{Trendy Talks} Jenny Smiley from Barrington Gifts

This week I am so happy to be chatting with Jenny from Barrington Gifts! I am sure most of you have heard of Barrington, but if you haven’t it is a brand that sells customized bags and accessories. I personally haven’t bought anything from Barrington, but I have quite a few things on my wishlist that I hope to purchase soon!


1. How did
Barrington Gifts begin?

Barrington Gifts was born out of the phrase, “necessity is
the mother of invention”. 23 years ago, founders Gil Sheehan and David Gowdey
perceived a need in the marketplace for high quality, customizable gifts.
Originally founded as a supplier for corporations and sports properties,
Barrington become known as the high end gift provider for top tier brands like
Ritz-Carlton, DELL, The PGA Tour, The Masters, The NBA and the Southeastern
Conference.  What allows Barrington Gifts
to provide such customization and quality is that they own and operate a
boutique factory in China, under American management. Their quality workmanship
led to opportunities to private label for big names like Neiman Marcus, Peter
Millar, Isaac Mizrahi and Tommy Bahama. After many years of success, Barrington
decided to take on another angle of their business. Barrington launched a new consumer
line of customized and personalized bags and accessories, available on
barringtongifts.com and in select retail stores. The standout offering is
Barrington’s Gameday section, a one-stop place to find products in school
colors (100+ Division I schools and counting) for the fashion forward fan.

2. Where does
the name Barrington Gifts come from?

When our
company was founded, our owners knew the name needed to be synonymous with
luxury and refinement. Inspired by a potential trip overseas, they happened
upon the name of a small bed and breakfast in the English countryside called
Barrington House. The name resonated with them, and they lovingly began
referring to the fledgling company as Barrington.  For 23 years, Barrington Gifts has celebrated
the art of gift giving, and has cultivated the sense of sophistication that our
founders originally envisioned.

3. Why should
someone choose a Barrington bag over a similar bag?

There are
plenty of totes out there on the market, that’s for sure! What makes Barrington
Gifts different is the customization. We have over 7,000 product, color and
pattern combinations customers can create. Once they add their initials, the
bag becomes truly unique. Plus, customers can feel good about supporting a
company that owns and runs a socially responsible factory in China, where they
pay above market wages and support local orphanages that serve special needs

4. Where do
you get inspiration for new projects from?

Barrington Gifts’ goal is to offer functional basics that feature customizable patterns, colors
and personalization. I get inspiration for new products by listening to
customer feedback and talking to people about their needs. Our colors and
patterns are inspired by our travels, upcoming trends we see on the horizon and
mental snapshots of everyday experiences that can become something beautiful.

5. Which is
your personal favorite bag? Why?

My favorite
bag is The St. Anne Tote in the black geometric pattern with my initials. I
think it’s the most under-utilized pattern we offer. The detail makes it more
sophisticated and grownup looking, perfect to bring to work or church when a
bolder, brighter pattern might not fit in quite as well. Although it’s not a
solid, it almost functions like one because the pattern and colors are so
balanced allover the bag. Of course, I love the bright, bold prints too. I carry
those to the gym, the pool and the beach. I love having options!

6. Is there
anything fun coming up soon that we need to keep watch for?

Yes! We will
be releasing our new fall color options on the site, as well as launching
several new patterns for all of the bags currently on the site. We just added
The Savannah Zippered Tote, which has a top zip closure and an exterior
zippered pocket. It’s medium sized tote that works well as an everyday bag.

7. Where do
you hope to see Barrington Gifts at in 5 years?

I would love
to see Barrington with an expanded and mature accessories line, with various
seasonal pattern collections. I would be interested in collaborating with other
brands to create curated, limited run collections. We would also like to be sold
in strategic retail stores throughout the country. Finally, we hope to be an
international brand, sold in North America, EU all over the world.

8. How can we
stay up to date with Barrington Gifts? (social media, newsletters, etc)

You can stay up
to date with Barrington by following all of our social media channels: Instagram,
Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr (see links below)

What is your favorite item from Barrington Gifts? Share in the comments below!

xo, Scarlett