About Us - Casauri Story

Brief History

Casauri is an award-winning accessories design company that started in my (Emily’s) bedroom in East Orange, New Jersey in the summer of 1999. Frustrated with the lack of choices for stylish laptop bags for women, I asked my sister Helena to make a laptop bag for me. The bag got so much attention that I decided to do some market research. This research turned into a class project in business school that ended up becoming the first laptop case sold at the MoMA Design Store (Museum of Modern Art) in New York and Tokyo. From there, we were nominated for the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award (the winner that year was the iPod). We eventually became one of the top-selling stylish laptop bags for hip women and cool men at Apple, as well as other tech companies such as Sony Style.

Design Philosophy

Our design philosophy is: happiness results in productivity, organization in efficiency, and stylish self-expression in confidence. So we like to keep things simple, timeless, and vibrant. Our colorful bold designs make people happy, and sometimes fall in love…! Our goal is to add that “extra spring” in your step as you bound through the airport or head off to your next shindig. Whatever you are doing, Casauri adds confidence and style!

Our Name

Like our products, Casauri is resilient and evolves over time. Casauri got its origin from the “ca-” in the French “caméléon” and the “-sauri” from the reptile family Sauria. The ball logo, akin to a beach ball, represents the coiled tail of the chameleon, suggestive of cohesion in the midst of change – or the ability to just keep it together no matter what.

Designers/ Founders/Family

Helena McHugh – intuitive and grounded – loves the color blue – graduate of Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) famous alums include Calvin Klein and Norma Kamali – When not doing Casauri, I love to garden, farm, knit, crochet, and quilt – the more complicated the designs the better!

Emily McHugh – ebullient and visionary – loves the color green – graduate of Swarthmore College and Columbia B-School – famous alums include James Michener and Warren Buffett (may be he’ll invest?) My other activities include: playing my violin, speaking on entrepreneurship at conferences,consulting on international trade with the SBDC – if you’re an entrepreneur reach out to your local SBDC, and writing (articles have made appearances in the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and USAToday).

“Sugar” – fluffy and bossy – loves a cozy enclave, any bag (preferably Casauri), and a serious feline fetish for cardboard and paper. She is a grateful alumna of Dogs and Cats Forever Animal Shelter and graciously accepted to be part of our family. In her spare time, when not napping, she will chase dogs, loves to garden, eat, and makes sure I get up on time! She is an integral part of our team and keeps us on track.

Casauri Fun Facts

Movies & TV: Featured in movies (one got an Oscar!) and TV Shows
The Nanny Diaries (scene where Scarlett Johansson is packing and hauling her Casauri Sun Stripes Wheeled Bag)

  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Starring Jim Carrey – scene with the scientist and our Portfolio Octopus Grey Case (we got to visit the set during filming in NYC and predicted the Academy Award win!)
  • SuperSweet Sixteen, the Movie – Sun Stripes Every Day Tote
  • Caprica Sci-Fi series – Luna Stripes Backpack
  • MSNBC’s Your Business Show
  • Magazines & Press: Featured in several magazines in the U.S. and internationally from Vogue Brasil to Vogue Italia, The Sunday Telegraph Australia to USA Today!

    • First Place Winner in Make Mine a Million Dollar Business Competition

  • The Supplier of the Year by the Southern Florida Minority Supplier Development Council
  • 25 Legendary Women of Florida
  • National Design Award Nominee
  • Networker of the Year
  • Tourism Champion of the Year
  • Eighth Grade Spelling Bee Champion
  • Fed-Cred: Designed Department of Homeland Security TSA approved checkpoint-friendly laptop bag protocol adopted at airports nationwide!

    Jet Set Globe Trotter: Casauri bags travel the world – most commonly sighted in airports from JFK to HKG! We have shipped our bags to Iceland, Dubai, Russia, and practically everywhere in between, with a particular affinity for Australia!

    Certification: Casauri is a certified SBA 8(a) company, proudly run by humans and one cat! 100 % women-owned and operated.

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