Owner, president and lead designer,
EllieAnna Purse Co.
866 Main St, Lewiston
Personal: Married 12 years; three kids: Jaden, 10; Anna, 8; Ellie, 5.
Started business: October 2011
EllieAnna Purse Co. is the epitome of a successful lifestyle business.
Just three years ago, owner Sarah Legare began making purses and accessories for family members and friends; now, she runs a full-time business with a retail location, a constant demand for custom orders, and at least 25 styles of bags and dozens of accessories.
Then there’s the whole Emmy thing: She personally passed out 800 of her purses to high-profile guests at the 2011 News and Documentary Emmy Awards ceremonies in New York City.
What were your key needs in getting started?
Just having the support of our friends and family. Most of our first orders came from them, and they helped us spread the word. It was just a snowball effect.
What factors from your upbringing gave you the courage to venture out on your own?
My parents were always really supportive. They encouraged me to try different things and find something that I liked doing. My husband has also been really supportive. There’s no way I could’ve built the business without his support and help.
What advice would you give an aspiring female entrepreneur?
The phrase, “If you find something that you love to do, you never work a day in your life,” is pretty relevant. Having said that, running your own business is a lot of work, and you’ll have to put in a lot of time to make it successful. If there’s something that you want to do, test your the market first, and if you feel that you can be successful, then absolutely go for it. Be prepared to work hard, but you’ll reap the benefits and rewards of working for yourself.
What’s your overall outlook on life, summed up in a sentence or two?
Attitude is everything. You always have choices in life, and you can choose to look at things with a positive outlook, or you can choose to look at things with a negative outlook. I’d rather have positive people around me rather than negative people who are always looking for what’s wrong.