Mauldin has grown exponentially in recent years, and with this growth, small businesses are starting to recognize a wealth of opportunity by putting down roots in this small South Carolina town.
Jon Kane and Yvette Montague recognized this opportunity and opened their first designer handbag store on Butler Road. Inspired by Kane’s two daughters, Kirsten and Victoria, Jon Kane began selling handbags online in February 2017, and then opened his store, Kane Collections, in May 2017. Kane Collections offers designer handbags and accessories at affordable prices right here in the Golden Strip.
Kane is well versed in business as a former executive of a large Upstate corporation, and he left to start a business in the product sourcing field. Building those relationships with factory managers and owners has allowed him to find the most durable, fashionable, and affordable elements to bring his creations to life. Mr. Kane is an entrepreneur and businessman first, and a designer second. A native of Ghana, West Africa, Mr. Kane has called the United States home for 30 years.
Mr. Kane designs his bags by hand and he chooses all of the materials used in their production. All bags are embellished with his trademark rose gold emblem and trademark name, Jon Kane. He also frequently travels to Asia to source his materials for the personal touch needed to obtain quality materials at an affordable price. His relationships with factory owners are important – he takes the time to get to know them and makes sure they understand exactly what he needs. In his frequent trips to Asia, Mr. Kane often observed travelers while at the airport, attempting to derive creative insight and inspiration for his own handbag designs.
Kane’s bags each have names that are meaningful – they are names of women he knows such as grandmothers, friends, and relatives – and Kane believes this helps buyers connect with the product.
Jon Kane’s styles can appeal to all women from any walk of life, but his main focus is on the working woman. For Kane, this woman values fashion, affordability, and durability. Jon Kane “…accentuates whatever a woman wants to be with affordable handbags and accessories.”
Mauldin appealed to Jon due to the affordable nature of the location, the availability of the space, and the support of the Mauldin Chamber of Commerce. Pat Pomeroy of the Chamber was supportive and welcoming to Mr. Kane, and this helped solidify his decision to put down roots here.
Mauldin does not attract as much walk-in traffic as other areas, so Mr. Kane had to get creative to draw in customers. He uses social media extensively to get the word out about his business and also relies on word-of-mouth referrals.
Mr. Kane offers more than just bags and accessories. His venue is home to a book signing next month and four Sip and Shops, which are private parties held at the Kane Collections store where friends and guests can drink wine and peruse the store.
When discussing future plans, Mr. Kane described this venture as a boat that he is steering and controlling for now, but at some point his customers will take the wheel and drive future growth and direction for the company. Mr. Kane frequently listens to his customers and takes requests for improvement and product selection.
Kane Collections is located at 110D East Butler Road in Mauldin.
You can also find them on Facebook here.