The Story of PurseBlog.com

Leading up to National Handbag Day on October 10, we want to share our love for handbags with some of the best editorial, photos, and stories, starting today. I’ve told the story of how Vlad and I started PurseBlog.com so many times to so many people, but I’m not sure that we’ve ever shared it with all of you before. Some of you have been here since the beginning and some are newer readers, so in honor of National Handbag Day (which is a holiday because we say it is – we registered it and everything), I want to share the story of how PurseBlog.com and PurseForum.com came into existence.

My love for handbags started in grade school. I remember going into middle school and beginning to recognize people’s stylistic differences much more, and I was drawn to handbags. While some of my friends had their own handbags, it was their mothers who carried the chicest accessories, and I began to lust after them. Why was it bags and not anything else? I guess I always loved the idea of having a place to store my personal items. I was one of the kids in school who loved having my own cubby hole or a desk that opened up so I could put all of my random special items inside.

One of the first brands I learned about was Coach, and I decided I had to have the Coach Demi Pouch. The campaign to have it be my next gift began, and after what felt like years of begging, my mom got it for me in 7th grade. From there, I started to buy every fashion magazine I could in order to browse through the pages and tear out all the bag ads.

As I hit high school, my obsession with handbags only got stronger. I went to a private school, and our handbag or backpack was the only way we could stand out from everyone else in our uniforms. When I entered college on a swimming scholarship, my love for handbags only solidified more. It was my first time dealing with winter weather, having grown up in Florida and suddenly being in college at Ohio State, so between my struggle with the cold and having swim practice every morning before class and every afternoon afterward, the only way I could dress up my swimming parka and swimmer hair was a chic bag. I carried a Prada messenger bag while wearing one of the most atrocious (but incredibly warm) parkas and always had my hair in a messy, chlorine-filled bun.

I met Vlad in college. He was also on the swim team, and while he didn’t share my passion for handbags, he had a passion for all things computer-related. After a couple months of dating, Vlad approached me to tell me that he heard from some of his web development friends that blogs were going to be the next big thing. This was in 2004, when the word blog was rarely uttered. Vlad was always ahead of the curve and he decided to register a bunch of domain names that had the world blog in it. In one of the sweetest gestures, Vlad registered PurseBlog.com and told me “I know how much you love handbags, so I got you PurseBlog.com.”

I had no idea what to do with a website, all I knew is that I loved handbags. Vlad designed the site and told me I could share my love of different handbags with people around the world. I didn’t come from a fashion background, in fact, I was pre-med in college before I decided to stick with psychology. What I did know is why I liked certain bags, and I was ready to learn about how to tell these stories to others.

I wrote my first blog post in January of 2005. I had no idea what to write about or how to share it, but Vlad walked me through it. He taught me the ropes of running a website, though to this day all the beauty that you see when it comes to the PurseBlog design is all Vlad. I thought a few people would maybe find our site and read it; little did I know a few months in, we would be picked up by Yahoo as the blog feed of the day. After that day, I realized there was long-term potential with our website, and we began thinking about this as more of a business than a silly side project.

About 6 months after we started PurseBlog.com, we began PurseForum.com, another idea from Vlad. There were a few other fashion forums online, but we wanted one that talked about shopping and focused on the consumer. Fast forward to 2013, we now have a full-time team of 7, 4 part time, and a website that is read by thousands of people everyday. I never imagined this would be my story, but it is both my life and the story of PurseBlog.com.

  • http://gohomeandaway.wordpress.com/ Anna

    What a fantastic way to add a personal tough. Props to you and Vlad!

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      Thanks Anna!!

  • http://gohomeandaway.wordpress.com/ Anna

    What a fantastic way to add a personal tough. Props to you and Vlad!

  • Averil

    That’s a great story, thanks for sharing!

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      Thank you, we thought people would like to hear the story!

  • Danelle Knitter

    Jason’s mom is proud of you!!!

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      Aww thanks, see you at the next home game?!

      • Danelle Knitter

        Hopefully!

  • Jenny

    Great story Megs!!! And thank you so much for National Handbag Day!! Now what to carry on such a special day……. hmmmmm

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      YES!!!! Hard question, so many choices!

  • Smooth Caramel

    lucky me to discover this in 2006! when are you planning on sharing your full collection Megs?

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      I should!! Seems like a daunting task! :)

      • Smooth Caramel

        maybe for the covetour? :-)

  • Esther

    As a newcomer to this site, it was nice to read how this all started. Thanks for sharing. Already got a new bag in honour of National Handbag day!!!

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      You better share with us on Instagram and tag your new bag with #nationalhandbagday !!!!

      • Esther

        Sure did! @frivofrugalista

  • Esther

    As a newcomer to this site, it was nice to read how this all started. Thanks for sharing. Already got a new bag in honour of National Handbag day!!!

  • Mary O’Hara

    Such a great story! I remember finding PurseForum and being so excited to discover not only a great place to admire handbags, but to find people who really put so much effort in helping others make purchasing decisions. Showing interiors of the bags, how much they fit, and how they looked when carried. The Forum has provided such valuable information (and inspiration!) to so many!

