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.