How could this week be any better? Vlad flies back from Germany today, tomorrow is Thanksgiving with the family and no work, and today we had a feature in The Miami Herald. We were interviewed for this piece by Kathryn Wexler who met us at our house and had the opportunity to learn more about Purse Blog. Kathryn saw us in our true element, though I did wear a nicer blouse than I typically walk around the house/office in and I had a tinge of make up on. I constantly attest to the fact that we are laid back, and Kathryn will agree with this!

The article, A Virtual Purse Party, lets you in on the ins and out of our website and our business. The boxes of bags that come in for us to review and shoot in our photo studio continue to grow, leaving our front entry wall practically impassable. From $300 to $35,000 bags, our office is constantly seeing the latest and greatest from the designer handbag world. But we are a close knit trio, me and Vlad and my sister. We know the latest and greatest from the fashion world and the runways, but choose to wear jeans and tee shirt and rock out an amazing bag. Kathryn Wexler depicts our story, how our site started, and where our site is going perfectly. Welcome all the new South Florida readers!! And a special thank you to The Miami Herald and Kathryn for the piece.

Article found online at The Miami Herald.

Meaghan Mahoney is awaiting her next batch of buttery Salvatore Ferragamo satchels. The bumpy croc shoulder bags by Nancy Gonzalez shouldn’t be far behind.

Right now, she’s got all manner of purses by Treesje, Hayden-Harnett, Elliott Lucca and Linea Pele piled up in her Fort Lauderdale townhouse. The python and ostrich bags by Kempt were just shipped back.

Mahoney is a purse fiend. Luckily for her, she’s found a way to make a living out of her habit.

In 2005, when she was finishing college at Ohio State and her handbag lust was more hobby than obsession, Mahoney and then-boyfriend Vlad Dusil bought the URL for purseblog.com. She filled it with tips on buying discount handbags online and renting them from sites like bagborroworsteal.com.

Four months later, Yahoo! chose her site as Blog of the Day. And Mahoney awoke to find that 300 daily readers had ballooned to 20,000 overnight.

”We realized if we put more effort into this, we could really make it grow,” said Mahoney, 25, now married to Dusil.

“I never thought it would be my full-time job.”

But as one of the most successful handbag blogs out there, with 1.9 million hits a month, according to its owners, Mahoney has hired her sister, Shannon, to help write and manage the site.

Connoisseurs of ultra-luxe handbags have flocked to online forums like purseblog.com, including baglist.com, bagforum.com, bagtrends.com, whatshauteblog.com and bagbliss.com.

Fashion and handbag designer Rebecca Minkoff, whom Mahoney and Dusil have befriended, attests to the power of such sites.

”I attribute a large growth of my business to those blogs,” Minkoff said. “What I liked about Megs and Vlad is they’re more personal and they have such a passion for it.”

The site that has made ”Megs and Vlad” virtually famous contains chatty dispatches with a chummy, girlfriend-to-girfriend appeal. The blog is light, and reads like the diary of a woman whose biggest worry is that her Jimmy Choo Zulu clutch has gone missing.

”Today I find myself laying in bed with my laptop watching Regis and Kelly and not feeling like starting the day,” Mahoney wrote recently. To distinguish their site from the numerous competitors, the Mahoney sisters interview designers and post the interactions online. They also lobby designers to send their latest handbags, which Dusil shoots in his new home studio.

”We’re trying to really showcase the craftsmanship,” said Dusil, 28, who handles the technology and marketing for the site.

To get those interviews and those samples — almost all of which they must return — purseblog.com must play nice.

Shannon, 26, recently reviewed a Bottega Veneta she wasn’t crazy about: “Don’t the toggles remind you of those spice drop candies?”

Bagsnob.com, had this to say about the same bag: “toggles as if for a traveling clown? . . . This just shows poor taste and lack of creativity.”

The online Megs is remarkably like the actual Megs: polite, understated, unpretentious. On this day, she pads around the townhouse in Paige jeans, a Theory blouse and Unisa sandals. She doesn’t bother with pedicures or highlights.

”We’re pretty low-key,” Mahoney said.

The couple is not what you’d expect in a world where Valentino-crazed collectors circle designer bag offerings on eBay like sharks. The typical visitor to the purseforum at purseblog.com can authenticate a Fendi spy bag handbag based on the ridges in a rivet or the hue of teal leather.

Mahoney is the first to admit she wasn’t born into this esoteric clique, but found her way slowly, years after her very first designer handbag purchase in college, a monogram Louis Vuitton Wapity clutch.

