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 HermÃ¨s 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 HermÃ¨s bag is $180,000,” Dusil said. “We don’t operate in that realm.”
”Nor,” Mahoney added, “can we afford to.”
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