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bSmart Guide

#TagYourBag + Personalize Your Style with Cinco Powell

With a background in finance and fashion, Co-founders Lobi Powell and Brooke Zimmerman teamed up to create Cinco Powell handbags and accessories to help women express their personal style and promote their brand.  From mixing and matching tassel colors to custom engraving a gold and enamel tag with your initials, logo, or unique image - Cinco Powell accessories share your story.  Find out why Brooke and Lobi want Cinco Powell to be 100% made in America to support local stores, manufacturing, and craftsmanship - and how you can help #TagAmerica!

We believe that personal style is empowering and creates confidence.

Tag Your Bag

What inspired you to create Cinco Powell

My Co-founder, Lobi Powell, had the idea to create an accessories line for handbags as way to personalize your style.  She asked if I would like to be her creative partner and I immediately started sketching designs.  Six months later we launched with our Classic Collection consisting of our canvas and leather tote, large enamel tag, and oversized leather tassels for accessorizing your handbags.  

Who are the women behind the Cinco Powell label? 

I graduated from Washington and Lee University with a degree in Accounting and Business Administration and began working for PricewaterhouseCoopers as an auditor in their Real Estate group in Washington, DC.  In 2007, I made a career pivot and was accepted to the graduate program for Fashion Design at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City.  After graduation I wore many hats in the fashion industry from designer to stylist and was fortunate to work for a variety of well established companies from Victoria’s Secret to Nancy Gonzalez to the TV show What Not to Wear.  I was ecstatic when Lobi called and asked me to be the Co-founder and Creative Director for Cinco Powell.

We want to help every woman be their own brand and create a unique style.

What makes Cinco Powell bags, tags, tassels and necklaces unique?

Cinco Powell tags are a stylish way to make a personal statement.  The tags and tassels can mix, match, and layer to create your own original look every day of the week.  The same monogrammed tag can be worn as a necklace, on our Sobrina bag, as well as on a bag you already own.  We want to help every woman be their own brand and create a unique style.  We believe that personal style is empowering and creates confidence.  We also want to set examples for our own children to not be afraid to stand out from the crowd and pursue their dreams.

Our original idea was to offer engraved monograms, but our customers have taken personalization options to the next level with unique engravings.  I've been so inspired by the Cinco Powell engraving requests such as a woman fighting breast cancer that had 'Brave' engraved on her tag.  A few of my other favorite orders have been when an expectant mother adorns her diaper bag with a custom tag in anticipation of her baby girl's arrival, a newly accepted college student wearing tassels in her school colors, an activist spreading sharing her cause with the name hanging around her neck, an entrepreneur displaying her company logo on the hinge of her work bag, and a grandmother keeping her grandchildren close to her heart with mini tags displaying their initials.

What is your favorite bag, tag, tassel pairing for winter?  

I'm in love with our Sobrina bag in orange with a navy tag.  The Sobrina was our first Made in America piece, and the craftsmanship is superb.

Can you tell us about your #TagAmerica Campaign? 

My grandmother was a supervisor of a clothing factory in Mississippi from the 1940s to the 1970s.  That factory (along with thousands of others) were forced to close due to overseas production leaving numerous Americans unemployed.  Not only have we lost jobs, but our youth don't have a place to become experts in local manufacturing and product development.  There are many people who are skilled craftsman but can't fully realize their potential due to a lack of training options.   My grandmother taught me how to sew and create products at a young age.  I was fortunate enough to attend Parsons for Fashion Design, but not everyone has those opportunities or background.  American manufacturing is expensive, but if companies like Cinco Powell commit to American made, one by one we can create jobs and creative opportunities for the next generation. 

American made means designing, sourcing, and manufacturing in America supporting local stores in our communities.

What is your dream for Cinco Powell 5 years from now

We would love for Cinco Powell to be a household name that is synonymous with being 100% made in the U.S.A.  American made means designing, sourcing, and manufacturing here in America while supporting local stores in our communities.  

