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Inside a Brand: An Evening with Gretchen Bauer ’88, BSWANKY
Listen as Gretchen Bauer, BS ’88 Marketing, joins Jefferson Communications student Samantha Del Sordo ’20 for a conversation about how she seized an opportunity to revolutionize the way women are treated in the U.S. garment industry.

Included in Jim Knight’s new book “Leadership That Rocks,” Ms. Bauer chose to fill a gap in the luxury fashion accessories market and connected it to her philosophies for social innovation. She opened a one-of-a-kind atelier where products are happily handcrafted with honor and integrity, and in three short years, BSWANKY has become a contender in the luxury handbag space where style and support go hand-in-hand!

Jefferson, Textile, and Philadelphia University alumni are invited to learn what it was like to create a successful company that exclusively produces in the U.S. and almost entirely by female artisans. You will hear about the sustainable materials that Ms. Bauer uses to make her bags unique and how it helps to hinder the destruction of the Florida Everglades.

A Q&A with our attendees will follow the discussion.

This captivating conversation will inspire you to make a difference by creating change and giving back!

Dec 9, 2020 07:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Gretchen Bauer, BS
Founder & CEO @BSWANKY
While working as an interior designer, a business she had for twenty-six years, a colleague exposed Gretchen to the disturbing reality behind the United States garment industry. She decided to take a risk and make a difference by improving the lives of women in the industry and change the way goods are manufactured in America. Shortly after, she launched her business, BSWANKY, with a mission to B The Difference — giving women the opportunity to create responsibly-made, trendy handbags through ethical practices. BSWANKY handbags are proudly designed and happily handcrafted out of their Sarasota atelier, where Gretchen and her team are committed to providing an atmosphere with joy and inspiration. The collection includes designs made with python skins ethically and environmentally sourced from the Florida Everglades, as well as hair on cowhide, which has made quite an imprint in the equestrian world and celebrity scene.
Samantha Del Sordo
B.S. Communications, Minor Photography and Fashion Merchandising Management @Thomas Jefferson University Class of 2020
Samantha spent her first two years of undergraduate studies at LIM College in New York City. She interned for celebrity stylists Krisana Sotelo and Andrew Gelwicks, where she assisted in styling Cosmopolitan Magazine shoots and celebrities’ red carpet and editorial looks (Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz, Ross and Ryland Lynch, Carole Radziwill, and Lauren Sanderson – among others). She gained hands on experience and created memories that will last a lifetime. For her Spring 2019 Semester, she interned in event planning for the historic Philadelphia Zoo. She learned how to successfully plan and execute events, the importance of time management, and even fed the giraffes and hippos and took photos for their social media. Additionally in 2019, Samantha worked as a Production Assistant for ABC’s Dancing with the Stars rehearsals in Ocean City, NJ, working alongside Kate Flannery (Meredith, The Office) and her partner, Pasha Pashkov.