Maria Murphy, a fashion industry executive with over 30 years of experience, founded her passion project Lei-Lei while holding the position of VP of Sales for Tahari Arthur S. Levine. She took time out of her busy schedule to hang out with us for our March retail spotlight.

What made you purchase Sasa Designs? The first purchase I made was through our friends at Global Goods Partners. We have a soft spot for them because they introduced us to you and your beautiful products! The reaction to the beaded hoops we first carried was overwhelming and we sold out of them right away. We reordered but then realized that we needed to get our hands on a greater assortment of colors and items. That’s when we went direct and had the pleasure of meeting Megan and her parents at NY NOW. We were immediately embraced by Megan’s warmth and passion and felt a connection to her work ethic and drive to help others.

What do your customers love about Sasa product? Our customers love the story behind the Sasa products! They feel compassion for the women artisans and immediately want to make the heartfelt purchase. Of course it doesn’t hurt that everything we carry by Sasa is so good looking and well made!! It’s a win-win combination.

What impact has our partnership had? We started this business on the belief that helping others eventually helps the entire world. Our socially conscious e-commerce marketplace showcases handmade items by women artisans from impoverished countries around the world. Our goal is to inspire positive consumer behavior to bring about real change, both in society as well as the environment. The Sasa brand meshes perfectly with our Lei-Lei mission of empowering women and enabling them to achieve self sufficiency, pride and strength. You ask about the impact your brand has had on our partnership… the other day I received a lovely note from a new customer who has worn hearing aids for years. She was thrilled to hear about Sasa working with deaf women to create products and support their families and purchased 2 Unity necklaces! I was so touched by the story she shared and knowing that we together…Lei-Lei and Sasa…could bring about positive change to women around the world while sharing the story with our consumers.

What's your favorite piece of Sasa? My personal favorites are the Earth Collection Stone Hoop Earrings…in every color!!! I wear them all the time with everything I own. They are so incredibly light and comfortable that I forget I have them on. I get so many compliments making it a super easy sell! We have reordered all of the colors several times and will continue to buy back into them throughout the year. If new colored stones become available you can be sure that we will buy those too!! Close second favorite piece…the Unity Necklace…love this too worn layered and in fact wore both of my favorites at a recent photo shoot used for an interview blog post resulting in more orders!!


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