in brief...

Sarah’s Bag is a Lebanese fashion house and social enterprise that creates one-of-a-kind luxury hand crafted bags and accessories that empower both the women who make them and the women who wear them. 

in brief...

Sarah’s Bag is a Lebanese fashion house and social enterprise that creates one-of-a-kind luxury hand crafted bags and accessories that empower both the women who make them and the women who wear them. 

sarah beydoun

meet our maker

Dynamic, passionate and determined, with an epicurean’s delight in beauty and art, founder and creative director Sarah Beydoun designs handbags and accessories that are known for their intricate craftsmanship, attention to detail and vibrant, high-spirited appeal.

Born and raised in Beirut, Sarah’s unconventional journey in fashion began during her final year of a graduate degree in sociology, when she was conducting research at Dar Al Amal, an NGO that rehabilitates women at risk and female ex-prisoners.

Soon after, she decided to set up a business that would train and employ the women she’d met during her fieldwork. She launched Sarah's Bag in Beirut in May of 2000, bringing together her love of fashion and design with the mission to empower underprivileged women. Sarah’s exuberant persona shines through each of her designs and the finished results are hip, luxurious, hand crafted statement pieces that are always fun and playful.

In 2014, with the push to expand the label’s international reach, Sarah’s sister Malak, an advertising and fashion publishing professional, joined the company as a partner, bringing with her valuable industry experience to the brand.

business of fashion

read here

meet our maker

Dynamic, passionate and determined, with an epicurean’s delight in beauty and art, founder and creative director Sarah Beydoun designs handbags and accessories that are known for their intricate craftsmanship, attention to detail and vibrant, high-spirited appeal.

Born and raised in Beirut, Sarah’s unconventional journey in fashion began during her final year of a graduate degree in sociology, when she was conducting research at Dar Al Amal, an NGO that rehabilitates women at risk and female ex-prisoners.

Soon after, she decided to set up a business that would train and employ the women she’d met during her fieldwork. She launched Sarah's Bag in Beirut in May of 2000, bringing together her love of fashion and design with the mission to empower underprivileged women. Sarah’s exuberant persona shines through each of her designs and the finished results are hip, luxurious, hand crafted statement pieces that are always fun and playful.

In 2014, with the push to expand the label’s international reach, Sarah’s sister Malak, an advertising and fashion publishing professional, joined the company as a partner, bringing with her valuable industry experience to the brand.

business of fashion

beyond the bags

Sarah’s Bag handbags combine a colourful and sophisticated aesthetic with luxurious, meticulous craftsmanship. Each collection is both an exploration of new materials and techniques, and a revival and reinterpretation of traditional crafts such as hand beading, embroidery, sequinning, crocheting and fabric manipulation.

Sarah’s Bag is on a mission to keep ancient techniques alive and fresh by using them to interpret modern designs. An artisan can work up to 25 hours on a single piece to bring these designs to life. Sarah’s Bag is constantly discovering and experimenting with new materials and techniques, whether it’s Perspex and resin to create minimalist masterpiece statement clutches or revamping traditional woodwork techniques such as marquetry and wood and pearl inlay to create unique and glamorous minaudières.

beyond the bags

Sarah’s Bag handbags combine a colourful and sophisticated aesthetic with luxurious, meticulous craftsmanship. Each collection is both an exploration of new materials and techniques, and a revival and reinterpretation of traditional crafts such as hand beading, embroidery, sequinning, crocheting and fabric manipulation.

Sarah’s Bag is on a mission to keep ancient techniques alive and fresh by using them to interpret modern designs. An artisan can work up to 25 hours on a single piece to bring these designs to life. Sarah’s Bag is constantly discovering and experimenting with new materials and techniques, whether it’s Perspex and resin to create minimalist masterpiece statement clutches or revamping traditional woodwork techniques such as marquetry and wood and pearl inlay to create unique and glamorous minaudières.

the cause

As both a fashion label and social enterprise, Sarah’s Bag works to empower underprivileged women. The signature hand beading and embroidery the bags are known for is meticulously crafted by a team of over 200 women, among whom are female prisoners, ex-prisoners and underprivileged women in Lebanon. Most of the designs are created to showcase their skills. Trained by the Sarah’s Bag team, they are skilled artisans in their own right and some have been with the company since it first launched in May of 2000. Some of the prisoners used the income they earned to overturn wrongful convictions; others to support their families while they are incarcerated. Once out of prison, Sarah’s Bag encourages its artisans to train other women in their towns and villages, thus creating much-needed jobs in some of the poorer communities in Lebanon. As a result, these women are soon regarded as valuable members of their communities and their new status helps them to reintegrate into society and ease the stigma of being ex-prisoners. Since 2013, Sarah’s Bag has also provided the artisans working behind bars with certificates of completion, proof of their training and work experience with the label so they can find work once they are out of prison. In addition, through initiatives like a 2015 exhibition entitled Women Rising, the label collaborated with the prisoners to create hand worked pieces of art to raise funds to improve prison conditions.  The Sarah’s Bag team of artisans also includes women from underprivileged backgrounds across the Lebanon. Some are illiterate with few options for employment, while others come from conservative backgrounds and are not allowed to work outside their homes despite desperately needing an income to help support their families.

