After years of hard work, dedication, and lots and lots of encouragement, I was excited to celebrate the launch of Chau Sáenz ’s first handbag on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in San Francisco.
My good friend, and founder of the wildly successful Bay Area restaurant chain, Bun Mee, Denise Tran graciously hosted the event where friends, family, teachers, and fans all came together to raise a toast to the launch. To say it was an extra special evening is an understatement.
“It was a night I will never forget and it felt amazing to step back and really enjoy this milestone on my designer journey.”
I have always had this dream of going to Paris and fully immersing myself in a leatherworks class. But it was totally not feasible at the time to run off to France for six months! My husband was in grad school, I had a preschooler, and I was the sole breadwinner.
It was after talking with Denise one day that I knew without a doubt that I should revisit the idea of a leatherworks class to fully understand the ins and outs of the business. Denise was telling me how she took a breadmaking class to figure out if she wanted to make her own bread in-restaurant for Bun Mee or source out. I knew it was time to take the leap and sign up for a class.
After researching a little, I found that not only was there a leatherworks school, Amblard Leaher Atelier, in San Francisco but it was taught by a Hermes leather artisan, Beatrice Amblard.
My teachers Beatrice and her daughter Amelie were so encouraging and I came up with some unique designs during my time in school. Without their help I wouldn't have the confidence or the knowledge that I do today to say,
“This is what I want. This is how I see it and this is what I'm going to do.”
I want to give a huge thank you to my husband, Joseph, because without him I wouldn’t be here. About a decade ago I said I wanted to design a bag. We lived in this tiny apartment in Seattle at the time and he was a student pursuing his PhD and he said that one day it would be my turn to pursue my thing. I always had faith that he believed in me and I kept that faith.
I’ve always been a strong believer in the phrase, ‘it takes a village’ and that was never more apparent then on Sunday night. Seriously, I couldn’t have done any of this without the support and love of so many people from all aspects of my life. Whether you were there at the launch party or not, please know know that your words of encouragement, your ears, your shoulders all mean more than you know during this journey.
So thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being a part of my journey. It means more than you could ever know!