How Do You Carry Your Courage? – Wren and Roch Handbags

Today I have a fashion story that also hits close for home for many women around the globe. The #MeToo Movement has involved some of the most powerful people in entertainment and politics, and it continues to grow. And thankfully so, because it is incredibly important. I am so happy that people are finding the courage to tell what has happened to them.

I not only love these bags but also what they stand for. So before I show off these beautiful purses, let me tell you a bit about the background of the beautiful and strong women who started the brand.

Wren and Roch handbags were started by Karen Hansen and Laura Ratlin. Both were victims of sexual assault as young thriving college students, and they were too afraid to tell anyone about what happened to them. Karen became pregnant as a result of the attack.

The two women went on to graduate college and began to pursue their careers in interior design. Karen and Laura met each other in 1999 at a sunset Intracoastal cruise hosted by a wallcoverings vendor. There was an immediate connection with the two women, not only with their love for design and fashion, but also for being survivors of sexual assault.

They instantly became friends, and also business partners. However, they didn’t begin with designing handbags. Karen and Laura started a commercial interior design firm with a strong focus on health care, which led to working on numerous projects for Boca Raton Regional Hospital and West Boca Medical Center.

They had always talked about designing handbags. So, they started designing and sketching handbags and locating a manufacturer. All of their bags are made in New York City. One day they got a phone call from one of their friends asking if they have considered giving back a portion of their proceeds to an organization called It’s On Us. The organization’s mission is to end sexual assault on college campuses.

Karen and Laura then realized this is what they are meant to do – to tell their story and not be the victims of rape, to carry their courage.

From their site:

“We no longer carry the shame and embarrassment of rape and abuse. We carry our courage with our heads held high. We wholeheartedly shift those heavy weights those who did this to us and our loved ones.

We stand strong as survivors, grateful for every experience that has brought us to where we are today. Most importantly, we are the proud mothers of the five most resilient, intelligent, beautiful children in the world. It is for them that we will shout from the rooftops until everyone hears our message of awareness and prevention.

Please join our mission, share our story and carry a Wren & Roch handbag to actively, and proudly, show your support. Otherwise, it’s a lot of work for just two people – and we won’t stop.”


My Experience with Wren and Roch

Wren and Roch Handbags photo

I had the pleasure of meeting Karen and Laura a couple of months ago at my friend’s store Rouze in Naples. I got the chance to talk to them and they told me their stories. These two strong women are doing so much for victims. They are going around to different college campuses to speak and spread awareness.

I ended up purchasing a Street Smart bag from Wren and Roch. It’s a Lights Out, No Spikes clutch. Their handbags are beautiful, and I love that they are made in New York. The clutches have relevant names like “Don’t Call Me Sweetie” and “Pretty Powerful.”

Wren and Roch Handbags

Here’s how the Street Smart bags are described on their site:

Take it to the street, with Street Smart in hand. The design inherently encourages multitasking, whether you’re entertaining and toasting, dancing the night away and telling an unbelievable story with your hands, or quickly jotting down a phone number while running out the door. Be ready for anything with this versatile and functional work of art.

Each bag you buy from Wren and Roch contains a Carry Your Courage card. Please check out more of their story and shop their handbags here:

Have you seen these bags in person or do you own one yourself? What is your favorite Wren and Roch bag?