Yazzii is an international company that produces the “world’s best bags” which also have recently become a favorite of Academy Award nominees.
Born in South Africa, Yasmita is a Canadian citizen who has called Australia her home for the past 28 years. When I met her, I was captivated by her exuberance for life and for her business. It’s easy to see how she acquired the nickname, “Jazzy Yazzii.” With a passion for people and design, Yazzii strives to put her “best foot forward” in all she does.
Yasmita’s professional career started in the travel industry. She had seen the need for a travel bag that was versatile and long-lasting, so began developing quality, handmade bags, the forerunners of today’s Yazzii bags. At age 40, Yasmita left the travel industry and for the past 16 years, has been selling her bags full time, travelling around the world to quilt, sewing, and craft shows. It was at one of those shows where I met Yasmita. She and her husband were selling Yazzii Bags at Road to California, the second largest quilt show in the United States.
The first Yazzii Bags were sold to hold jewelry when traveling. They quickly became popular with crafters as mini craft organizers. Then, in October, 2001, while selling her bags in Sydney Harbor, Yazzii met two women dressmakers who fell in love with her bags and remarked how versatile they could be for storing sewing supplies. Yazii took their suggestions and began marketing her travel bags to the sewing world where their demand has quickly grown.
Yasmita is constantly listening to customers and their needs. She says, “People know what they need and want.” She chooses her latest colors based on input by customers. It is especially fun for her to randomly run in to people using her bags. Once, while on an airline flight, the person next to her pulled out her lipstick from a Yazzii bag. The lady went on to tell Yasmita that “this was the best bag I’ve ever had.” When Yasmita pulled out her passport and showed the lady who she was, the woman exclaimed, “Get out of here—I don’t believe it!!”
All bags are handmade in India in a factory owned by Yasmita. A Hindu, Yazzii speaks their language and feels more comfortable running her company there than in China. She has made over 65 trips to India over the years to personally oversee the bag production. Workers sit on the floor as they make the bags. It takes approximately 7 hours to produce one bag!!
Yazzii is especially proud of the fact that her bags hold their value. Her zippers are of the highest quality and remain intact even after 16 years of constant opening and closing.
Last year, Yasmita was approached to have Yazzii Bags be one of the 12 gifts for the Academy Award Nominees’ Swag Bags they receive on Oscar night. It was relatively short notice so she supplied them with bags from her inventory. She later heard that her bags were one of the nominees’ favorite gifts!! When she was asked to participate again this year, Yasmita designed a bag especially for the occasion:
Of these bags, Yasmita remarked, “They are much more practical than the usual jewelry or hair products the actors receive. They actually have something they can use!!
Yazzii continues to add more products and looks for ways to streamline her manufacturing and delivery. She is opening a distribution center in Denver which will make a huge difference in getting Yazzii Bags from India to her customers in Australia, Europe, Japan and the United States.
To get your own Yazzi Bags, please visit their website.