So when readers this summer urged her to blog about her own handbag collection, she did so with trepidation. Her cache of about 40 then (she now has more than 60) included an Hermès Blue Jean Birkin at a cost of $8,000 (an expenditure that immediately induced a stomachache). But Mahoney knew that plenty of her readers wouldn’t be bowled over — Birkin or no Birkin.

”I was very insecure,” she said. “People on our forum have hundreds of bags.”

When Dusil posted the photos he’d taken, indeed some readers sniffed.

‘They said, `you’re supposed to be the purse queen and that’s it?’ Even though it’s $60,000 worth of bags,” Dusil said. “People just like to be nasty about it.”

But the couple — more than anybody — understands the handbag elitism they’ve fostered and nurtured.

And they certainly don’t expect to compete.

”A diamond-encrusted Hermès bag is $180,000,” Dusil said. “We don’t operate in that realm.”

”Nor,” Mahoney added, “can we afford to.”

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  • http://www.purseblog.com/ Vlad

    Note me hugging the Spy. Something tells me that I’ll be teased for that one, a lot!

  • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs

    You ALWAYS loved the Spy!!!!

  • mj wilson

    Congrats you guys! What an accomplishment!
    Have a great Thanksgiving!

  • Cindy

    I love it! Looks like you two landed at the Mother Ship!

  • Val(cocogirl07)

    Congrats guys! you deserve it…this is a well respected forum!

    Happy Thanksgiving :-)

  • Sarah

    Absolutely awesome!! LOVE IT YOU TWO!!!

  • Yeva

    I liked reading the article!
    I think you guys accomplished alot…
    Keep up the good work!
    I liked the fact that Vlad was hugging the Spy bag….*tickled*

  • mel_mel1004

    You two look so cute in the photo!! You’ve really earned this recognition through your hard work on bringing beautiful handbags and designers to us! I think a handbag collection is not about quantity, it’s about the select pieces that create a unique collection – love your collection Meg’s!! Keep up the FANTASTIC work!!!

  • wgs

    Very cute pic…congrats guys…

  • sheana

    awesome article!! But have I been under a rock….when did you two get married?!?!?!?

  • Anoka

    Fantastic! Beautiful photo and great article. And yes Vlad, I did notice you with your love, the infamous spy!

  • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs

    I told him he was totally going to be called out for cradling the Spy again!! ROFL!

  • Prada Psycho

    12: Megs said: I told him he was totally going to be called out for cradling the Spy again!! ROFL!

    And of course, old PP would be the one to post the infamous Spy photo on both threads!

    Seriously, great article! You guys rock our bag loving world and you deserve the attention.

  • Pippi

    Hooray! You guys deserve to get such great recognition!
    all the best!
    Pippi

  • nosnowhere

    Congratulations on the article you guys!

  • Thistle

    Congrats on the write-up! (I can’t believe anyone would diss Megs collection like that! I love how diverse it is!)

    Vlad is hugging the Spy isn’t he! Didn’t notice that ’till he commented on it. ;)

  • Tracy

    awesome interview! vlad, the fendi is the first thing i noticed. ha! it’s definitely your color!

  • Marilour

    Way to go Megs and Vlad!

    I think reposting Vlad’s pic sportin’ the Fendi on his shoulder is in order, don’t you think?

  • BagAngel

    Huge congrats! Fantastic article! You two deserve it! Where would we all be without The Purse Forum! Love the pic & especially Vlad clutching his favourite bag! lol!

  • Sweet Pea

    Congratulations on a well deserved article!!! The Purseblog is the best!!!

  • shushopn

    Vladdy I’m thinking your major Spy fetish is becoming a little disturbing :)

    I absolutely love the article and it describes you guys exactly as I would imagine. Just fabulous!

  • may

    Congratulations on the write up!

    Although I am relatively new to the site, I am really glad that the site exist and that you folks give your honest views on the bags! Whether our views agree or not, the site is definitely a great resource of information!

    Happy Thanksgiving and keep up the excellent work!

  • Texas Glitterati

    I’m glad I got a chance to read about the origins of Purseblog. Its not pretentious and trying to be something its not and I’m happy I got to learn more about you guys. I did notice that Vlad was clutching the Spy right off the bat!

  • Anoka

    Megs said:
    I told him he was totally going to be called out for cradling the Spy again!! ROFL!

    Well it’s probably just because i’m jealous that i wouldn’t look nearly as awesome flaunting that awesome bag. Those pictures are pretty priceless.

  • karmenzsofia

    KongRatZ on your success! You deserve it.
    I love the article, and the photo couldn’t
    have been better.

