The Basics

Age: 38
Gender Identity: Female
Location: NYC
Occupation: Recreation Therapist, soon to be mom
Industry: Healthcare
Salary: $52,000.00
Household Income: $150,000

The Bags

Are you a PurseForum member? No

How many bags do you own? 15

What bags are in your collection?

  • Louis Vuitton Red Epi Soufflot
  • Louis Vuitton Brown Epi Leather Gobelins Backpack
  • Anya Hindmarch Vere crossbody
  • Anya Hindmarch Bathurst small top handle
  • Anya Hindmarch Rainbow Heart Softstack
  • Gucci Marmont crossbody
  • Gucci Soho Disco in red
  • Balenciaga Murier Motorcycle First Bag
  • Saint Laurent LouLou Puffer in red
  • Philip Lim Pashli Backpack
  • Ferragamo Sophia Rainbow bag
  • Alexander Wang Diego bag
  • All Saints East West Tote
  • All Saints leather crossbody
  • Michael Kors Jet Set Tote
  • Polene Numero Uno

How much is your collection worth? $8,000

What is your most expensive bag? My Ferragamo Sophia Rainbow Bag

What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? My Louis Vuitton Soufflot, without a doubt. Prior to switching careers, I was a professional nanny. It was so emotionally draining and yet incredibly aspirational. It is because of this career that I learned about luxury bags, what I liked, and what was required to acquire them. Although nannying was exhausting, it put me through school. Upon graduation, I nannied over the summer for one final time. I used that final check to purchase this bag.

It was purchased on consignment – majority of my pieces are as well as found at sample sales. It’s incredibly rewarding and a wonderful reminder to work hard and persevere, for the things you really want.

What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? 32 – my Michael Kors Jetset tote. It was during a time in NYC, when EVERY working gal was carrying one. My now husband purchased it for me, as a 2nd anniversary present.

Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? A diaper bag! Every time I see a bag I like, I remind myself “you cant purchase a new bag for yourself, until you purchase one for your baby!” I’m currently liking the diaper bags by Freshly Picked, though!

Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? My LV Soufflout, as well as my Ferragamo – that was purchased to celebrate recovering from a major surgery.

Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? Yes, especially in the healthcare field. Recreation Therapists are on the bottom of the therapy totem pole, and we don’t get appropriately compensated for the important work that we do. We aren’t working alongside surgeons and important corporate types. We’re in the trenches with the nurses, CNAs, dietary staff, housekeeping. I often feel guilty carrying a nice bag around colleagues that are making $15/hr, with children at home. In turn, I’ve definitely received remarks from those that either don’t understand that I purchased this bag on consignment, or those that gossip out of spite and anger.

I do feel carrying a designer bag while living a “normal” lifestyle can be a slippery slope. Part of me feels when you carry a nice bag, you have to uphold this appearance of luxury and class. Other times, I just don’t care – caring about the thoughts of others is really exhausting, and it’s something I continue to work on.

The Shopping

How often do you buy new bags? For awhile, it was every few months…it’s based on how my mood is, in all honesty. And of course, how our finances are!

Which stores do you frequent the most? Bergdorf Goodman, outlets, boutiques so I can touch and hold the bags.
Yoox, Ssense, and consignment websites. Also, department store websites, in their sale sections!

Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? Oh yes!! A few consignment shops on the Upper East Side, as well as Yoogi’s Closet, Ann’s Fabulous Finds…I have a real real issue with the RealReal, so that’s not an option for me.

Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? No, and I really need to. The concept is really overwhelming for me, and I always manage to think of an excuse as to why I cant let bags go.

Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? Meh, yes and no. I use PurseBlog, magazines, Instagram to learn about bags. It’s because of you, I learned about Polène! That being said, I actually find trend pieces and things that are really popular, to be a turn off. I prefer bags that are similar to popular ones, yet a little but different and unique!

Do you consider your bag purchases investments? No – since I like very specific styles, I would never make much money back.

Who influences your buying decisions? Me! The discount on a bag is a huge factor, as well.

Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? I only have SA’s at the outlets – some of them are great at letting me know when a specific item is in stock! But for the most part, I’m ok without the help of one. Plus, they scare me a little!

Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? The thrill of the hunt! It’s a shopper’s high. Looking in multiple stores and websites for a certain piece, only to find it at a 60% discount is one of the most amazing feelings, for me. I also love shopping as an excuse to see my friends – I love helping them make shopping decisions, and that satisfies the shopper’s high I’m in search of.

Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? Definitely.

I was once very overweight and at a boutique in Paris, I was completely ignored. Even trying to speak to the staff, they pretended not to hear me. And then my husband and I were in Barney’s after running around the city on a hot day. We probably looked less than desirable. A SA literally followed us from section to section of the 1st floor, while looking at bags. She works on commission? Big mistake! Huge! 😉

The Money

Who pays for your bags? Me/we! My husband and I share our finances.

Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? No – if there’s a bag I love and I can afford to purchase its then I’ll do it. If it’s not the right time, there’s extra expenses, new baby coming, well, then it wasn’t meant to be. At the end of the day, it’s just a bag to me.

The Taboo Topics

Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? Yes, in my 20s. I was dumb and stupid! Canal Street Special.

Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? No, I don’t hide anything from him, whether its a purchase or a mole! My purchases should make me feel good – hiding them from the person I love the most, and being unable to share my happiness with him about it, seems counter-intuitive.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? Worked my ass off!

Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? It was, for awhile. I had to learn that just because something is on sale doesn’t mean it needs to be purchased!

Especially with our baby on the way, I’m much more selective in my purchases, whether it be bags or groceries! Another good gauge for me is this question “do I absolutely love it, or do I just like it a lot?” Based on that answer, that’s the catalyst for me to move forward to even consider making a purchase. My therapist is awesome and has really helped me overcome my shopping addiction!

The Rest Of It

Any other expensive hobbies or passions? My husband and I love to travel, and I collect vintage makeup.

Anything else you would like to include? Bags are amazing and have the power to make us feel the way we want to feel. Just remember that that feeling should be one of positivity, otherwise, what’s the point?

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