story by Seth Friedermann
photos by Ned and Aya Rosen
When you first see one, it’s immediately apparent that Bodhi handbags are different. Their mix of artistic creativity, cutting edge functionality, and a dash of humor is a potent mix. The root of their distinctiveness begins with the company’s founders, Angela Han and Joseph Janus. Mrs. Han is the founder of the wildly successful Eastport brand, and Mr. Janus is a creative director and marketer with a proven vision having reinvigorated JNCO jeans and created the successful music agency Fearless Management. While Mrs. Han is content to remain a silent partner, Mr. Janus is a restless soul who is constantly active, compulsively creative and possessed of a fevered imagination, which is forged into excellent designs only by a learned and disciplined work ethic.
“I spend a lot of time trying to clear my head of the world around it and really focus, and when my mind is clear suddenly I can relax and the ideas just come.”
The uniqueness of a Bodhi bag is a result of the purity of the creative space that Mr. Janus has definitively carved out and protected.
“When I started out I realized one thing very quickly: nobody needed another handbag company, so if I was going to do it I was going to be a little bit different than everybody.”
He’s driven by innovation as is his favorite industry which in turn drives his designs: tech.
“A lot of the functionality of my bags has to do with devices, I’m letting the tech world, which is the fastest growing segment in consumer products, guide me in functionality.”
It is the relentless innovation of technology that inspires Mr. Janus, and that spirit is on display in Bodhi bags. There is only one deeper drive than that for Bodhi, and it has been and will continue to be the key to Bodhi’s success. The design element that is at the heart of Mr. Janus’ designs is that he actually cares about his customer. He designs from the viewpoint of specific functionality for each pocket, measurement and hinge. What do their customers need, and how can we do it better and more creatively than anybody else? That is the mandate that drives this standout company.