Ladies We Love: Sherri Henry Wolf

December 19, 2018

As the founder ofHenry (and the VERY first person our founder Kimberly Barratt and her #ladyboss biz partner Tammy Saccone chose to collaborate with on bags for Love Middy and Middy N’ Me), we’ve chosen Sherri Henry Wolf as our first Ladies We Love profilee and we’re oh-so-jazzed to shine a light on Wolf for the exceptional way she’s built a successful company with a loyal fandom that craves her fine bags and sundry accessories…all of which are made here in the United States like our Love Middyand Middy N’ Me brands.

Born and bred in the South, Wolf’s gratitude for life shines as she talks about her home state; working the self-made gig she loves; and for her boys. If you like putting your money in brands with heart…heeere’s Sherri.

Sherri Henry Wolf + family.

Sherri On Life

I’ve lived in Kentucky since…forever: Born and raised!

I can remember when I decided I wanted to live my adult life here:I never thought about not wanting to be here! Married the boy next door at the young age of 20. We started our family young. Never considered leaving!

What appealed to me about living in this beautiful part of the horse-country world was… Simple: It is home. I’m the fifth generation to live in Kentucky. Those are roots you don’t walk away from. 

In my experience, the biggest misconception about living in Kentucky is…that we’re all behind. So not true! So much going on here: best horses in the world; best bourbon; best thoroughbred farms. Basketball, the arts, the GOAT. And, a little trivia I just acquired…bubblegum was invented in Kentucky. I think that says it all!

The thing I love most about living here is…we’re a small,  big town. When I go out, I see people I know. There’s good history here. 

My daily quote to live by is…“Never, ever, ever give up.” Ever. 

What motivates me out of bed in the morn is…Coffee? Oh: then I get to go make something I love. Not a bad gig. 

Just a few “somethings” Sherri loves to design. From custom bags with monograms to mixing and matching her iconic vintage ribbon straps, Sherri Henry Wolf makes creating a personalized bag an experience to remember.

If I had to pick a theme song for my life it would be… I Believe, JJ Grey & Mofro.

A hidden talent of mine that gets people giggling when they find out I can do it is…I tap dance! Eighteen long years of tap and ballet pays off, you know.

Don’t get me started talking about…my amazing—and I mean, truly amazing—three sons. 

Every day I strive to…stay awake, eat healthy and love. (Two outta three isn’t so bad, is it?)

The people in my life who inspire me most are…Lyle, Logan and Henry. My three sons.

And the reason they inspire me is…because they each have left Lexington to follow their dreams, and they are doing what they love. They go after life. We are only here once. You have to live it!

The health habit I’m most teased about is…my sweet tooth. (That’s a health habit, right?)

My fave current TV binge is…The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Shameless, Ray Donovan,TheAffair…shall I go on? I kinda have a thing. 

True or false: “I never met a purse I didn’t like.”True.  If it’s stylish, I’m willing to fake the functionality. 

The number one thing I’d tell my younger self is…“You can do absolutely anything in life you want. It may not be easy and you will hit road blocks. But with faith and perservance, anything can happen.”

Something that scares me is…clowns. Hate them. And, not spending enough time with my children. 

Something people would be surprised to know about me is…that I would ride off into the sunset on the back of a Harley with the right man. Bike has to be vintage; he has to have cool tattoos—maybe a pony tail—and I’ll be wearing cashmere and pearls. We’ll have the time of our lives!

This is how I like to spend my free time: I love to sneak away with a best friend…dinner and wine. Or read. Or, create!  

Chocolate or vanilla?What’s vanilla?

Mares or geldings? I had to Google that: I may live in horse country but I’ve never been that involved! Mares all the way, though.

Quick: “Mother of Dragons” or “Mrs. Maisel?”  The marvelous one herself!

If I was stranded on an island, the three handbag brands I couldn’t live without would be…Well, of course I would need a big durable canvas Henry bag to lug my things around the island. And I’d need a vintage Coach leather bucket bag from the 70s. And a Birkin, because, why not?!

Sherri On Work

When people ask about my job and what I do every day, I tell them… I follow my passion

A glimpse of the Henry store in Lexington, featuring Sherri Henry Wolf’s canvas Dawson Cosmetic catch-all.  (Click here for the Henry x Love Middy collab on equally delightful prints!)

My days are pretty varied, but the bulk are spent like this: Drinking coffee and wondering whose idea this was. (Oops, no: Just kidding! It was mine!) Then it’s back to it with production, designing, and social media brain storming. 

