The Business of Fashion
Chicago local, Ying Zhan, has always been passionate about fashion and entrepreneurship. After a successful, twenty-year career in market research and consulting, she is now bringing her business and marketing savvy to the fashion world with the launch of Petit Blue, her signature handbag collection.
When she is not working on bringing beautiful new designs to her clients, Ying enjoys all that her beloved Chicago has to offer. Ying is originally from China, but has called the US home for more than twenty-five years. You can find her enjoying the amazing Chicago food scene, traveling with her family, and devouring lifestyle magazines and blogs. She shares her house with her husband, her two wonderful girls, a dog, and a cat!
Why Petit Blue?
A Q&A with Petit Blue Founder, Ying Zhan
Q: Where did you get the name Petit Blue?
When I was looking to launch my brand, I was of course drawn to my favorite color, blue. Blue is also the new black. It goes with everything and, with so many shades to choose from, it looks great on everyone, too. I added “petit” because I am a petite person! All our bags fit women of any size, but every Petit Blue bag carries a little bit of my personality along with it.
Q: What materials are your bags made from?
All Petit Blue handbags are made from nylon and vegan leather. We are very careful in sourcing the highest quality, thoughtful materials. Some of our bag accessories are made from genuine leather and are clearly labeled.
Q: Why did you start a handbag business?
I’ve always had an eye for fashion and design, but my career focused more on market research and consulting. My sister, on the other hand, was in the handbag business for years, working as the liaison between designers and manufacturers. We decided to combine our skills and passions into a successful personal brand of our own and launched Petit Blue to meet the needs of fashionable women in Chicago and beyond.
Q: What inspires Petit Blue designs?
We make Petit Blue bags for women looking for a classic, functional design. We started close to home, giving our early test-designs to friends. We asked them to wear our bags around the city and let us know what was working and what they would like us to improve. We kept updating the designs until we got them just right. Real women whom we know and love helped us perfect Petit Blue bags for women everywhere!
Petit Blue bags are named after our friends and family, as well. We collaborate with some of the most dynamic, fabulous women we know to design bags that suit their lifestyles. Our friend, Julia, travels all the time and needed a bag that would work for her anywhere, anytime. We are happy to share the Julia Everywhere Tote with you. And more exciting and inspired collaborations are coming. Stay tuned!
Q: Do you have a physical shop?
In addition to our online boutique, our bags are sold at Embellish Boutique (one of my favorite gift shops in Chicago!) at 4161 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60618.