Jovanna Robinson, A WBC Success Story
Monday, December 19, 2016
In 2012, Jovanna Robinson, a graduate of the Columbus College of Art and Design, made the decision to follow her passion and design her own brand of luxury handbags, Tohni Bekka. Three short years later, demand for her products has soared, and Robinson’s advertisements are now visible in editions of Vogue around the world.
Robinson had the desire, work ethic and skills as well as reactions of “shock, awe, and amazement” when she told curious customers that the bags were of her own design and craftsmanship. Robinson knew if she continued to improve her technique and worked at growing her business, she would inevitably succeed. Of course, there were some roadblocks; Robinson soon discovered that even the most beautifully crafted handbag doesn’t sell itself. Without proper branding and outreach, her works of art would continue to sit on the shelves of her workshop.
In seeking help, Robinson consulted ECDI’s Women’s Business Center of Ohio, which linked her with a marketing expert from its Professional Advisory Network (PAN). Robinson’s PAN advisor provided her with personalized marketing assistance for her business, and all costs were included with her WBC membership. With the expert advice of her advisor, Robinson was able to develop and market her brand, not only gaining customers in her home city of Columbus, but growing a much broader appeal.
With orders for Tohni Bekka handbags now pouring in from all across the globe, Robinson has remained hard at work in her cozy Columbus workshop. In her spare time, she has committed to donating small clutch bags to young girls who are patients at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “The clutch bags come in fun, colorful prints filled with little goodies for precious little girls to play with during their hospital stays, whether for a few days or the long haul,” she says.
With help from ECDI’s Women’s Business Center, Jovanna Robinson received the marketing assistance needed to grow and prosper and was able to continue her passion for designing handcrafted, quality handbags, while finding a way to give back to the community she holds dear to her heart.