the cause

As both a fashion label and social enterprise, Sarah’s Bag works to empower underprivileged women. The signature hand beading and embroidery the bags are known for is meticulously crafted by a team of over 200 women, among whom are female prisoners, ex-prisoners and underprivileged women in Lebanon. Most of the designs are created to showcase their skills. Trained by the Sarah’s Bag team, they are skilled artisans in their own right and some have been with the company since it first launched in May of 2000. Some of the prisoners used the income they earned to overturn wrongful convictions; others to support their families while they are incarcerated. Once out of prison, Sarah’s Bag encourages its artisans to train other women in their towns and villages, thus creating much-needed jobs in some of the poorer communities in Lebanon. As a result, these women are soon regarded as valuable members of their communities and their new status helps them to reintegrate into society and ease the stigma of being ex-prisoners. Since 2013, Sarah’s Bag has also provided the artisans working behind bars with certificates of completion, proof of their training and work experience with the label so they can find work once they are out of prison. In addition, through initiatives like a 2015 exhibition entitled Women Rising, the label collaborated with the prisoners to create hand worked pieces of art to raise funds to improve prison conditions.  The Sarah’s Bag team of artisans also includes women from underprivileged backgrounds across the Lebanon. Some are illiterate with few options for employment, while others come from conservative backgrounds and are not allowed to work outside their homes despite desperately needing an income to help support their families.

the dream team

  • maria
    maria

    maria, 40

    Sarah met Maria in 2001 during her first visit to Baabda prison. She was quiet and shy and had never sowed in her life. “I came from a religious conservative family and was very sheltered. I graduated from university with a degree in Arabic literature. I was in prison for signing papers on my fiance’s behalf at his request; I was very naïve as these papers effectively made me responsible for his debts. He disappeared and I ended up saddled with these debts and a 6 months prison sentence”. Soon after Maria started working with Sarah’s Bag, she began to set money aside in anticipation of her release. After serving her sentence, she continued to work with the company and Sarah encouraged her to teach her skills to other women in her hometown. Maria became the team leader of a group of women and a respected member of her community. She started tackling the technically complicated Arabic calligraphy bags and they became her specialty. “I am very proud that my work had been worn by Queen Rania and French actress Catherine Deneuve.”

  • maria, 40

    Sarah met Maria in 2001 during her first visit to Baabda prison. She was quiet and shy and had never sowed in her life. “I came from a religious conservative family and was very sheltered. I graduated from university with a degree in Arabic literature. I was in prison for signing papers on my fiance’s behalf at his request; I was very naïve as these papers effectively made me responsible for his debts. He disappeared and I ended up saddled with these debts and a 6 months prison sentence”. Soon after Maria started working with Sarah’s Bag, she began to set money aside in anticipation of her release. After serving her sentence, she continued to work with the company and Sarah encouraged her to teach her skills to other women in her hometown. Maria became the team leader of a group of women and a respected member of her community. She started tackling the technically complicated Arabic calligraphy bags and they became her specialty. “I am very proud that my work had been worn by Queen Rania and French actress Catherine Deneuve.”

  • mariam
    mariam

    mariam, 52

    “I was charged with my ex husband’s murder 10 years after he passed away. His family accused me of killing him by poisoning his food. In this country you are guilty until proven innocent.” The charges stuck and Maryam found herself penniless and shackled with a life sentence in prison. A quiet woman in her late 40s when she started working with Sarah’s Bag, Maryam worked hard save up enough money to hire a lawyer to reopen her case. Three years later, after a successful appeal, she was found innocent and released from prison. A conscientious worker, Mariam started training other women in her village and was soon heading a small team: “I was able to gain the respect of people in my community because they now depended on me to provide them with work”.

