“Consumerism is great, but consumerism with a purpose is priceless.”
Adylia-Rhenee Gutierrez recognized the need for timeless, quality handbags at an accessible price and set about launching her own company. Using the highest quality leather crafted by skilled artisans, Adees Co. now provides the finest handbags and accessories to a wide range of consumers; and a percentage of the sales is donated to worthy causes.
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Hi, I am Adylia-Rhenee Gutierrez. I was born and raised in Palos Verdes Estates, CA. I was a world class fencer (Hungary and Poland World Cup). Now I’m CEO/Founder of Adees Co.
Tell us about your education.
I attended Chadwick School (a top private school) from Kindergarten until I graduated. Then I graduated from Fox School of Business, Temple University with a degree in Business Administration and Finance.
When did you get involved with the business and when did you take the role of the CEO?
I’m very fortunate that Adees Co. was already established as a premier clothing company in the 1970s by my Grandmother, Adylia. The clothes were sold at I. Magnin & Co. and Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills. I was a junior when my International Business professor said, ‘Find what you have and perfect it.’ At that time I thought he was speaking in a riddle because I had no idea what I wanted to do. I started researching for about two years and saw a gap in the market for quality, timeless handbags at an accessible price and I knew I could fill the need. I knew how I wanted to rebrand the company and gut it. I don’t do clothing but the trust of knowing handmade and high-quality pieces from my grandmother’s Adees Co. has thankfully carried over to my Adees Co.
Could you describe the trajectory of the Adees Co. business from its beginnings and how it’s grown since then?
I waited a while before I launched Adees Co. I knew how I wanted to enter the market; the demographic and brand identity I wanted to create. I was quite idealistic in the beginning because I remember the first week I sent emails out I just knew everyone would respond ASAP! They did respond, just not as fast I hoped. I strategized so I had a clear path of who I wanted to work with and would evoke fun, inclusivity and authenticity. Of course there is trial and error and like every business we have lulls. As I’ve continued with Adees Co. I’ve mapped out what our customers like to see at certain times etc. In the beginning I wanted to be seen as a brand/community. Now I’ve reached that goal I work harder to maintain the identity without losing the authenticity.
What materials do you use and where do you source them from?
For our leather collection we use calf and saffiano leather. For our backpacks, what Adees Co. is most known for, we use calf on the majority because it’s durable. The saffiano we use more on handbags and accessories. For our exotic collection we use anaconda and alligator.
We source our materials from Nicaragua and Pakistan.
Why did you select Nicaragua and Pakistan to manufacture your products?
Nicaragua, I have a long and wonderful history with. My family would split our time between Venezuela and Nicaragua during holidays and breaks from school growing up, so I’ve watched the skilled artisans make quality pieces since I was little. I thought it was a nice way to not only showcase their amazing work but give back to a country that has given me great memories. I was introduced to the skilled artisans in Pakistan by my brother who is Head of Marketing. I trust him completely since the branding/marketing of Adees Co. is all him. He showed me pictures of the work and I was so pleased to be able to showcase more amazing talent.
How often do you visit these two countries?
I try to visit Nicaragua every few months. My brother handles Pakistan. I haven’t visited Pakistan yet.
What makes your products unique and special?
Because I make them (joking!). No, I think the fact that each item is handmade-to-order which, traditionally, has only been able to serve a higher clientele. I’ve been able to make sure everyone has the ability to have access to quality and fun bright pieces. We also offer a lot of colour and traditionally coloured leather and stamped leather which is more expensive. We offer it all at an attainable price. Our exotic collection is more expensive than our leather but still more accessible.
We know that Adees Co. donates a percentage of its sales. Can you elaborate more on this please?
Yes, since I started Adees Co. we donate a percentage of our sales every month to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The great care they give to both the parents and children affected with cancer is amazing. Then I created a capsule collection to raise funds for the Shoebox Project which helps women affected by homelessness. Overall, I think it’s important to give. Consumerism is great, but consumerism with a purpose is priceless.
Who are some of the celebrities that use Adees Co?
Vanessa Simmons (daughter of Rev Run, niece of Russell Simmons), Jenny Frumes, Nikki Mudaris and Danny Simpson (Premier League title winner with Leicester City).
Tell us about some of your collaborations with other brands and which one was your favourite?
I was a Brand Ambassador for Jessica’s Nails in Beverly Hills and Essentia water. I’m still sponsored by Essentia water. My favourite would have to be Essentia because Essentia water celebrates being your best and authentic self which is totally aligned with the Adees Co. ethos.
How often do you release your new collection?
We keep our staples up year-round because they’re timeless and seasonless. Our leather collections we debut 2-3 times a year. Our exotics we create new styles every 3-4 months and custom orders anytime.
What are some of your future plans for Adees?
My goal is to keep creating quality products and building a community that celebrates an individual without judgment. Also to keep partnering with other brands that share the same ethos because I truly believe working together is much more beneficial. Overall, for our customers to keep enjoying and wearing Adees Co’s products.
What is your most favourite place to chill out/hang out/grab some food/drink a coffee/spend your free time?
I love coffee! I love trying new coffee places but my staple is Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. I love being on a beach or pool swimming and reading. I’m more of a dessert person so I love trying new ice cream, cookie places etc. Honestly, any place with my loved ones and a great coffee I’m the happiest person in the world.
How can people from Kuwait buy your products?
They can go directly to the website: www.adees.co or email us with any questions/custom orders at: email@example.com.
Your message for us at CP Magazine?
Thank you for including me in CP Magazine! It is truly a privilege and I hope you enjoyed the interview!