Ann Lansing - Ann Lansing Belts
Getting in line at 5am and waiting for hours in the rain for
the Henri Bendel "Open See"
was her first exposure to selling her own creation. When Ann Lansing took her belt in to be
considered, Bendel's said yes. Initially
working in sales and PR for high tech products, she had always loved the
fashion world. So she switched gears and
became an editor and stylist. She
studied at Parsons and FIT, and designed items that were picked up by Guess,
Anne Klein and Nautica.
After the birth of her first son, Ann was searching for a
chic belt buckle and not finding it, designed her own. Her first and most popular belt buckle, she
calls "Gate." Her prior career
in fashion had given her experience in sourcing manufactures, so she went about
sourcing for her new creation. "Producing
my product in America was important to me.
I could better control the quality with easy face to face meetings. And I wanted any jobs my venture would offer,
to stay in the states."
After the trunk show at Bendel's, Ann hit the road and made
cold calls to area stores. The orders
came in and she began to expand her line with additional buckles and straps. When asked where her inspiration comes from,
she says, "Art and architecture all over.
The Snowflake was from a design I saw on a sleigh in Switzerland and I
thought it would make a beautiful buckle."
Each of the Ann Lansing buckles are hand carved, cast, and
finished by American artisans on the East coast. The leather for the straps is sourced from
Italy and then sewn and finished in New York's garment district. Ann sells these separately and they can be
paired in any combination. What's her
favorite, "I love the leopard with the polished gold Gate buckle in the
winter with blue jeans or in the summer with white."
"Making something tangible is really satisfying." Her two boys ages 5 and 7 love that mommy makes
something. What's next? She's adding new colors of straps and new
sizes including a skinny belt.
Introducing a new buckle each
quarter, Ann loves to look for ideas in her travels and create the
designs. She also plans to add more
leather goods including bags and wallets.
What's the best part about being an entrepreneur? "I love having my own business. The flexibility is great but it is a lot of
work. The challenge is to find a niche
and create a career in a field that you love." Ann has certainly done that with her popular
belts and buckles.
Belts and Buckles in the VentureMom Shop are 10% off and use
the coupon code "venturemom" for the same discount at
Start with one product and expand after you see success with