We had the good fortune of connecting with Nicole Lassiter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nicole, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Honestly I never intended to start a business! I was diagnosed with several rare and debilitating autoimmune diseases which derailed my life entirely. I went from being a very active person to bedridden for most of a year. After seeing endless specialists and dozens of painful, grueling tests, I had definitive diagnosis with no available treatments or therapies. It was a dark time emotionally for me. Not knowing what to do or even who I was (without being able to contribute to my family, friends and society) weight heavily on my mind. I’ve always loved creating and designing. I started with making custom boxes and it organically rolled into the making of my first handbag! I couldn’t get enough of it! I spent every day creating bags which I donated to be sold for charity. It turned into my only form of therapy! My business has truly saved my life and reinvigorated my spirit! It gives me purpose and allows me to give back once again! I donate a portion of all sales to charities such as Arthritis Foundation, Be an Angel, Dan Pastorini Charity and more!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
What makes CNL handbags so different from the rest is the Glamour, Quirky Styles and affordable prices! On many occasions, I’ve had people suggest that I raise my prices but I refuse! I want EVERY woman, on ANY budget, to know and feel glamorous and unique. I’m more likely to give bags away than make any profit at all. It brings an unexplainable joy to my heart when I see my beautiful ladies-clients carry my bags! I get pictures of clients from all over the country with my bags which affords me the feeling of traveling with them even when I’m unable to leave my house!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My Husband James has been the hero in my life! He’s taken care of me when I was too ill to move and has financially given me the freedom and resources to pursue my passion project and Business! I’m a lucky woman and thank God for sending a true Angel on earth to be everything I didn’t realize I’d need!