During a sabbatical from her corporate career, Stephanie Fornash Kennedy found herself inspired while vacationing in the Caribbean. The bright colors and richness of the tropics refueled her passion for design and style. Upon her arrival to Washington D.C., she began designing custom handbags on the weekends in her Glover Park home and thus FORNASH was born.
Locals loved playing designer with Stephanie’s customizable handbags and FORNASH began to grow beyond a weekend hobby. In November 2002, six months after Stephanie sold her first custom handbag, she opened the FORNASH boutique in Georgetown.
Stephanie’s ability to re-create classic handbag silhouettes with colorful fabrics and preppy details transported clientele away from their nine-to-five workdays. FORNASH instantly became a desired destination and highly regarded boutique in Washington, D.C. Due to the overwhelming success, Stephanie wanted to offer her signature FORNASH style to a wider audience; not just to those who had access to her Georgetown boutique.
In August 2003, Stephanie turned her dreams into reality by introducing her FORNASH collection to retail buyers at Accessories the Show in New York City. The show was a success and the FORNASH collection was now available in boutiques along the East Coast.
As the wholesale business continued to grow, Stephanie broadened the FORNASH line with scarves and clothing, but jewelry was the runaway success. FORNASH perfected the art of offering fabulous jewelry at an irresistible price, despite the economic downturn in 2008 and the fashion industry took notice.
A pivotal moment for the FORNASH brand occurred in December 2009, when the FORNASH Boa Scarf was featured in Oprah’s magazine on her coveted “O List”. This publicity instantly gave FORNASH national brand recognition, new fans and new clients. The secret was out!
FORNASH now resides in Arlington, Virginia, where the ever-expanding collection can be discovered through its retail website and flagship store.
Stephanie is a true believer that when one door closes another one opens. As she closed her corporate “9 to 5” door she opened her own “FORNASH” doors. Starting a business from the ground up and watching its growth has been a priceless experience for Stephanie.
Stephanie is humbled by the continued success of the brand. She can’t help but smile every time she spots someone wearing FORNASH because her dream has come true.