekend brunch, and dressed up for special occasions like a wedding.

This bag takes more than 20 hours to make by hand. Like all of our other bag designs, Rosie is a pure Susanna Chow creation and we are so proud of it! The pattern is so vibrant, just like my mom. It has a very understated elegance that really speaks to and embodies the essence of our brand.

Thank you for stopping by our blog!

 xoxo,

The SC Team

Susanna Chow