What Does a Handbag Brand for Busy Lifestyles Do in the Pandemic?

Handbag brand Go Dash Dot has quickly retooled its business in light of current circumstances. The brand, founded by Hannah Fastov in 2016, was built on styles that women-on-the-go could use throughout their day — carrying them from the office to the gym and out to dinner in the evenings. Given how the pandemic quickly upended that lifestyle, Go Dash Dot is making a go of community building and helping those in need to keep consumers engaged.

“When the on-the-go lifestyle and life in general pretty much stopped, we had to take a step back and think about, ‘OK, what are values we care about as a brand? How can bring joy to our communities?’ For us, it’s about positivity, confidence and looking towards the future — making ourselves feel good when we can,” said Fastov.

While company sales were down, Fastov made the decision to donate its entire stock of belt bags — about 1,000 units — to health-care workers to use on the job. “We heard from a nurse in Nashville that she was using the bag during her shift and found it really helpful to carry her personal items, including PPE, and loved that it is machine washable, so we donated our entire stock of the bag,” Fastov said. The company also held free workout classes via its Instagram account for followers to partake in while stuck at home.

While Fastov admitted that sales, which were at about $1 million a year before the pandemic, have taken a big hit — she is hopeful that Go Dash Dot’s community engagement practices will draw consumers back in time for the holidays. The brand is sold at 150 stores including Neiman Marcus and Anthropologie, as well as independent boutiques.

As the handbag market has shifted more to what Fastov describes as weekend duffels and “easy totes,” her brand will launch a new style called the New York Rose bag. The roomy, quilted bag has enough space for a laptop and was inspired by the New York Lenten Rose — a black rose that blooms at the beginning of spring. “It symbolizes a fresh start,” said Fastov. The style will retail for $218.

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