Vol. XXIII Amanda Pearl

LIFE BRANDED….Amanda Brotman

Vol. 23 Amanda Pearl

Gifted in retail. Great investment in self. Devine Design.

Armed with a collection of vintage fabrics and beads gathered from her travels around the world, Amanda Pearl Brotman began constructing fait à la main evening bags out of her Greenwich Village apartment. The elegant, yet refreshingly quirky designs quickly turned into a collection inspired by antique jewelry, modern art, vintage travel posters and the fashion and culture of the Fifties and Sixties, officially launching in February of 2008.

The Amanda Pearl Jewels collection was launched for Fall 2009--a natural extension of the original line. Made from vintage chandelier crystals, semi-precious stones, pearls, shells and other natural materials, the Jewels collection was received with acclaim and welcomed many new fans to the brand. Around the same time, Amanda Pearl Bridal was born after many requests for one-of-a-kind commissions and what seemed to be a void in the category.

Amanda comes from along heritage of retail. Her late grandfather, Bernie Brotman, operated men's clothing stores in the state from the 1940s to the mid-80s.  Her father, Jeffrey Brotman, is co-founder and chairman of Costco Wholesale, the world's largest warehouse-club chain. Mother Susan was a buyer and sales-promotion director for Nordstrom, and brother Justin recently left a job managing a Simply Seattle store to start a new, as-yet-to-be-determined business. Should we say this a Innate Brand, Heritage Brand, or simply their DNA….

Though it may seem Amanda was a shoe in for a successful business she did have some reluctance.  After leaving the ballet in 1998, Amanda moved to New York to study art history at Barnard College. She then spent four years at Marc Jacobs, where she honed her design skills and managed production. In 2007, she helped fashion designer Erin Fetherston set up shop in New York. Striking out on her own, Brotman introduced Amanda Pearl at New York Fashion Week in February. She figures she's spent more than $50,000 getting the business up and running, relying on personal savings and a small inheritance. Husband Antoine Schetritt, a former boss in the residential mortgage-backed securities division of Banc of America Securities, helps with the finances and business strategy.

Her signature style, the Pearl, is ball-shaped with a bracelet handle of semiprecious stones or pearls.  Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman and Nordstrom are among the retailers she'd like to see selling her purses. However she understands, that retailers are reluctant to take on new designers amid a slowdown in consumer spending, preferring those with more predictable sales. The retailers are sticking with Brands they feel the consumer is familiar with and are less risky. Amanda Pearl, can be found at many high-end boutiques throughout the United States.  

Although Amanda’s prices range from $350 to $2,400. Her signature style, the Pearl, is ball-shaped with a bracelet handle of semiprecious stones or pearls.  She has also found a way to give back as part of unique designs and distinct looks. Amanda, offers handbags to auctions supporting causes that promote education, child welfare and particularly the environment. Some of the recent recipients include:Free Arts NYC, BeadforLife, P.S. Arts, New Yorkers for Children, Books for Kids, girls inc., The First TeeandWorld Wildlife Fund. In addition, Amanda, offers direct financial support to many of these charities.

With a heart of giving, after visiting Africa in the summer of 2008, she was inspired to help more animals, and created the Le Tout collection in the spirit of giving. This led to Amanda participating in Clutches for a Cause. She  created three deliciously wild clutches to help benefitWorld Wildlife Fund.

Have you ever thought what you would do if you received an inheritance or a payout giving to you unexpectedly? Would you allow it to help you support your dreams?  Amanda seemingly had the right DNA to support her desires and passion.  There are so many things that we receive innately, from our parents or environment. When considering your purpose in life remember to look around and study your inheritance, which may not always be monetary, but a huge payout nonetheless.  

Life Branded wants to help you succeed in fulfilling your passion and purpose. We understand that your Brand is tied to your DNA, it’s distinct and uniquely you….L+B.

Photos: Amanda Pearl, Oregon Live Research Credits: Luxist, Seattle Times, Amanda Pearl