  • mariam, 52

    “I was charged with my ex husband’s murder 10 years after he passed away. His family accused me of killing him by poisoning his food. In this country you are guilty until proven innocent.” The charges stuck and Maryam found herself penniless and shackled with a life sentence in prison. A quiet woman in her late 40s when she started working with Sarah’s Bag, Maryam worked hard save up enough money to hire a lawyer to reopen her case. Three years later, after a successful appeal, she was found innocent and released from prison. A conscientious worker, Mariam started training other women in her village and was soon heading a small team: “I was able to gain the respect of people in my community because they now depended on me to provide them with work”.

  • nada
    nada

    nada, 46

    For a time, Nada had to be the breadwinner for her family as her husband was ill and they had no means to educate their two children. She joined Sarah’s Bag after hearing about the opportunity for work from a friend, and was encouraged to form a team of skilled ladies from her hometown who could specialize in more than one technique. Nada met the challenge and formed a team that worked with stitching, fabric manipulation, embroidery and crochet. She proved to be a consummate professional and a hard worker with an entrepreneurial spirit. Her team’s work is always of stellar quality and they are responsible for the dense and exquisite beading on the Tropiqe C’est Chic collection. “This job has made a difference in my life and in the lives of many people around me; sometimes my team grows to 50 or 60 women, depending on the work load. I feel I am doing something worthy for my family and my community as well as contributing to society.”

  • nada, 46

    For a time, Nada had to be the breadwinner for her family as her husband was ill and they had no means to educate their two children. She joined Sarah’s Bag after hearing about the opportunity for work from a friend, and was encouraged to form a team of skilled ladies from her hometown who could specialize in more than one technique. Nada met the challenge and formed a team that worked with stitching, fabric manipulation, embroidery and crochet. She proved to be a consummate professional and a hard worker with an entrepreneurial spirit. Her team’s work is always of stellar quality and they are responsible for the dense and exquisite beading on the Tropiqe C’est Chic collection. “This job has made a difference in my life and in the lives of many people around me; sometimes my team grows to 50 or 60 women, depending on the work load. I feel I am doing something worthy for my family and my community as well as contributing to society.”

  • raya
    raya

    rayya, 48

    Rayya heard about Sarah’s Bag from women in her community as she comes from the same area in Mount Lebanon as Nada. She was in an abusive situation at home and needed to become financially independent. Rayya proved to be very hard working and extremely skilled in crochet. She soon formed a team of 15 women, half of whom focused on crocheted bags while the other half worked on embroidery since the area Rayya comes from in Lebanon is known for its beautiful embroidery. Her team now works on the Arabesque bags. “I have changed a lot; I have power over my own life. I am happy, I feel free to come and go as I please and despite being a woman from a conservative society, I now have control over my life.

  • rayya, 48

    Rayya heard about Sarah’s Bag from women in her community as she comes from the same area in Mount Lebanon as Nada. She was in an abusive situation at home and needed to become financially independent. Rayya proved to be very hard working and extremely skilled in crochet. She soon formed a team of 15 women, half of whom focused on crocheted bags while the other half worked on embroidery since the area Rayya comes from in Lebanon is known for its beautiful embroidery. Her team now works on the Arabesque bags. “I have changed a lot; I have power over my own life. I am happy, I feel free to come and go as I please and despite being a woman from a conservative society, I now have control over my life.

  • hana
    hana

    hana, 30

    Hana was 25 years old when she first started working with Sarah’s Bag. Born in an orphanage, at a young age Hana became involved with a man who turned out to be a drug dealer. He drew her into the business and she was soon dealing drugs. She was caught and sentenced to years in prison. She soon started training with Sarah’s Bag and proved to be an industrious worker, setting aside money for her eventual release. Hana participated in a Sarah’s Bag exhibition in 2015 entitled Women Rising, creating a large densely hand beaded artwork that was successful auctioned for a substantial sum of money. With the funds raised by her piece, Hana was able to pay for her own bail. Armed with a certificate of completion for training with Sarah’s Bag, she had the credentials and the work experience to reenter the job market and rebuild her life.

  • hana, 30

    Hana was 25 years old when she first started working with Sarah’s Bag. Born in an orphanage, at a young age Hana became involved with a man who turned out to be a drug dealer. He drew her into the business and she was soon dealing drugs. She was caught and sentenced to years in prison. She soon started training with Sarah’s Bag and proved to be an industrious worker, setting aside money for her eventual release. Hana participated in a Sarah’s Bag exhibition in 2015 entitled Women Rising, creating a large densely hand beaded artwork that was successful auctioned for a substantial sum of money. With the funds raised by her piece, Hana was able to pay for her own bail. Armed with a certificate of completion for training with Sarah’s Bag, she had the credentials and the work experience to reenter the job market and rebuild her life.

the dream team