East Hanover mom Kimberly Cignarella was a designer for more than a decade for high-end brands like Laundry and Nicole Miller when she was furloughed during the pandemic. Pregnant with her second son at the time, and with encouragement from her husband, she launched KIM CIG, the first ever light-up, luxury acrylic handbag. We asked her about her new line and how she juggles entrepreneurship with raising sons Hudson, 4 and Ashton, 2.
New Jersey Family: How did KIM CIG come to be?
Kimberly Cignarella: I had a little acrylic clutch from being a bridesmaid in a wedding, and it was sitting there on the table while we were having dinner. I just said, ‘Wow, this would be so cool if it lit up. I’ve never seen that before.’ Me and my husband just looked at each other and were like, boom, that’s the product. It’s something that’s brand new and it would definitely spark joy and happiness. A year later, I launched kimcig.com and started selling the product.
NJF: Besides being cute, the bag has a built-in charger for your phone. How did you go about developing it?
KC: I knew how to bring a sketch to real life. I had a really amazing connection and she got me connected to a few factories. For the technical part, we used several different vendors and factories. The battery comes from one supplier, the metal comes from another supplier, the acrylic comes from another. We spent almost a year just finding the best quality products and materials to use to construct it.
NJF: Tell us more about the bag and styles available.
KC: The tote comes in either the diamond or the classic, which is flat acrylic. Every handbag comes in a fabulous display box and every box comes with the adapter and a cable for charging your handbag. A blue light blinks while it’s charging and stops blinking when it’s fully charged. You also get a user guide, manual and authenticity card.
NJF: When you’re not working, what do you like to do with your family in New Jersey?
KC: My boys love the Environmental Center in Roseland. It’s a really cute place, especially now that the weather’s nice. They have little trails and frog ponds. We also love Exceptional Explorers in Livingston. It’s an indoor place but they have classes and my older son’s really into science and the STEM classes. They even have a LEGO class. My family has a beach house in Lavallette, so we spend our summers at the Jersey Shore. That’s definitely the highlight of the year.