Ellington, a lifestyle accessories brand for women, is poised for growth despite the economic downturn. A series of business initiatives, starting with the recent re-launch of the brand with a new logo and upgraded website, will boost brand awareness and position Ellington as a leader in handbags and travel accessories. Ellington CEO Mike Edwards, formerly CEO of lucy activewear, initiated the brand re-launch immediately after joining the company in January 2009. “Now is the time to invest in building our brand. We are positioning Ellington for long-term, global growth by focusing on innovative product development and exceptional customer experiences at every touch-point,” Edwards says.  In addition to investing significantly in new designs and launching a new line of handbags made with Ellington’s signature Eco Leather, Ellington is also working to improve the consumer experience on all levels. A new website, launched May 1, 2009, includes new branded content, improved shopability, more product photos, and a clean, crisp design. This is only the beginning of the brand’s push to become a leading e-commerce handbag resource, with plans for further upgrades throughout the year. “Many companies in the fashion industry don’t take the time to create extraordinary online experiences for customers,” Edwards says, going on to note that he sees significant growth potential in the online aspects of the business, both with consumers and for buyers. In light of this, the new Ellington website supports shopping not only for direct consumers but also for buyers, who can now place orders online at wholesale prices. With new accounts on Facebook and Twitter, the company is also investing in online social networking as a means for building brand awareness and connecting with customers.  Another important consumer touch-point is the Ellington Store. Located in Portland, Oregon, the store is currently being expanded and remodeled, with a weekend of Grand Re-Opening Events planned for May 28-31.  Edwards indicates the store will also serve as a test of branded brick-and-mortar retail for the company, with the potential of rolling out Ellington retail locations worldwide in the future.  “We’re taking a long-term view,” says Edwards. “Our vision is to create authentic handbags with style and substance, the perfect companions for everyday adventures. We’re committed to global growth in our category.”