Birchbox Crush: Emily Sugihara

BAGGU® Emily Sugihara didn’t set out to create an accessories empire. In 2006, she was just a college kid who thought it was silly that there weren’t any cute reusable bags on the market. Using her mom’s sewing machine, she came up with a functional, foldable nylon prototype that she could use for groceries, gym clothes, and everything in between. Six years later, BAGGU® spans 18 countries and includes everything from leather goods to keychains. Despite being a busy entrepreneur, Sugihara manages to juggle an impressive number of hobbies and look extremely stylish while doing it. We got the deets on her summer travel plans, secret weapon SPF, and what’s next for BAGGU®.

Fun Fact

Baggu is the Japanese word for bag. My dad is half Japanese and we lived there for a year when I was a kid.

Hands On

Both of my hobbies are very hard on my hands. I’ve been doing ceramics for a few years. It’s super fun but it really dries out your hands. I have also been climbing for a few months. It’s really hard and really exhausting. Afterwards, your hands are really killing you. I discovered this funny hand product that’s sold at the climbing gym called Climb On. It’s a bar made with essential oils and beeswax and it’s amazing for softening your hands after you’ve done something crazy.

Summer Plans

I just started surfing. I got a long board and my boyfriend and I are going to surf on the Rockaways this summer. It’s so big, I can’t carry it up the stairs to my apartment! It’s at my office. For surfing, there’s this sunscreen I really love called Head Hunter. It’s basically like a deodorant for your face; it makes you look like a ghost but it doesn’t clog your pores. Even after a week of wearing it, my skin looks great.

Everyday Must

I love going in the sun, but I cover my skin like a crazy person. My favorite day to day sunscreen is Kiehl’s Superfluid UV Defense. In the summer, I keep it with me in my bag.

Dream Vacation

I love going to Japan. My boyfriend and I want to do a surf trip. There are some really cool little surfy-towns in Okinawa. I’ve been studying Japanese, and I would love to go there for a while and get some more practice.

Beyond Nylon

We’re having fun with our leather goods. We’re also making keychains now with scraps from our leather production. We’re trying really hard to use every little piece of the hide.

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