Tuesday, April 13, 2010

CLEOBELLA: From Bali and Beyond

Fiona McCoss gets a handle on Cleobella

Take a beautiful couple from Southern California and send them around the world and you end up with un-parallel creations such as those of Cleobella. A headstrong duo of business-brains and raw artistic inspiration, Angela and Jim O’Brien are the co-founders of their new, “travel inspired,” quirky accessory label.

Having left their jobs to travel to the exotic corners of the world from Europe to the Far East, they have created a highly sought after, individual range of ladies handbags and accessories, most inspired by their stay in India. “It's a magical place,” says Angela. “The use of colors and jewels the women wear to adorn their body are so intriguing and inspiring. India is one of the few countries I've traveled to that is not influenced by American culture; their culture is so rich in tradition and history. With an open mind and open heart, you can't help but fall in love with India.”

With a profound belief in sustainability, the couple source their handcrafted products from Indonesia. “All of our handbags are 100% handmade in Bali. Cleobella works with small, family owned factories supporting the livelihood of foreign artisans.” As well as this, a percentage of Cleobella’s profit goes towards the international women’s charity, Care.

“I see Cleobella branching into other categories including home and ready to wear,” Angela admits — as well as expanding their gorgeous outlet of travel clutches, perfect for the fashionable jet setter, which can fit everything from a passport to coins and lipstick. “I also see Cleobella as a recognizable brand in the fashion industry.” We have to agree.