More photos of Laurent & Altieri handbags below!
Laurent & Altieri is an importer of genuine Italian leather handbags, sold online at laurentaltieri.com. Founder Genevieve Laurent established the business less than two years ago, after the passing of her father. With over 20 years of experience as a pharmacist, she decided to pursue her passion after realizing that “life is too short.” Laurent spoke to FM Hip Hop about growing up in the Bronx and living in the projects, admitting that she “had it hard” in those early years. Her grandfather, who owned a grocery store, was murdered, and this tragedy deterred Laurent from owning a storefront. Her father took over the family business, but Laurent followed her own path. “I’m doing what I want,” she explained. “I wish I would have started sooner.”
Laurent & Altieri bags are a hit not only with employees at the hospital where Laurent works, but with Wall Street employees, celebrities such as Vanessa Williams, and fashionable vixens near and far. Her tote shopping bags are the most popular items, but her white floral satchel and clutches are also favorites. In the brand’s future are photo and video shoots, and experiments into other materials (vegan products are also a possibility!). More on #FMFeline Genevieve Laurent in this exclusive FM Hip Hop interview.
FM HIP HOP: How did your business come about?
GENEVIEVE LAURENT: The business came about a year and a half ago when my father passed away. I’ve always had a passion for fashion, and I decided to follow that passion. I figured, “Hey, I’m wasting time and I’m not following my dreams. My real dreams.”
FM: What sets Laurent & Altieri apart from its competitors?
GL: The handbags are authentic leather from Italy, and it’s the price range. Compared to luxury bags, it won’t break the bank. It’s for the professional woman, the woman on the go– in New York, especially. Also, I’m selling a product, but I’m also selling myself and what I represent. I’m the one that makes it different.
FM: What are some of the biggest lessons that you’ve learned as a business owner?
GL: I’ve learned perseverance, to be more focused, to be positive, and not to be dissuaded. There’s a lot of naysayers out there saying, “You can’t do this.” I just keep going; I don’t give up.
I’m in the pharmacy profession, and going into this [retail] business, I’ve learned so many other things: digital marketing, social media, blogging. I’ve also learned importing, exporting… It’s incredible how much I’ve learned in just under two years. I’m also learning how to finance myself. Before I didn’t know about finance and economics– how to be a real businessperson; how to make money. I’m loving it. It’s making me a better person, I’m progressing, and I’m happier today.
Pics: Laurent & Altieri handbags