Today’s Kiwi Confessional may claim to be boring as hell, but we beg to differ! This Police Officer from the land of the All Blacks offers an interesting look at the life, desires and challenges of a public servant whose geographical location and income level prohibit her from lavish luxury spending. We salute her service and her fabulous collection from half way across the world! If you’d like to submit your own story, hit the link below and fill out our questionnaire. Enjoy today’s read.

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The Basics

Age: 45
Gender Identity: Female
Location: New Zealand
Occupation: Police Officer
Industry: Government
Salary: $60,000
Household Income: $60,000

The Bags

Are you a PurseForum member? Yes

How many bags do you own? 12

What bags are in your collection?

LV Neverfull MM x Stephen Sprouse Roses
Gucci Marmont Small Matelasse Shoulder bag
Celine Lambskin Cabas Horizontal Tote
Valentino Girello Flap Bag
Miu Miu Matelasse Camera Bag
2 x Chloe Faye Mini bags
Jimmy Choo Anabel Tote
Jimmy Choo small Biker Chain Bag
Alexander Wang Prisma Petrol Tote
Louis Vuitton Keepall Bandouliere 45
Louis Vuitton Mini Pochette Giraffe Xmas 2017
Gucci Vintage Yellow suede bucket bag
A few Gucci and Miu Miu SLGs
A fair few designer brand shoes and boots (my other weakness)

How much is your collection worth? $8k NZD at a guess

What is your most expensive bag? Stephen Sprouse LV Roses bag (only as its a sold out piece never to be repeated)

What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? Given how tiny my collection is, probably the LV Stephen Sprouse Roses Neverfull. This was my first premiere brand bag I purchased brand new, because I wanted a Neverfull for a very long time and saw it as a practical bag I would get a ton of use from. When I saw the Sprouse Roses edition I fell in love with its colourful splash of colour on the canvas. I was on holiday in Queenstown where one of two boutiques in New Zealand was located. New Zealand is tiny and this bag gets noticed and complimented upon whenever I wear it as I don’t think NZ received very many for sale.

What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? I’m a late arriver to designer bags. (In my 30’s late). I purchased my tan/whiskey coloured Chloe Silverado in my 30’s. She was second hand but had barely been used and was essentially like new. I didn’t hardly use the bag due to working out I did not liking carrying bags by the straps in my hand (straps wouldn’t fit over my shoulder) so i resold her a couple of years later for about what I purchased the bag for.

Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? I really would like to purchase a Chanel piece. A Small boy bag. However the prices are insane and continuing to climb towards the stratosphere, so I doubt that will ever happen. I’m lusting after the Givenchy Fish Scale bag and the Dior Diorama bags and Miss Dior Lambskin Shoulder bag. I wish I could have purchased from the Dior Chinese New Years Toile de Jouy print earlier this year. These bags will still require some concentrated long term saving though.

Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? My LV Neverfull. My first proper designer bag brought new.

Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? Yes.

In New Zealand, we’re a small place in terms of comparable size of other countries and cities around the world. People notice if you carry a designer bag and sadly I think it changes the way people deal with you. If you walk into LV, Prada etc here or in Australia wearing a designer bag the sales assistants tend to engage with you more and will go out of their way to help you.

If you’re not wearing designer you are followed around the store and watched pretty closely and the chat is minimal and there’s not much engagement. I’ve gone in not wearing a designer bag and have been treated a bit differently which isn’t cool. We are pretty laid back down in this part of the world and I don’t think people should be treated for wearing a designer bag. I don’t buy or wear anything designer to be treated differently and don’t wish to be treated any different. My friends know I love bags and don’t notice or care.

The Shopping

How often do you buy new bags? Once or twice a year. Plus a couple of second hand bag purchases each year.

Which stores do you frequent the most? In NZ we have only a handful of boutiques. Literally 4 (LV, Prada, Dior and Gucci). Plus a duty free store with small collections of a handful of other designer brands. I know by reading the PurseBlog there’s a bit of a backlash towards Gucci but I am a bit of a fan of some of their shoes and bags, so like to wander through on occasion, except there’s always a queue to get in. We are getting a David Jones Department Store in Auckland soon which will offer the designer brands we don’t currently have which I’m looking forward to and expect that will be the spot I’ll frequent to have a look at the good stuff.

David Jones is an Australian dept store that has had a trial store in Wellington that I’ve visited when down there. It’s got a small but good selection of designer brands with the only place selling Chloe and Valentino, etc.

Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? Yes I do, due to my love of bags and shoes and my inability to access them in New Zealand, as well as my lowish earnings mean most designer brands are out of my price range. I’ve purchased several bags from eBay and our own similar trade website Trade Me, and some bags from Fashionphile and a Japanese second hand designer site. I’m a bargain hunter, so this second hand purchasing works for me and allows me to purchase some bags I couldn’t otherwise afford. If I earned a load more money I’d be able to buy new. I’ve only purchased my Neverfull and SLG’s new.

Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? I sell bags every now and then, just with a change of taste over time and living in a smallish house not wishing to cram my limited space. If I haven’t worn something for a year and its no longer exciting me, I’ll sell it and sometimes this means I’ll replace it with a another purchase. I’m trying to adopt a one piece in one piece out routine. My collection’s very small anyway, so it’s not like I’m drowning in bags. I sell on Trade Me our NZ version of eBay.

Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? Not at all. I’m in New Zealand, our society places zero pressure on anyone to buy anything down here, thank goodness. People tend to notice if you wear a designer bag, but there’s no pressure or expectation to purchase designer bags. We have a small part of society who are wealthy luxury folk, and I’m not a part of that crowd.