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      I know, we are so lucky to have such an amazing group of members on the forum, so so so helpful!

      • Mary O’Hara

        Megs! I am sure you don’t remember but I had the pleasure of meeting you and Vlad (as well as your family!) at a Rebecca Minkoff Jewelry event last November. My parents still talk about that event as the highlight of our trip and we just loved talking to you all!

      • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

        YES I do, you guys were in town to see your brother? Loved getting to meet you as well, you and your family are amazing!

      • Mary O’Hara

        Wow, you have an awesome memory! Yes, he was going to Parsons at the time!

      • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

        You all left an impression ;)

        Say hi to your parents!

  • travelluver

    This is my go-to site for so much, it’s just fabulous! I have learned so much, thank you Megs and thanks to your wonderful staff and contributors!

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      Thanks to you for visiting our site!

  • circafashion

    Love your story. I read your site every date, it’s great

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      Thanks!!

  • Sandra

    I read both blogs almost every day…. I have few friends that match my love of all things fashion so it is very nice to connect with those out there as crazed about it as I am. The opinions and helpful hints have assisted countless times with purchases, or not to purchase in certain situations.

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      Really glad you have “us” and we have you!

    • shueaddict

      Same as you, Sandra, I am on PB daily and most of my designer purchases have been greatly influenced by the lovely ladies of PB

  • tanhnguyen

    Thank you SO much for this website and forum! Its awesome to know there are other people out there that share my same obsession for handbags and fashion (when lots of my close friends and family DON’T :)

  • calimarie

    Back in 2006, my husband showed me a link to a purse he saw online on purseblog (I don’t know how he found the picture originally, likely a web search) that he knew I would be interested in. (I have loved purses, bags, boxes, etc., since I was a kid.) I remember asking him what the website was since I hadn’t heard of it before. He said he was hesitant to show me the site because I would love it a little too much. But he showed it to me anyway.

    He was right. :)

    Congrats on all your success. You’ve earned it. And now we have a fun new holiday to boot.

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      How sweet is your husband!! Glad he showed you!

  • kimmie

    We want to see a picture of the famous Vlad too!

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      There’s one of he and I floating around here… let me see

  • http://www.facebook.com/petra.brankovska Petra B.

    Ohh, I’m touched how much Vlad takes care of you and you guys are an excellent team! You gave all of us fashion-enthusiasts a place where we can share our obsessions so i’m really grateful that you two found each other !

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      He’s an amazing PurseBlog leader and husband :)

  • annabelle

    inspirational! glad you and your husband made this blog! all the info that i get! <3 should've thought of blogging back then too…there are too many now a days with insignificant info. always coming back to purseblog & forum!!!

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      :)

  • Ruhee

    Lovely story. I think the next “The Many Bags of” should feature you. Great way to commemorate National Handbag day..Love your website. Keep up the good work.

    • shueaddict

      I second that

      • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

        We will work on it!!!

  • ?? ?

    I’m basically a newcomer from the opposite side of the earth. I’m just very much thankful and grateful for your amazing blog…it’s like a must-do daily thing! taught me so much about this one thing i’m passionate about in my whole life!~

    this summer i’ve had a chance went to the U.S and get myself a michael kors selma bag…everyone at work love my new bag but they didn’t know the only reason i chose this particular one was you guys in this blog once told me it was the best thing under $500…

    thank you !!!~

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      Ohh Michael Kors does have beautiful bags, I’m glad we were able to help you make a purchase!

    • Roma

      Such a sweet story …. thank you so much for sharing it. I’m privileged to be a member of TPF and I know what a wonderful, generous group of people that community is! Thank you to yourself and Vlad for starting it. PurseBlog.com is just a real treat and like PurseForum.com , an invaluable resource! All the vest best to you and Vlad.

  • Noelle

    Thank you for putting up this amazing blog. I am from the Philippines, and this is one of my daily web reads. It is very informative and entertaining. My favorites are The Many Bags Of and individual features for fashion houses. Keep on blogging, please! – Your fellow bag-a-holic, Noelle :-)

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      We can’t stop, we won’t stop!

  • jenj

    That is a wonderful story! Am curious….did you get your degree in psychology or do you do this full time? Maybe you can shed some light on my full handbag budget and empty retirement fund, lol…… Either way, you’ve made many of us happy here in this little corner of cyber space. I usually visit it every day. Such a nice little distraction at the end of a busy day. I must admit I also love the Bravo show recaps and WIHB—keep up the excellent work. xo

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      I got my degree in psychology but by the time I graduated from college this was a full-time job. It’s actually been my only real job, other than an on campus job where I picked up a few hours a week and an internship.

      New WIHB coming tomorrow… featuring yours truly ;)

  • jenj

    That is a wonderful story! Am curious….did you get your degree in psychology or do you do this full time? Maybe you can shed some light on my full handbag budget and empty retirement fund, lol…… Either way, you’ve made many of us happy here in this little corner of cyber space. I usually visit it every day. Such a nice little distraction at the end of a busy day. I must admit I also love the Bravo show recaps and WIHB—keep up the excellent work. xo

  • Flaw

    I have read purse blog daily for the past few years, and talk shoes since it came out. I´m from Argentina so most if not all of the bags are certaintly out of my budget, but I love reading you (specially Amanda´s posts) and many of the brands here have designs inspired by bags that you cover so it´s still great to get an idea when I get enough cash to actually buy something for a change

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      We always try to get some good bag deals in too, hope you can find a bag you like and keep saving for one you dream of!

