Jeremy Bassan was born and raised in Santa Barbara. He grew up hiking in the local hills, investigating tide pools, and exploring the environment. After graduating from Santa Barbara High School, he took a gap year and traveled around the world. While in Xi’an, China, he met a local family making silk bags out of their home. He started importing these bags and selling them to independent retailers. The endeavor led to the creation of Big Buddha. It eventually became a leading brand of fashion-forward handbags, accessories, and shoes sold in thousands of domestic and international stores.
In 2010, Big Buddha was acquired by Steve Madden Ltd. Bassan moved to New York City with his team and continued to grow the business through 2013. After three fun years in New York City, Bassan moved back to Santa Barbara where he owns a boutique real estate investment and development company. He and his wife, Manuela, are committed to the local community and support everything that makes this a wonderful place to live. Bassan has been involved with Santa Barbara Botanic Garden since 2017. In 2017 and 2018, he served as co-chair of the Santa Barbara Beer Garden event and has remained on its committee since then.