Do you consider your bag purchases investments? Not really. But if bags like my LV Sprouse go up in price that’s an investment I guess but I haven’t ever purchased a bag as an investment. I think Chanel and Hermes etc are investment bags but I don’t own any of those brands. Some of the bags I’ve purchased I’ve resold for what I paid or more which is a nice surprise as I don’t sell any of my bags to make more money than I purchased a bag for.

Who influences your buying decisions? I look at Instagram and follow Up Close and Stylish, Mrs BC World, Panthere Instyle etc. They don’t really influence my buying as I’m a low budget gal compared to those women, but I love to look at what they wear and buy, and take some inspiration from them. I follow PurseBlog and that puts ideas in my head but its mostly wishful thinking given I’m not out buying brand new bags often. Therefore there’s no real influence on my buying decisions. I lust over a bag or shoes or a SLG for a long time before purchasing (and saving up).

Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? No, as I purchase so little. However some of my Gucci purchases in there boutiques I’ve had some lovely service even when I’ve purchased nothing. I’d go back and seek out one of those Sales Associates if i was purchasing in that store as their friendliness and willingness to help makes me feel comfortable purchasing and opens your eyes to things you weren’t necessary considering.

Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? I feel like a magpie in a wonderland looking at all the pretty things. It gives me pleasure and allows me to escape everyday life and immerse myself in a moment of wishing and dreaming. I love looking at items with fine workmanship also and appreciate how well many items are made and what goes into making items that are in front of me for sale. I don’t really like fast fashion and a throwaway fast fashion culture and as I’ve gotten older I appreciate craftsmanship and the time and effort put into making pieces. I love looking at the quality of items.

Am I a shopaholic…? Well yes, I love to shop. Sadly my budget doesn’t allow as much shopping as I’d like. If I was wealthy I suspect I’d probably be a full blown shopaholic that would be in need of a serious life lesson in expenditure and budgeting, so it’s lucky I’m not rich!

Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? I’ve been into Gucci in Sydney very recently. The door man let me in and instructed me to sit on a stool just inside the door. He didn’t explain why or anything, he just told me to sit down. He was quite rude and I obligingly sat for about 5 minutes waiting for a sales assistant to come and see me to assist me. I was there to buy a new wallet. However, the Sales assistants just wandered by and weren’t tied up serving others and the doorman had gone back outside. Nobody served me so I walked out of there and they lost my sale. I was dressed pretty casually given I was on holiday wandering around the city on foot, so suspect this was why I wasn’t welcomed in treated a little bit nicer. The rudeness started with the doorman and then continued with the ambivalence of the sales staff. They lost a sale (albeit a rather small sale) and I will never return to that store as a consequence. I ended up purchasing some Gucci sneakers instead at the Sydney Airport store of Gucci and they were super lovely and welcoming and friendly. The wallet was purchased at a later time.

The Money

Who pays for your bags? Me. I am single and have no family so it all comes down to me.

Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? Yes and no. If its a bit of a whim purchase I check what’s on my credit card and savings and decide if I can afford it or make it work. Some items I’ve saved up for and budgeted for. I’m a bit hopeless with budgeting and could do better. I saved up fortnightly for a few months to buy my Gucci Marmont recently and then purchased it, so I can budget when I want to. But then other occasions all sense goes out the window. I lost my family young so have a bit of a “we’re here for a good time not a long time” outlook on life meaning I’m low on sensible at times. I do have two superannuation funds I pay into (pension plans in the USA?) so my retirements all sorted and I’m paying off my house mortgage so the main financials are sorted and covered and I’m sensible with that.

The Taboo Topics

Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? Yes, ashamedly so.

Many many years ago, before I knew anything about designer bags, I purchased a fake Coach in Hong Kong. I saw the bag at the markets, loved it and brought it. I was told by the seller it was real and I was gullible, clueless and believed him. The bag fell apart after about 2-3 months of use. Obviously since then I’ve learnt a lot about designer bags and fakes and know better. Back then I had absolutely no idea at all. Now I’m very anti-fakes and am constantly on Trade Me reporting all the fakes I see for sale. Unlike eBay, Trade Me is good at removing fakes.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? Nothing really. Just cutting myself short of money until the next pay day rolls around kind of carry on.

Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? I think my inability to budget on some occasions to purchase a bag is a bit of a problem. I’m pretty useless with money to be honest and whilst sometimes I’m a focused budgeter for a bag I want, I can just as easily buy spur of the moment without thinking of the consequences, i.e. pay days a week away and now you have a big credit card bill ahead. I haven’t ever left myself in financial trouble though. I love to shop and love to get a bargain, so this is a problem that should be curbed. I’m mid 40’s and should sort my proverbial out. I’m getting slowly better bit by bit and use my head not my heart a little more as times goes on.

The Rest Of It

Any other expensive hobbies or passions? I like to buy designer shoes and I like to travel. I live at the bottom of the world and to get anywhere requires long flights and is jolly expensive. It’s several thousand dollars to get return flight to New Zealand from Europe or the USA. Once accommodation and spending moneys added on, it’s very expensive. So it doesn’t happen as regularly as I would love.

Anything else you would like to include? I love the PurseForum, it’s a great way to see what going on in the bag world when you don’t have many of those brands available to you. My story is probably as boring as all hell due to my budget and low earnings however even those of us on lower incomes can still indulge in and enjoy a little luxury in our lives, just on a much much smaller scale and via slightly different means.

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