Sarah Nakintu designs handbags to hold all the things you might think of putting in one—and a few you might not. “Recently, I was in a supermarket in Europe and forgot that they don’t have bags there, so I threw all my groceries in my handbag! I really try to look out for the girl on the go,” she laughs. And that’s a pretty good description of Sarah herself—she was raised in Uganda, currently splits her time between New York and Zurich, and regularly jets off to India and Europe.
Her global experiences initially led her to a career at the United Nations, where she focused on generating employment opportunities for women and minorities, but she was itching to move from high-level policy to real-world interaction. Sarah’s answer: her first bag line, Kintu New York, which she launched in 2015, working with artisan communities in India and Italy. In 2018, she followed it up with Sarah Bassler, a range of crisp, roomy totes and crossbody bags priced to give her broader reach. “I take a really personal approach to understand my customers. It is good to make money, but it is also good to solve someone’s problems,” she explains. How’s that for a worldview?