Posted on July 21, 2022
| 4:21 p.m.
The Santa Barbara Botanical Garden has named Jeremy Bassan to its board of directors. He joins the 14-member board consisting of Valerie Hoffman, president; John Gabbert, vice-president; Kathy Scroggs, secretary; Mark Funk, Treasurer; and board members Sarah Berkus Gower, Sharon Bradford, Samantha Davis, George Leis, William Murdoch, Helene Schneider, Warren Schultheis, Jesse Smith and Ann Steinmetz.
“My wife Manuela and I are committed to the local community and support everything that makes this place a wonderful place to live,” Bassan said. “The Santa Barbara Botanical Garden is a haven for nature lovers and an organization dedicated to the conservation of native plants.”
Born and raised in Santa Barbara, Bassan grew up hiking the local hills, investigating tidal pools and exploring the environment.
After graduating from Santa Barbara High School, he took a year off and traveled the world. While in Xi’an, China, he met a local family making silk bags from home. He began importing these bags and selling them to independent retailers, which led to the creation of Big Buddha. The company has become a leading brand of fashion-forward handbags, accessories and footwear sold in thousands of national and international stores.
In 2010 Big Buddha was acquired by Steve Madden Ltd. and Bassan moved to New York with his team and continued to grow the business until 2013. He moved back to Santa Barbara where he owns a real estate investment and development company.
He has been involved with the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden since 2017. He served as co-chair of the Santa Barbara Beer Garden event in 2017 and 2018 and remains a member of its committee.
To learn more about the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden, visit www.SBBotanicGarden.org.