YEDaily: Sabrina Roy

With a strong background in design, highlighted by the launch of her own handbag line, Sabrina Roy decided it was time to create her own sales agency. Find out the inspiration behind her company, Dreizehn Agency Inc., and her plans for the future in today’s YEDaily…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I own the sales agency Dreizehn Agency Inc. I also design and develop products and sell footwear, handbags and accessories.

Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
Considering that my grandfather was a carpenter, growing up I would spend all of my time in the workshop, observing in full, mesmerized by all notions of detail, structure and design. I sincerely believe that my love for creation and products stemmed from this childhood pastime. I also started sketching at a very young age. 

Since I was 16 years old I ventured off into the fashion realm, tapping into the footwear, handbag and accessory markets. I put myself through fashion school, working as a sales associate in footwear. After graduation, I became a brand manager for several accessory brands before landing a position as head designer for a nationwide wholesaler. This experience provided me with the opportunity to design handbags, both branded and private labels, for most of the major retailers across Canada.

Consequently, I launched my own brand of handbags, allowing myself to finally realize and express my ideas in full. The brand was sold at renowned retailers such as Nordstrom, Browns Shoes, Simons, Sterling Shoes and many other independent fashion boutiques in Canada, the United Sates and Mexico. Unfortunately, after three seasons one of my biggest clients filed for bankruptcy protection, bringing my company down with them. It was a big personal hit, but it did not take me long to bounce back and launch Dreizehn.

With 13 years of experience in retail, wholesale, design and production, I was ready to redefine the industry. Setting my own handbag brand on the sidelines, I kept to my forte: focusing in on footwear, handbags and accessories. Dreizehn Agency Inc. was launched on March 13th, 2012. My new venture stemmed from the realization of a shortage in specialized agencies within the Canadian market. Thus, I took it upon myself to introduce a company that will shake up and improve the trade. Also, landing a sales territory for Vince Camuto, a huge brand in the footwear world, facilitated the start of the entire project. 

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part of my job is being able to work with amazing fashion products; this would make any woman smile all day long! We’re all addicted to shoes! The most challenging part is keeping up with all of my calls, follow-ups, projects, side projects, etc. It tends to get overwhelming if you’re not organized but my OCD is helping me stay on top of it all just fine! 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I’d like for my sales agency to be well renowned with a very-sought after brand portfolio. I would also like to get back into designing, possibly a new handbag brand of my own, again.

What does success look like to you?
Success is happiness to me. It’s waking up in the morning, being happy to go to work and spreading positive energy. 

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Definitely having launched my handbag brand! My products were sold to major retailers, which led to plenty of coverage by the press, including eTalk, Entertainment Tonight Canada and nationwide magazines. Most notably, it would have to be spotting fashionistas sporting my goods on the streets… They know what’s up!

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Be yourself, do what you love, but most of all work hard!!! Don’t be afraid to create your own opportunity and to jump from an opportunity to another. Don’t accept “no.” The world is your oyster! 

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I do not support any charities in particular but I try to support events and fundraisers with good causes or people working for charities. 

What to you is notable?
The fact that I had parents who always did everything for me, regardless of their situation. They believed in me… even if I have always been the odd one out! They respected my ideas, despite their nervousness at times. Most of all, their positivity; they are my biggest fans! 

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
iPhone! I’m a Mac fanatic.