Closet Confessionals

CC 217: The Techie

"My job is very technical and left-brain intensive and shopping to me is a creative journey."

Today’s confessional brings us to the desert of Scottsdale, AZ, where CC 217 lives and works in the tech industry. Collecting bags has become a bit of a reprieve from her analytical job, allowing this handbag lover a nice creative outlet of sorts. Shopping is a journey for her, and CC 217 enjoys the art of it all, choosing to shop in-store versus online.

Currently, very into Bottega, CC 217 got her first designer bag at age 26, and while she’s built a collection of a few bags, she does wish that she began collecting before the prices became astronomical. Because of this, today’s confessor typically only buys one bag a year and has big dreams of one day owning a Mini Kelly, even though the H game is incredibly off-putting to her.

Read the full confessional below, and don’t forget to submit your own.

Basic Bio

Your Age? 37
Your Gender Identity? Female
Where do you live? Scottsdale, AZ
What is your occupation? Engineer
What industry do you work in? Technology [IT]Your annual salary? $350,000
Total Household Income? $400,000
Are you a PurseForum member? No

Onto The Bags

How many bags do you own? 6

What bags are in your collection?

Bottega Veneta Camera Bag

How much is your collection worth? $8K

What is your most expensive bag? My most expensive bag[s] are the Bottega and Gucci Marmont. It isn’t even that much compared to what bags retail for.

Do you ever regret any of your bag purchases? If so, which ones and why? No, but I do regret not buying them earlier in life when they were still reasonably priced. I got into the bag game way late in life.

What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? 26. My first designer[ish] bag was the Modalu Pippa bag in a tan color. I loved how it looked and I could carry a lot in it. I don’t use it anymore and its sitting collecting dust at my parent’s home. My next one was the Alexander McQueen wallet on chain, I loved his designs and went to an exhibit at the Met in 2012. I still have the bag but don’t use it as often as I did in the past.

Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? I have my eyes on a few bags.

They are:
1. Bottega small or medium Andiamo in taupe grey
2. Dior Mini Saddle bag
3. Bottega Mini Camera bag in bone
4. Gucci Horsebit [color undecided]5. Goyard Belvedere PM
6. Goyard Rouette Souple

Do you have a ‘holy grail’ dream bag you’ve always wanted to own? Yes. There is only one holy grail dream bag that I want. It is an Hermès Mini Kelly. I just can’t bring myself to build up to it in an Hermès store or going the second-hand route and spending five figures on it. When I have disposable income of that level, I might. Never say never!

Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? My Bottega Camera bag. I bought it in Hawaii after discovering the lower prices due to Yen-USD conversions. I was on vacation with a dear girlfriend and we spent many hours at Gucci, LV and even popped into Hermès but the minute I laid my eyes on it, I knew that was a special bag. It is my everyday bag and I love it. It meant so much to me for many reasons.

One, I had lost my grandfather just two months prior and I was really down about it, hence took myself to Hawaii on vacation. Second, when I first started working in Tech at 20 years after graduating engineering, I made very little money but there was a Bottega store near my work that I would window shop at thinking what it might be to own one of these pieces. It would have taken me a whole years salary to buy a bag but 15 years later, here I am.

Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? Yes. They definitely change and which is something I don’t agree with. Money comes and goes, but a person’s character and integrity stays with them for life. I personally value life experiences and kindness over status, but I like to indulge.

How do you take care of your bags? I wipe them down and store them in their boxes I got them. I usually care of all my material possessions so I have no problem with taking care of them.

On Shopping

How often do you buy new bags? Not that often, but I’m comfortable enough in life to buy one bag a year.

Do you prefer shopping for bags online or in-store? Why? I personally like to shop at stores for bags because I like to see and touch them.

Which stores do you frequent the most? Bottega of late as I’ve been eyeing a few of their bags.

Have you ever returned a bag after purchasing it? Why did you make that decision? No.

Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? No but I won’t be opposed to it.

Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? No.

Do you ever donate or gift your old bags? If so, to whom? Not old bags. I gifted my baby sister a See by Chloe bag for her 22nd birthday. I prefer gifting stock certificates.

Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? Not really. I’m happy with what I have and I only want to buy.

Do you consider your bag purchases investments? No.

Do you follow the latest fashion trends when deciding on your next purchase, or do you prefer classic styles? No, I prefer classic styles and something that suits my lifestyle and specific needs for the bag.

Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? Yes. The nicest ones I’ve met so far were in Hawaii. They were attentive, spent quality time explaining to me about the bags and stood with me through my indecision. Meanwhile, in Scottsdale, where I live, no one can be bothered to attend to me. So I never go into the stores at Scottsdale.

Do you enjoy shopping beyond just acquiring something new? Yes. My job is very technical and left-brain intensive and shopping to me is a creative journey. I like to put pieces together, explore all the little details and people watch others who are shopping. I also think about how these brands shape people’s lives and perceptions and it is interesting to see following they have.

Have you ever felt you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity, or gender? Yes, all the time. I’m South Asian and I’ve received inferior service from luxury stores to lLoft and Gap alike. I also don’t dress up while shopping and that adds to it.

What are some factors that may dissuade you from buying a bag, even if you like it? The #1 thing is Money. I especially don’t like Chanel for this reason, their price increases are ridiculous for a bag. I don’t consider bags as investments, unless I re-sell a bag and hope to make profit. I do like the Hermès bags but again, can’t bring myself to work towards spending $$$$ before being offered a Birkin or Kelly, if that ever happens. I understand, people’s priorities and things that bring happiness are different, so I respect that.

Is there a brand you outright refuse to buy? Why? Chanel for the reasons stated above and it really doesn’t fit my personality.

On Budgeting & Perceptions

Who pays for your bags? Me.

Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? No.

Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? No, but I wore a fake Omega watch in college. I asked my mom to get it serviced and my mom took it the Omega store and she was politely turned away for bringing in a fake. I got an earful from my mom and decided never to wear a fake.

Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? No, I do hide them from my dog so he doesn’t pee on them.

Have your friends or family ever criticized your bag-buying habits? If so, how did you respond? Not really. Amongst all my friends, I’m the only one who is conservative with my bags.

Have you ever made a significant sacrifice to afford a bag? If so, what was it? No

Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? It was when I was younger. Although my family was comfortable, my parents were very frugal and I never had any designer items or even super nice clothes until I started working. Stress of living in a new city, coupled with insane work hours and my pent up desires for nice things in life got me into a shopping addiction. It took me several years to get out of it. I spent a good portion of my twenties search for that perfect outfit and shoe only to learn it the hard way. I worked very hard to get out that addictive behavior, and also learnt to invest my money wisely in other instruments.

Let’s get personal…

Any other expensive hobbies or passions? Yes. I love designing homes, so I’ve invested in real estate and re-did all of them and spent a lot of my money doing so. I love travel so I spend money on travel, every year to visit my family abroad and for other vacation. I used to love horseback riding but don’t do it anymore. Lately, I’ve been eyeing watches as a guilty pleasure. I own a gold Cartier and have been eyeing a few more.

What is your greatest fear? Losing the ones I love.

Which living person do you most admire? My grandfather. He unfortunately passed away this year, but to me, he was and will always be the most I admire. He was the most humble, kind and generous person I have ever met. Although my Grandfather grew up in wealthy family and had a lot of money at his disposal, he was simple and worked hard and taught me to treat everyone equally and with respect. My number one goal is to live the rest of my life honoring him.

What or who is the greatest love of your life? My dog Gucci. He came to me unexpectedly and is continuing to shower me with love everyday since. My second love is a Cartier Tank [gold with a black strap]. I was a huge fan of Princess Diana as a kid and she wore one of these watches. For almost 10 years, I would go to a store and try it on but couldn’t bring myself to shell out the money. A couple of years ago, I decided to gift myself the watch and I wear it everyday. I’m so happy I did.

What is your favorite journey you have taken so far? My very own career, of being one of six girls to graduate engineering at my college to working at a senior position in a tech company. I have worked very hard at it and built a life moving abroad on my own.

Any parting words you would like to share with our readers? Do what makes you happy, but be responsible. If you love a bag, go for it.


Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments