In today’s installment of Closet Confessionals, we meet a headstrong collector who knows what she likes and what she wants! Hailing from Canada, this handbag lover has a smart approach to bag-buying (and selling), continuously streamlining her collection to include smart, timeless pieces that she truly enjoys. After buying more trendy pieces that didn’t hold much resale value, this confessor has sold off bags that she no longer used in the past to slowly pare down her collection as she’s not looking to “run a museum”. Over the last few years, she has slowly fallen in love with all Bottega everything after realizing the brand’s DNA effortlessly melds with her own personal style. A true bag lover at the core who buys what she wants and tries not to be influenced by others, this CC is refreshingly honest and relatable! Read the full confessional below and don’t forget to submit your own!

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The Basics

Age: 33
Gender Identity: Female
Location: Montreal, Canada
Occupation: Marketing Specialist
Industry: Fashion
Salary: $60,000
Household Income: $140,000

The Bags

Are you a PurseForum member? Yes

How many bags do you own? Well at the moment only 8, but that’s due to the fact that I sold quite a few in the last 6 months. I really wanted to narrow down my collection to bags that I’m actually going to use on a frequent basis (I’m not running a museum here), but that are also timeless pieces as well.

What bags are in your collection?

– Balenciaga Nano Neo Classic City in Blacked out Croc.
– Bottega Veneta Clip in Black w/Gold Hardware.
– Bottega Veneta Mini Jodie in Ice Cream Yellow.
– Bottega Veneta Mini Jodie in Grass Green.
– Bottega Veneta Pouch 20 in Swimming Pool Blue.
– Bottega Veneta Large Pouch in Caramel Intrecciato.
– Bottega Veneta Large Pouch in Black Intrecciato.
– Prada Nylon Pouch Clutch in Papaya Orange.

How much is your collection worth? $26,600 CAD

What is your most expensive bag? Well I suppose it’s a tie between my Bottega Clip bag and my two large Bottega intrecciato Pouches, since they’re all the exact same price. I want to mention that these bags were all bought directly from the boutique and not second hand or online whatsoever. It was important to me that, because these bags are all handmade and unique, I got the most perfectly shaped ones possible. I’m a very visual person and a perfectionist to boot, so any little flaw would bother me. I notice everything! Haha

What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? Well surprise, surprise, it’s CLEARLY Bottega Veneta! As of the last few years at least. Daniel Lee’s designs really changed the game for me, and just essentially embodied my exact style the way it’s been since I was a teenager! Very effortlessly simple “cool-girl” style mixed with bohemian flare. I don’t particularly gravitate towards anything gaudy or [that] screams tacky – for instance that logo-mania trend a few yrs back really killed me. So that’s what I appreciate about Bottega Veneta, you’re not distracted by logos or crazy hardware; it’s all about the shapes and beautiful craftsmanship.

What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? Not sure how young I was, maybe 14 or so, I was gifted a Dooney & Bourke white charm shoulder bag for my birthday. But when I truly think of my first real designer bag, it’s my Louis Vuitton Pochette Bosphore in Damier Ebene I purchased myself with my first paycheck from my first job. When I grew tired of it, I ended up giving it to my mom who was always obsessed with it. So I guess you could say it’s still in the family!

Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? I feel I’ve spent a lot of money on bags in the last 7 months, so I might take a good break till fall – but I have to say I’m slightly in love with the new softer version of the Balenciaga Neo City bag with the green Balenciaga charm! I would love to get that bag in the washed out navy, medium size since I already own a nano. I have a soft spot for Balenciaga since I used to own 6 City bags and a few large envelope clutches over ten years ago. They’re just the epitome of cool, and I honestly regret selling a couple to this day.

Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? It’s a nice thought, but I really don’t attach sentimental feelings for handbags like I once did. I think if I did then my collection would be outrageously large and wasteful, shall we say?… as I’ve mentioned previously, I don’t want a bag museum, I want a collection that’s practical and current. If there’s a bag that I haven’t used in the last 8-12 months, and I know I most likely won’t be reaching for it in the near future, then I’ll sell it and maybe fund a future purchase that I know I’ll get a ton more use out of!

Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? Well it depends where I am to be honest. If I’m traveling then I would say most definitely! Here in Montreal though, it’s a hit or a miss. If you’re downtown then I’ll get people who will know what brand of bag I’m wearing, and then by default treat me differently I guess. But there’s many places in Montreal where I’m certain people have no clue what I’m carrying so there’s no difference. Either way I don’t care if people notice or not, because I’m not wearing a bag for people to gawk at me, I’m wearing it because I love it and it makes me feel empowered and “on”.

The Shopping

How often do you buy new bags? Whenever I feel inspired by a piece! It’s usually not for a specific occasion or anything, just when something tugs on my heartstrings.