  • [coco]

    Fabulous as always! I think the pic is frame worthy too!
    You guys are going from strength to strength. I think this is still just the beginning of something HUGE.
    Well done as always x
    [coco]

  • peace43

    Congrats on a great article!!! And 60 purses is a HUGE collection!!! Although you’re probably going to need a warehouse to store your purse collection!!! LOL!!

  • Amanda Rowe

    Fantastic article! Adorable picture, too, and I love Vlad holding the Spy, it was the first thing I noticed!

    Thank you so much for posting this! I’ve been dying to know a little bit more about you guys since I frequent this site about 10 times a day, LOL!

  • Elyssa(jap4life)

    Megs and Vlad,
    great article! I feel so lucky to be part of this community! <3.

  • Missp

    Wow…great article!keep up the goodwork!

  • baby boo

    YOU GUYS !!! congrats!! lovely article very light and upbeat! vlad when i saw the pic i immidetaly rememebred yoru love for that spy!! congrats again guys you earned it!

  • longchamp

    Wow, great pix, the article was very flattering of you two. Appreciate all your hard work and you deserve all the kudos you get!!!

    Now go enjoy your turkey–didn’t make a pie shaped as a purse did ya???

  • longchamp

    Hmm, just noticed that it said “husband Vlad”, guess I haven’t kept up. When did you two get married and where are the pix???

  • DiorDeville

    Congrats! The hard work and dedication that you both have put into the blog shows on every page – you deserve it!!

  • Merve

    Hey guys congrats…really happy to be part of Purseblog!!!!

  • pursefan

    Congrations to both of you – the wedding, the article, everything. You mean so much to all of us! Thank you, for what you do and also for beeing so “normal”. :-)

  • Elana (Japster)

    Congrats to you both! It’s been such a pleasure knowing both you & Vlad the past couple years. You have worked so hard & it’s wonderful seeing you guys in various publications.

  • Vanessa

    This is genious for everyone trying to learn more on their collection of handbags and to learn the what is in and out for the season. I am an avid collector and I have one thing to ask? Where is the handbag from CuBoo Collections that is burning up the scenes in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida. You guys need to contact that designer asap. Advertise some small designers who are making headway as well as your more experienced high end designers. The “Go-Getter” from the CuBoo Collection is great.

  • bagnshoofetish

    it just does my heart proud to see Vlad reunited with his beloved Spy bag! (tee hee!)
    Congrats you two!

  • gingerly

    great article. congratulations! didn’t know you guys were local (i live near fort lauderdale).

  • LuvmyBurberry

    Congrats! I’m new to the site. I’ve been visiting now for about a month. It has become my new obsession! Thanks so much for creating this community. BTW, I love the picture. That’s an amazing collection.

  • Jennifer

    Great article! You’ve done a fantastic job with this site! I’m on here ALL THE TIME!

  • exotikittenx

    Love the article! Congratulations and thank you again for all your hard work!

  • cinderella388

    Great article and an even better picture! Many congrats to your success with this site! I am so happy I found it and only wish I had found it earlier. Keep up the wonderful work!

  • mariah9999

    Great article! I respect you both so much because of WHO you are and what you’ve created! Don’t ever change for anyone! I am so happy to see you being recognized for all of your hard work!!!

  • Ellie Mae

    WOW.. great article! Keep the jeans, Megs… I have not met a bag yet that clashed with a pair of jean or boots & leggings! Tres chic!

  • renier [clearstatic]

    :} you guys make me sooo proud!

  • La Vanguardia

    You guys look so cute in the picture! I’ve been a member of the forum for three years now and I’ve seen the evolution of the site. You guys have done a great job!

    I wish you all the best!

  • Ping

    you guys look cute together. I love the interview and i love the fact that you two are so down to earth. forget the haters..you don’t need to own a gazillion bags to appreciate the beauty of them. When I was younger and poor, i was extremely selective with the few pieces i bought. Now i’m older and have a little more, I have a few items from Hermes and chanel and other designers, but I love them all (not just the super expensive ones). I still love and HAVE my first LV i bought 20 years ago:)
    I like your pieces which show that you have great taste and not just go with the “trends.” To be honest, there are lots of bags out there that are just so boring and with high price tags too…continue the good work!

  • Jennifer Wachter

    I love it! I totally have to have a bag that stands out! That is why I love handpainted bags! I get so many comments everyday on the bag I am carrying! Congrats to you all! I am so glad you started this website! It is a new found friend for me! I feel like you guys understand the addiction to a great bag! Thanks!

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