Friday Five: Rachel Riedinger of NEVA OPET

1. How would you explain what you do in one sentence?

One sentence might be hard for me considering I love to elaborate! Hahah Neva Opet is a line of handcrafted bags and accessories designed, created, and shipped out of our Atlanta based studio. We are a small team of three and believe in excellent craftsmanship, simplicity of design, and sustainable products that will last you a lifetime.

2. Tell us a little bit about where you draw your inspiration from? 

I’m always inspired by women. Whether it is the women artists we name each style after or the everyday woman. She needs/wants different things when it comes to her bag in order to accommodate her life. I love that bags are very utilitarian, in that they serve a single purpose. They need to hold certain items depending on a specific occasion. I started Neva Opet initially designing products I wanted for my life. Over time I’m constantly pushing myself to improve upon our classic styles or design new styles for every occasion in a woman’s life. From the college student to the working Mom, we’ve got you covered. 

3. What is some advice you’ve received that has helped you navigate your career?

When I initially became what I like to call an “accidental entrepreneur”, I was nowhere near prepared to start a business. I was doing this as a hobby/ passion project but when a large retailer came to me with a purchase order, I was blindsided. I reached out to so many friends and acquaintances on what to do or whether or not I can handle such a large order. When speaking with a fellow Atlanta maker, she told me that your business is never fully “finished.” There will always be things to work on or procedures to improve upon. Just jump in and start. Every business will follow a different path. It was pretty simple but it stuck with me. 

4. If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be? 

The iconic Vivienne Westwood! She’s a self taught designer who defined the style of the punk and new wave generation. She is the ultimate contrarian in the fashion world but does her part to make sure she does her part to promote sustainability. She’s known for saying, “Buy less. Choose well. Make it last.” I could only imagine what amazing outfit she would wear to dinner! 

5. What is a quote, mantra or motto you live by? 

My Mom has always said (and continues to say to me), “You don’t G.E.T, unless you A.S.K”. Such a simple yet impactful saying that always pops into my mind whenever I think something is out of reach. Just ask! Sometimes, opening up a simple dialogue might change the entire outcome. Plus, I don’t believe in just ask for what you want!

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