Roswell resident Jonathan Sams debuts a bag collection, Aubrey Jai, in honor of his daughter

The bags are bold in shape and color, which Sams says is a reflection of his daughter’s attention-grabbing personality

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Aubrey Jai handbags
Jonathan Sams and his daughter, Aubrey Jai

Photograph by Melissa Alexander

Most designers and inventors spend years obsessing before launching a product line. But Roswell resident Jonathan Sams jumped quickly on one good idea. His three-year-old daughter, Aubrey Jai, was drawn to pyramid shapes, which inspired his aha moment: What if he could turn her favorite shape into a brand and build a legacy? Sams got started last October, and, by January, he had a handbag collection under a new brand named after his daughter.

The adult-sized bags are bold in shape and color, which Sams says is a reflection of his daughter’s attention-grabbing personality. “She’s very outgoing,” he says. “She’s a center-of-attention kind of person. I wanted a masterpiece that reflected that, to create something that stood out.” He uses cruelty-free and ecofriendly vegan leather, an important detail that relates to his daughter’s love of animals.

Aubrey Jai handbags

Photograph by Melissa Alexander

Sams, who always appreciated fashion but did not have any professional experience, says he’s “pretty good” at drawing and had some manufacturing contacts from previous corporate experience. “I always wanted to create something. I knew there was something bigger than a nine-to-five job. And I got the first production piece back, and it was so nice to see my work and what I had built.

“The legacy I plan to leave my daughter is not just a brand, but a culture. I want to build an empire for her and set her up for success,” he says.

Sams will soon be releasing pastel colors and mini-bags, as well as additional shapes and textures, such as a crocodile vegan leather style. For now, the bags ($130) are available exclusively online at aubreyjaicollection.com.

This article appears in our June 2022 issue.

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