Which stores do you frequent the most? Well here in Canada our designer boutiques are in a widely known department store called Holt Renfrew, so I go there the most. But other than that I really love online shops such as Matchesfashion, Mytheresa and Net-a-Porter.

Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? I have in the past but I’m not into that anymore. It really takes the whole beautiful experience of buying the bag brand new from the boutique all wrapped up and everything, ya know? I’m aware it’s superficial, but it somehow makes the bag feel more special to me. That being said though, if I ever happen to run into a Balenciaga apple green city in good condition, all that special crap goes out the window. That bag has been a bit of a holy grail to me.

Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? As I’ve said, yes at times if it’s a bag that’s not being used and doesn’t really hold a specific purpose in my collection, I’ll sell to fund another bag that will. Usually I’ll sell to friends.

Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? Look, I can’t pretend that social media doesn’t play a small part in my handbag purchases, BUT it’s what’s most important at the end of the day. The problem with Instagram, for instance, is that there could be a bag that every other influencer has been gifted or whatever, and the more frequently they push the bag down our throats, the more I actually get unenthused. Ironically the whole marketing scheme that some brands use to bring in younger generations, actually backfires because they oversaturate the product. It’s like that catchy song you hear on the radio, and then by the end of the month you want to pull the hair right outta your head out if you have to hear that damn song one more time.

Do you consider your bag purchases investments? Yes, yes and YES. I didn’t use to in the past, but as I entered my thirties I became more financially aware of my purchases and wanted to make them last! I was really caught up with Chloé bags 4-5 yrs ago and would spend thousands on them, only to realize that I would grow tired of them just as fast as the trends lasted. They also held not much resale value. This is the main reason I invested so much in my Bottega Collection, they’re bags that, while trendy at th moment, have all the potential to be timeless pieces long after the hype wears down. They’re investment pieces for a thousand reasons and nobody can convince me otherwise.

Who influences your buying decisions? Nobody. I beat to my own drum and I like what I like. Period. Not to sound narcissistic, but I’m my own celebrity! I value my style and opinion above what any influencer or famous person could portray. I think that’s how everyone should be, no? DO YOU!

Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? Not at all, but I have to say that I absolutely love my SA at Bottega Veneta and she makes the whole experience so much more enjoyable. She’s the coolest SA I’ve seen in all my years of buying bags.

Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? I’m not a shopaholic, but the potential is definitely there if I’m not mindful haha. Who doesn’t love shopping and the whole experience right?! It’s like a high! Mostly short-lived but it’s still thrilling.

Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? No I can’t say that I have thankfully. Sad to say, but the reality is that I’m a white woman with dark blonde hair and usually look put together; usually people like myself don’t have many issues if I’m being brutally honest. I can’t imagine the toll it must take on some other people who go through those types of experiences, just awful for your soul.

The Money

Who pays for your bags? Myself usually, or a lot of the time my boyfriend because he knows it’s my guilty pleasure.

Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? No not at all. The thing is I don’t really care to spend unnecessary amounts of money on designer clothes or shoes, so it’s always just been bags for me. Like I said before, it’s my guilty pleasure! Well, that and furniture.

The Taboo Topics

Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? Yes! I’ll always remember buying a dupe Marc Jacobs Stam bag on eBay when it was first released. I couldn’t afford the authentic one but I lusted so hard I pulled the trigger on the fake. It taught me a lesson though, because I found after wearing it to work and school a few times I realized that I felt like a fake myself. It was such a great dupe that nobody around me could spot the difference, but that’s not what mattered to me, what mattered was that I KNEW and it made me not appreciate the bag at all.

Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? I don’t care to hide anything. He would inevitably see it anyways and ask where I got it so…. don’t know how that would work.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? I wish I had some really funny, entertaining story to share but in reality I got nothin’ lol

Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? Like I previously mentioned, in the past a bit, but now I’m pretty careful on what I buy and I put a lot of thought behind my purchases typically. Impulse buying is a killer to the wallet and the only way I avoid that is to take a week or so to really mull it over, and if I’m still as obsessed after that, than I know I truly want it and it’s worth it.

The Rest Of It

Any other expensive hobbies or passions? Lately, furniture and jewelry. But I love vintage pieces the most so it doesn’t get TOO crazy. Some necklaces I have in mind though are in the 9k region though so… we’ll see.

Anything else you would like to include? If I were to give any advice whatsoever to younger readers, it would be to not get caught up in the social media game where it’s always about “the next best thing”. Trust me, you’ll regret it and end up wasting a lot of energy and money. Put thought behind your purchases and make sure you really love the bag FOR YOU and your lifestyle, and not just because you saw Hailey Bieber wear it.

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