People who read my bio on the Henry website might wonder if I have a fashion background since I’ve owned two handbag companies. In a nutshell, here’s what motivated me to go into this very specific corner of the fashion world:  Mixing an entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for creating, I made a business doing what I love! 

People who read my bio also learn that my second company was, in some ways, born out of tragedy and necessity. Here’s what I kept me going and what I want my sons to carry with them about resiliency:God gave each of us the ability to overcome anything in life. You have to have unwavering faith in Him.  Faith + hard work = resilience. 

What I love most about designing—and the fashion world, in general—is…that there are no rules. Your heart and mind can go wild!

The aspect about my work that challenges my mind the most is… the business side of owning your business. So important…but my mind just doesn’t want to think in those ways!

The perk I enjoy most about being a #ladyboss is…knowing I’m making a difference in the lives of the women that work with me in building Henry. 

True or false: “Owning a handbag company is often more business, less creative.”Sooo true. Numbers don’t lie. And, with plenty of creative people out there, you have to learn how to organize and channel that creativity into a business structure that keeps the machine running every month. That’s the hard part!

My fave go-to gift to give from my company is… our new Luther crossbody with a vintage strap! So functional and so “now!”

The Luther Crossbody in Camo. (Bang-bang, Baby.)

The thing I learned most about myself during the process of becoming a #ladyboss is…I’m a perfectionist, and that can so be a bad thing. I over-think it all. I need to learn to just do it!

The best advice I ever received before launching my company Henry was… learn from past mistakes!

Today, my favorite advice to onpass to budding female entrepreneurs is…if you have a true passion for what you are doing, know going into it that you’ll hit every road black imaginable. So jump over them…dressed in your finest and with a smile. Keep going, never look back except to learn, and never, ever give up.

(This a goal, too? Asking for a friend.)

My top-three goals for Henry are…

  • I want my customers to be a part of the story and to love the product.
  • I would love to build our Henry Collegiate line to nationwide recognition.
  • Most importantly, I want Henry and the story to make an impact in peoples’ lives. If I can inspire one person to follow their dream, I’m a success!

In my opinion, the biggest misconception about fashion is… that you have to follow the rules. Follow your gut. Follow what makes you feel good. 

The Henry factory is in Kentucky. The reaction I get from people when they learn we’re an American-made brand is…they are are so supportive. They seem to understand how difficult it is to maintain that. For my products, being American-made was the best decision ever!

In my opinion, the most challenging thing about starting a company in the United States versus having a manufacturing plant overseas was…learning the machines and finding skilled seamstresses. We are so fortunate to have a super-talented team. However, pretending to be a mechanic when machines break down can be challenging!

In my humble opinion, what truly sets Henry items apart from the rest is…Henry has little details that you love. Henry is your very best friend that you can’t live without. There’s a common thread throughout our products, but we still maintain that small-batch feel.

Where Henry is concerned, the thing I’m most proud that I have been able to accomplish is…creating product that women love! To me, that is everything. 

Where m’boys are concerned, the thing I hope they take away from watching their entrepreneurial mama is…believing that anything is possible. All three have walked beside me through the ups and downs, and  they embody my never-give-up attitude. If they believe, give, love, and work hard, they will find their joy. And so will you.

Sherri On Henry x All-Things Middy

I met Kim and Tammy earlier this year, and when I learned about Middy N’ Me (and then Love Middy), I thought…thank you God for sending me two angels. I was having a bad day that Friday. Wanted to give up. Then in walked these beautiful women—in town for a horse show, who loved my product and, oh, happened to be in the same business but with different product—and we were soul sisters immediately.  The rest is history!

What I appreciated most about Kim and her designs (and what ultimately led me to want to collaborate) was…knowing that our products reflect the same taste! (And if I rode and designed riding shirts, I would want them to be Middy N’ Me!) So beautiful! Again: Soul sisters!  

The item from our collab that I’d want for myself even if I didn’t design it was…that clear Jude with vintage strap and the bee coin purse. So cool.

(She means this one. Swoon.)

What I want folks to know about the Henry x Middy N’ Me and Henry x Love Middy designs is this: They come from the heart and spirit of each brand. Through the design process, we would finish each other’s thoughts. We nailed it. Fast…like, BOOM: We got this and each other! That’s a true collaboration. 

The post Ladies We Love: Sherri Henry Wolf appeared first on The Middy Edit.

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