  • luxbaglove

    Wow who knew it all started at Ohio State? I’ve been following the purseblog and purseforum for several years now! It’s such a wonderful resource and guilty pleasure for me to visit these websites. Thanks so much for your hard work and go Buckeyes!

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      OH-IO!

      Yes, big things happened on South Campus! haha

  • http://justj.ca/ MizzJ

    Really interesting story! It’s always cool to hear about how a little side project became this big thing! Congrats to you and Vlad for all your hard work :)

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      Thank you, I still can’t believe it!

  • Maria

    Why did you choose 10 October as the National Handbag Day? Is this a special date to remember? I love your site too, im an avid fan from land down under

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      We wanted a day in the fall and an added bonus is it coincides with my grandfather’s birthday! We had to pick from open days in the registry

      • Maria

        Oh that’s nice, your grandfather must be so happy as 10 Oct
        becomes more significant now. Meanwhile,
        can I suggest if we can have a section here called “handbag photo ops” of which
        the background of the bags photographed are the famous landmarks. Id like to
        share one photo of my bags taken in the steps of Opera House J

  • Nirvana

    Just been about a month I discovered Purseblog and I love visiting it everyday. I’m a bag fanatic from Nepal and though we don’t have access to most of the bags featured in your blog, it certainly helps to plan purchases to when I go abroad!Here’s to many, many more years of sharing the love for handbags!!:)

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      I would love to travel to Nepal, so glad you found us!

  • Nirvana

    Just been about a month I discovered Purseblog and I love visiting it everyday. I’m a bag fanatic from Nepal and though we don’t have access to most of the bags featured in your blog, it certainly helps to plan purchases to when I go abroad!Here’s to many, many more years of sharing the love for handbags!!:)

  • gis08

    p/s: Are you hiring? hehe. I share the same sentiments and this is such a dream job.

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      It’s an amazing job, I’m so lucky! You can check our careers page if interested : http://www.purseblog.com/careers/ ;)

  • http://exclusiveumpf.blogspot.com/ ExclusiveUMPF

    Congrats! Awesome story, thanks for sharing. We can definitely understand you love for handbags, just as we are totally obsessed with fashion accessories. We admire the work you guys have put in :)

    XO

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      Thank you!

  • Jennifer

    Found you in 2006 while searching for a Cynthia Rowley bag…love the site & love how you reach all different age groups & backgrounds…you all have done an amazing job & keep up the good work! I also would like to see a ‘Many Bags of Megs’! =)

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      Yes to the many bags of Megs and happy you found us :)

  • http://www.purseblog.com/ Amanda Mull

    I should have added this yesterday, but I found PurseBlog in October 2005 while I was looking for information on a bag I was thinking about purchasing. I was a sophomore in college at the University of Georgia. I was one of the first group of moderators on the Forum once it got big enough to need them, and after I graduated college, I freelanced some blog posts here and there because I had both a journalism degree and an underpaid marketing job in the hotel industry that I hated. After the economy crashed at the end of 2008, I could see the writing on the wall at my job and Megs and Vladi offered me a regular gig two days before I got laid off. I started on February 1, 2009. When they moved the company to NYC, I moved along with them from Atlanta a few months later!

    So thanks, Google.

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      Google wanted us to be friends and work together!!! :)

  • Ingrid Kim

    Wow Megs!! Congrats to you and Vlad! Can’t believe it’s already been 8 years. Kudos to you guys for staying with it by introducing new content that is always interesting and relevant! I’ve been here since the beginning and can’t wait to see where you guys go from here!

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      I’ve ‘known’ you for a long time, appreciate the support from the beginning!

  • The Handbag Spa

    You guys have such an awesome following and just go from strength to strength! wish you all the luck in the world. Keep making handbag news mainstream! all the best, The THBS Team

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      Thanks you guys! Appreciate it!

  • Yang

    Love this story! Thank you for sharing with us, and of course, for starting PurseBlog where we can all share our experiences and love of handbags.

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      Thanks to you too!

  • Yang

    Love this story! Thank you for sharing with us, and of course, for starting PurseBlog where we can all share our experiences and love of handbags.

  • wendy

    Thank you for starting this. I found this site few years back and have been following it since. Whenever i need info on bags, i’ll just go to purseforum. Best forum ever!

  • wendy

    Thank you for starting this. I found this site few years back and have been following it since. Whenever i need info on bags, i’ll just go to purseforum. Best forum ever!

  • Erica Harel

    For a bag-aholic like me, every day is National Handbag Day.

  • DreamofPomp

    I LOVE TPF and check it every day! Love this story – go Megs and Vlad!

  • Jeannie Shmina Greenwald

    I wish I’d thought of it first!

    I love the site :)