Francine has been nationally recognized for her dedication and generosity in the workforce by NewsWeek, and the New York Times.
Raised in The Bronx, Francine grew up a gritty, funny kid who wasn’t afraid to take on big things. As a young woman, she took her first job as a receptionist at a popular salon. Ever the entrepreneur, Francine quickly had the brilliant idea to bring in a small collection of Pucci-like dresses to sell to the salon’s customers (a captive audience!) and used her charm to convince the owner that it was a winning idea. Before long, the salon and Francine’s carefully curated clothing collection became the talk of The Grand Concourse and caught the eye of the big wigs at the famed Alexander’s Department Store.
Francine would eventually work her way up to become Fashion Director and Vice President of Alexander’s, but not before leaving her entry level position there for a stint as a famed stockbroker leading the Wall Street Path for women. It’s worth noting that this was in the 1960s…and that she was simultaneously raising a young family during this time!
Francine revolutionized the American department store while at Alexander’s by providing customers with creative experiences – live, star-studded fashion shows! An exotic collection of home goods from the Far East! Pretty sales associates dressed in hot pants working in the tie department! But Francine, always able to see the big picture, also recognized that there were customers who enjoyed the style and entertainment of Alexander’s but weren’t interested in paying the prices for designer labels. So, she created fashion designer pieces (un-labeled) of equal adaptions; quality and style at a fraction of the price. This turned out to be a hugely successful formula and one that is still followed today.
Once her tenure at Alexander’s had run its course, the endlessly energetic Francine decided to start her own company. From scratch. A woman always ahead of her time, in the late ‘70s Francine recognized the opportunity in forming a company that would specialize in making technology cases. Fabrique has since evolved to design and manufacture cases for the world’s leading consumer technology companies. From there, she launched Women in Business to provide professional women with feminine yet functional computer bags and electronics accessories.
Francine’s CV leaves one mystified as to how she has fit so many successful accomplishments into her life while still managing to look as though she’s just returned from a relaxing vacation. Certainly, there is no need for Francine to continue working but for her tremendous drive and dedication to hard work and the creative process. Additionally, her commitment to women’s causes propels her to continually strive for new ways to reach out. As such, she’s not done yet…
Evolution and style have been constants in each phase and in all aspects of Francine’s remarkable life. She is proud to introduce Francine Collections, her extraordinary new assemblage of bags and accessories that was inspired by a very full life lived very well. Francine Collections blends her passion for business, love of travel, eye for style and innate understanding of what modern women are looking for in beautifully designed and crafted cases, accessories and more.
FOUNDING FRANCINE COLLECTIONS
At nearly 80 years old, I decided to launch a new company. What was I thinking?!?
As a woman who has spent decades switching between roles as a mother, a businesswoman and a traveler, I recognized a need for stylish bags and accessories that could take women like me from the school run to the board room to an elegant dinner and everything in between. I created Francine Collections to help simplify the lives of women on the go. A timeless collection of exceptional quality, our bags and accessories are created for women, by women, and are designed to take you wherever your journey may lead.
1972: A TRIP TO CHINA
TWENTY-FIVE MEN. ONE WOMAN.
China was "closed" for 26 years for Americans.
25 men and only 1 woman were invited as top luminaries and dignitaries to re-enter.
Francine Farkas Sears was invited and honored as the first American business woman invited to China after President Nixon re-established trade relations, for this groundbreaking trip.
1978: FOUNDING FABRIQUE, LTD
Fabrique remains a major player in the design and manufacturing of functional cases for consumer electronic products. Known for industry leading computer luggage and related products, Fabrique, ltd. is one of the first to make a case devoted to the portable computer user.
Stylish cases with a unique flair that always meet the strict safety requirements of the world’s top technology companies is a specialty.
ALWAYS DEDICATED TO WOMEN
1980: PLANNED PARENTHOOD
When the government stopped funding for women in need, Francine took action. became a committee member of the New Haven Planned Parenthood and sold Bouquet Garni to for women's medical care across the United States. $95,000 were raised in these grassroots efforts.
2005: PAVING THE WAY
Francine became a member of the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women.
2009: WOMAN'S 50 FASTEST
Became a member of the Women Presidents’ Organization and received the 50 fastest Growing Companies Owned by a Woman Award from the WPO.
2010: U.S. CONGRESS
Congress Woman Rosa L. DeLauro of Connecticut acknowledged Francine Sears in the US Congressional Record on September 29, 2010 for her accomplishments in business and the community.
2019: SOCIAL JUSTICE
Francine Farkas Sears received the Diversity Award from the Urban League of Connecticut for her leadership, service, and dedication to inclusion in her community.