Support Cinco Powell Made In America

Click here to help Cinco Powell become made in America! 

Meet Co-Founder Brooke Zimmerman 

Neighborhood: Dallas, TX

Occupation: Co-Founder & Creative Director, Cinco Powell

Dream Mentor: Kate Spade

Ultimate Accessory: An oversized turquoise ring. I can't think of an outfit it doesn't go with.

Favorite Store: Neiman Marcus - I am a Texan after all.

Must-have Shoes: Dying for the Chanel Knot Heels but in reality I wear leopard flats every day.

Signature Scent: Cabotine

Cocktail of Choice: Manhattan

Travel Destination: San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Favorite Quote: 'Put on some lipstick, pour yourself a drink and pull yourself together' - Elizabeth Taylor

De-Stress Technique: Wine, hot bath and book - all at the same time.

University: Washington and Lee Univeristy (Undergrad), Parsons the New School for Design (Associates/Grad Program)

Sorority: Kappa Kappa Gamma

Graduation Year: 2004, 2008 

Nothing happens over night, stick with it, and then enjoy looking back at how far you have come!

Meet Co-Founder Lobi Powell

Neighborhood: Alamo, CA - WestSider :)

Occupation: Co-Founder & President of Cinco Powell

Women I Admire: Many, but mostly women who embody creativity, independence and confidence. Women around me everyday who are so supportive of me and my family have my upmost admiration.

Dream Mentor: Sara Blakely

Look of the Season: Love Preppy Chic this season...Plaid shirt is paired with a full skirt and booties. Huge fan of mixing and matching.

Ultimate Accessory: Tortoise Tag of course!

Favorite Store: Annelore NYC & Ted Baker

Favorite Nail Polish: Chanel Vernis Le 489 - Rose Insolent 13 ml

Can't Live Without Product: Laura Mercier Baby DollLip Gloss

Signature Scent: Folle de joie

Beauty Essential: Laura Mercier Primer

Cocktail of Choice: Whispering Angel

Current Craving: Good and Plenty

Best Advice: Don't wait for what you want, go and get it!

Favorite Quote: 'If you are Always trying to be normal, you will never know how AMAZING you can be.' - Maya Angelou

Latest Gadget: Fuji Instax

Favorite App: Over

University: University of Arizona

Sorority: Pi Beta Phi

Graduation Year: 1995

I believe it's important to be your own brand, to stand out and say something that's important to you.

Bsmart like Brooke + Lobi

What are your tips for creating a successful collaboration

Lobi and I both have different strengths and weaknesses that balance each other.  Find someone you think of as a partner and balances your strengths.  Everyday can be a roller coaster as an entrepreneur.  Sometimes you need a shoulder to lean on and other times you need someone to cheer at the end of a great day.

I wouldn't be where I am today without the women in my life who have helped me.

What do you consider your biggest accomplishments since founding Cinco Powell?  

Having my idea go from paper to a physical product is an amazing feeling.  Then top that off with people actually buying your product and you feel over the moon!  We're fortunate to have had Cinco Powell worn by several amazing bloggers and tastemakers such as Blair Eadie of Atlantic Pacific, Carly Heitlinger of College Prepster and Kristen Taekmen from the Real Housewives of New York City to name a few.  These are all impressive trendsetters and seeing them wear Cinco Powell is incredible validation.

I created Cinco Powell for women to put their own mark on their bag and accessories.

What advice do you have for entrepreneurs who dream of having their own fashion line one day? 

You'll learn much more from your mistakes than your successes, so don't beat yourself up when things go wrong.  Nothing happens over night, stick with it, and then enjoy looking back at how far you have come!

What do you want all bSmart members to know about your story that would help them be smart too?  

bSmart is an amazing network of women.  I wouldn't be where I am today without the women in my life who have helped me.  Don't be afraid to ask for help.  Asking for help with the right intentions is very important - but don't forget to pay it forward!

If companies like Cinco Powell commit to American made, one by one we can create jobs and creative opportunities.