Seina Wedlick: Founder of Brysie Lane
Brysie Lane was founded by Silicon Valley Program Manager, Seina Wedlick. Seina’s goal? To provide women with an everyday bag that can evolve with every outfit change. With the mantra “One Bag, Many Looks” the brand allows women to express their personal style through genuine leather bags and interchangeable accessories.
The brand is a reflection of Seina’s personal and professional journey. Named after her children, Bryce and Sierra, Brysie Lane was created with the desire to streamline processes and make an everyday item practical for all occasions.
Learn more about Seina and her career journey in our interview with her below.
Our Interview with Seina Wedlick, Founder of Brysie Lane
Tell us about your professional journey. How did your career start, and what led you to found Brysie Lane? Did your jobs before Brysie Lane help prepare you for launching the brand?
I started my career in the tech industry and developed a wide range of skills that have been instrumental in the launch of Brysie Lane. I’ve learned to work well under pressure and against tight timelines, and so I’ve been able to pivot when we’ve faced setbacks or delays during manufacturing. I’ve also learned how to manage international teams successfully. Sometimes, when things seem overwhelming, I think of it as a complex project and treat it as such.
Why are you passionate about Brysie Lane? And what should people know about the company?
I’ve always wanted to design a fashion-forward handbag collection that is versatile and can adapt to various needs. In the past, before I started designing handbags, I would add personal touches to my bags, or I would end up leaving a favorite handbag at home simply to take another bag that paired better with my outfit. I kept thinking that there had to be a better way.
Many women want to accessorize their handbags to add individual flair or a quick makeover to match a wardrobe. This explains the trend of adding scarves to bags. Brysie Lane handbags are designed to accept a range of Brysie Lane accessories that easily attach to the bag. Add whimsy and romance to your bag with a flower, embrace the elegance of a classic leather bow, or live luxuriously with pearls.
I set out to make high fashion easy, accessible, and better for the environment. Traditionally, people spend a lot of money, buying a wide array of bags. This is unnecessary with our handbags. Instead of buying a whole new bag, you can give your bag a makeover with a new accessory (or two). Change the accessory—not the bag.
Walk us through first starting Brysie Lane. What were your biggest challenges with launching the brand? What was your first product?
I thought about creating Brysie Lane for quite a while before taking the jump and deciding to do it. In the past, I was always “too busy” and the timing never felt quite right. The first challenge was simply committing myself to start a company.
The biggest challenge in starting a fashion company was navigating the entire process. From handbag designs to vendors and suppliers—there is a lot to learn. I surrounded myself with people who had a lot of experience and success in the fashion industry, and I leveraged their expertise to ramp up quickly.
My first product was the Sonoma mini-tote. It is functional and fashionable, and is the perfect everyday bag.
Tell us about your product development and how you decide what products go into production?
When I first started working on the Brysie Lane Collection, I sketched a few pieces and then ultimately decided to start with the Sonoma Tote.
Being a new company, we wanted to focus on a few key pieces that we consider closet essentials. I think about the Brysie Lane woman and who she is. Where would she go? What is she off to do? What does she need to take along? Do I have a bag to fit that need? I love creating stories, and so the development process is a lot of fun for me.
I relish in the creative process, and I also always have a cup of mint tea with honey and a box of chocolates nearby!
Has the COVID-19 climate affected Brysie Lane – and how have you had to pivot during this time?
COVID-19 impacted the whole world, and businesses had to quickly adapt to deal with the effect of the pandemic.
Brysie Lane is traditionally a direct to consumer brand, so our business model was already primed for e-commerce. But we felt the pandemic’s adverse effect in other areas, like prolonged manufacturing and shipping schedules.
However, the pandemic also meant that people were spending more time online, which was a unique opportunity for brands like us to learn about our customers, and curate content to get them engaged
From your own experience, what are some challenges Black women entrepreneurs specifically face, and how can they overcome them?
Because of the Black Lives Matter movement and other similar initiatives, the world is paying more attention to, and being more inclusive of, minority-owned brands. There are more opportunities now because of this increased exposure. Brysie Lane has received a lot of support from people who want to see my brand succeed, and I’m grateful for all of it.
There’s still a lot of work to be done on equity, but I’m hopeful that this is a good start.
What does your day-to-day look like – and what do you love most about what you do?
Every day is different! One day I might be focused on designing a new accessory. On another day, I might be ironing out the details for the marketing plan. Being a new company, I have visibility in the entire process, and it is exciting to see the various aspects that come to life. There is a constant back-and-forth between the design, manufacturing, and business teams.
I have met so many interesting people along the way, and it is always such a warm feeling to get encouragement and support from other business owners.
What does success mean to you?
Success means developing Brysie Lane into the go-to brand for fashion-centric women.
Success means that our customers love their bags so much that they recommend them to their friends.
Success means that Brysie Lane women build their accessory collection, so they are always fashionable and always trendy while embracing a better fashion model for their budget and better for the environment.
Our company is successful when our customers are happy, and we’re having a positive impact on the world.
How do you balance time when it comes to family and business – while also taking care of yourself?
I have two young children, and sometimes it can be hard to find the best balance. I often spend extra hours working at night when they are tucked in bed, which works out great because it also aligns with various international time zones. These small victories really help to establish a sustainable balance.
Self-care is also important to me, and one of the wonderful things about being in Northern California is the wide selection of activities within a few hours. Whether that’s an afternoon of wine tasting in Napa, which is perfect with the Napa purse, or spending a day at the beach with my Calistoga tote packed full of towels and juice boxes, I often take the time to relax, rejuvenate, and come back to myself.
If you could go back and give yourself three pieces of advice when you first started your career – what would you tell yourself?
That’s an interesting question. I would encourage myself to trust my instincts more and to quickly pivot when new opportunities arise.
Secondly, I would take a deep breath and not sweat the small stuff. Occasional mishaps are a natural part of starting a company, but if you stick with it and react accordingly, everything works out great in the end.
Thirdly, I’d start even sooner than I did. Life is always going to be busy, and I just had to get out of my own way.
What single word or saying do you identify most with? Why?
Creativity! I believe people are multi-dimensional and are defined by many passions. For me, my creativity transcends a lot of my interests. Once I’m inspired, I identify what speaks to me and weave it into my brand, whether that’s through a design detail in the bag or by designing a new accessory.
What’s next for you and Brysie Lane?
I’m having a lot of fun with Brysie Lane, and I really enjoy the creative independence. We have a lot of exciting things in the works, and I am currently working on the next set of accessories.
I can’t wait to see where Brysie Lane goes next year.
Be sure to follow Seina Wedlick and Brysie Lane online at the following links:
- Company Website: https://www.brysielane.com/
- Facebook: @brysielane
- Instagram: @brysielane
Emily Sprinkle, also known as Emma Loggins, is a designer, marketer, blogger, and speaker. She is the Editor-In-Chief for Women's Business Daily where she pulls from her experience as the CEO and Director of Strategy for Excite Creative Studios, where she specializes in web development, UI/UX design, social media marketing, and overall strategy for her clients.
Emily has also written for CNN, Autotrader, The Guardian, and is also the Editor-In-Chief for the geek lifestyle site FanBolt.com