How I Sold My Leather Handbag Business

I started my handbag business, One Fated Knight, excited to make a difference in the over-saturated handbag industry.

In its first 3 years, the bag line was carried in over 80 retailers across North America and selling internationally online. The business, however, was the source of all my stress and anxiety. My self worth was yo-yoing with the results of the business.

Jen Mattiola, a former business owner
Jen Mattiola, a former small business owner

I started my own business to gain more freedom in my career, but I was tied down more than ever and not enjoying the process. I discovered that I was choosing to suffer. That day in and day out, I was choosing to be in the situation I was in and if I’m being brutally honest, I was creating all of that stress, all by myself.

As I thought about what was important to me and how I defined success, I began to realize that I already had everything that mattered to me, the intangible things - love, health, and a lifestyle I was proud of. I soon realized that I was motivated to carry on the business by fear. Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear of looking bad.

After doing this deep dive, I discovered that my values were no longer aligned with the person who started the business. I was motivated by money and my ego was driving everything. No wonder I was completely burnt out. I didn’t care about making handbags anymore, even though they were made ethically and sustainably, at the end of the day it wasn’t lighting me up. My soul wasn’t turned on and my path in life wasn’t about making handbags for people. I knew it was time to let go and either sell the business or shut it down.

How long it took to meet my buyer

Luckily, I had a good friend interested in buying the business and that chapter couldn’t have ended in a better way. We met in 2015 at an entrepreneurs mastermind and I sold the business in 2018.

Went DIY route

We created an agreement for the sale of the business and a clear understanding on my paid consultation services until an agreed upon sales goal was met. After that revenue mark, we would part ways entirely with my support being accessible whenever needed, based on an hourly consultation fee.


Lessons learned

It was time to sell when I no longer enjoyed the work I was putting in everyday because I was no longer aligned with the values in which I started the business. My heart wasn’t in it anymore. The joy had left the building.

In my case, it was best for me to clear out as much inventory as possible to make my money back on the merchandise made and supplies purchased. This also allowed the new owner to create their own designs.

Jen Mattiola
Certified Life Coach
Los Angeles, CA

Published by ExitAdviser


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