Franki Ray, the luxury brand offering handcrafted leather and apparel goods that are handmade by India-based artisans, started with a best friendship. Co-founders Sasha Spivey and Stacey George met in kindergarten and have been close ever since — and their connection is clear from the brand’s name, which is inspired by the women’s entrepreneurial fathers.
Spivey and George shared a similar love for fashion in their friendship before they came together to start their brand. “Stacey launched an apparel business with her sister some years ago and designed some fabulous pieces we still wear,” the founders said, touching on their formative fashion memories. “Sasha has always pushed the envelope in terms of style and getting creative with her wardrobe.”
“We both come from entrepreneurial families, so the desire to work for ourselves was an aspiration early on for us both,”the founders continued in an email statement. “It was only a matter of time before we found the right idea and ran with it. Given that we both have a passion for fashion and design, a luxury lifestyle brand seemed like the perfect fit.”
For Franki Ray, the pair’s mission was to redefine luxury with statement-making clothing and accessory pieces that embrace creativity, and launched the brand’s first product, the Business Bag, in March 2020 — just two weeks before the world shut down.
“Ultimately, [the pandemic] showed us that we are capable of so much,” Spivey and George said. “Entrepreneurship is tough, but we’re here and here to stay! It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle, but it’s important to acknowledge how far you’ve come. We are so proud of what we’ve built and can’t wait to keep going.”
And stay the brand absolutely did. In the two years since Franki Ray’s launch, the brand’s accessory offerings include the leather Business Bag, which comes in three custom-dyed colors (sky blue, brown and white) and features bold-patterned microsuede linings; backpacks crafted from full-grain, vegetable-tanned leather with gold-toned hardware and a “Franki Ray” nameplate weekender bag with leather double handles in sky blue, hot pink and olive green; the bright floral crossbody clutch/wallet and jewelry clutch and a keychain with the brand’s signature gold lion charm.
Franki Ray’s apparel includes the Floral Texas Blazer, an oversized denim top with fringe and floral detailing, and floral- and animal-printed tracksuit separates such as the “Zsa Zsa tracksuit”in black florals with a side stripe embossed with a hundred dollar bill print and the “Call My Agent”set in bold leopard print and blue florals. Both pieces are available in male and female sizing options, and the tracksuit pieces are sold separately for a customizable look. Franki Ray pieces range from $40 to $950.
The brand’s offerings are statement-making and deeply fun additions to any outfit or look — in the words of Spivey and George, Franki Ray products are for “any person who wants to live out loud, and look fabulous doing it.”
At the core of the brand’s ethos is Spivey and George’s desire to embrace luxury with daring and out-of-the-box takes on classic accessories and apparel. “Living a life, a week, a day or a moment of luxury will open your eyes to what you truly deserve, thus turning aspirations into the standard,” they said.
“Luxury is different for everyone, but the most fundamental component is simply this: does it make you smile?”Spivey and George continued. “Once you smile, your confidence will carry you to the greatest places mentally and physically, providing a clear perspective of what exactly your next move should be. Take it one step at a time, but hey, if one of those steps is the Franki Ray ‘add to cart,’ then load up!”
One of the hallmarks of Franki Ray’s eye-catching aesthetic is the blue floral print that recurs through multiple accessories and garments across the brand’s offerings, including the exterior of the clutch, the inner lining of the blue Business Bag, the print of the “Eastside Paradise” tracksuit and more. The pattern evokes a sense of luxury and glamour, and unifies the athlesiure and more formal pieces in the brand’s collection with ease.
“We clearly have an affinity for floral patterns, but the biggest source of inspiration is our friendship,” the founders said. “We balance each other so well and have the best time designing each and every one of our pieces. It’s an absolute 50/50 collaboration and we believe wholeheartedly that the love and energy of our friendship lives in each of our creations.”
The future is bright for Franki Ray, as the brand continues to expand its reach with the entrance into all-new product categories. When asked to identify a product that they’d love to design for Franki Ray, Spivey and George replied, “anything we can dream up!”
“We are looking forward to creating our collection of luxury pet products,” they added. “Stay tuned for the ‘Franki Ray Farm’ collection. Also, home decor is on the list.” The founders also shared that they will introduce a swim collection featuring swim trunks this summer and retro-inspired varsity jackets in the fall.
At the end of the day, Franki Ray’s bold, playful take on luxury, as well as the brand’s popularity, is a testament to Spivey and George’s close bond of friendship — and their ability to cultivate a successful business relationship as well.
“We know each other so well, [which] makes dividing and conquering tasks simpler because we know our strengths and weaknesses,” the founders said. “Working with your best friend is fun! Remember the spark and love for your friendship that inspired you to get to dreaming and accomplishing your goals together, together with kindness you’ll go further.”