Showing posts with label satchel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label satchel. Show all posts

Friday, October 28, 2011

What I want for my 35th birthday

In exactly 10 days, I'm going to be 35. I find it terribly exciting--the 30s for me has always been a woman's sexiest age, the time when she's most confident, free from the insecurities that the teens and 20s were plagued with. I'm also looking forward to my 40s because that is when I think a woman is at her most powerful. Exciting times!

So what do I want for my milestone?

Well, I do have everything I need. I still have a lot of wants but, as they are wants, they don't bother me so much. But let me just tell you what they are!

Stuff I want:
1. A year's subscription to Glamour and Vanity Fair. Vince already gifted me with these! Thanks, babe!
2. A few days at the beach with my hubby and little boy, plus yaya. I'm not a beach person but what is it about kids that make you want to play in the sun and sand?
3. A year's worth of facials so that my acne will finally go away! Calling all my friends in the beauty industry! Wink, wink!
4. Shopping sprees at Mango, Karimadon, Zara, SM Forum and K&Co.
5. Shopping sprees at Mothercare, SM Baby, Rustan's Baby and Gingersnaps.
6. Red velvet cake from Karen's Kitchen.
7. Carrot cake from my friend Mariel, who I dearly miss and who will not be baking me cakes because she's in NYC.
8. A girly day at a nail salon with my girlfriends, who I also miss. This bed rest is so sad.
9. A MacBook. Either Air or Pro. Still can't decide!
10. An assistant!

Of course I have other less frivolous things on my mind, like...
1. I wish the subchorionic hemorrhage in my uterus would disappear so that my little Wiggle will be safe and I can get out of the house again. I whine a lot about being stuck home but I do that so I don't worry about Wiggle. Sometimes when I'm being shallow, it's really because something else vastly more important is pressing itself against my mind and my heart and I need to set my sights on glittery shiny things to not drown in the darkness.
2. I pray always for the safety, protection and good health of Vince, Vito and myself. And the yaya and maid! I don't think I utter a prayer more often than this one. Protect us, keep us safe, make us invisible to evil, keep us healthy. Sometimes, that's all I say to God. It must be maddening!
3. I wish all the kinks in this bag business will get ironed out. With Uncle Buck old and working slow and the leather supply running out because of the floods in Bulacan, I may have a ton of interested customers but if I can't meet demand... It's just really very frustrating for me.
4. I wish that all our plans for the magazine I edit will go spectacularly well in 2012. We're doing very well actually--both in advertising and circulation--but I want it to be bigger!
5. I want my blogs to become bigger than ever, too. They're actually great--thousands of views, steady growth, steady stream of advertisers and sponsors--but I'm ready to go HUGE.

That's all. I am beyond blessed and I thank God often for the life I have. I worked hard for it, sure, but I believe the right people and the opportunities were also sent my way and that I was smart enough (or I was advised well) to recognize them. And I am happy and completely content. Yet I am ready for more. I'll be 35 soon. In 10 days! I'm ready to do more!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Happy bespoke leather satchel owner: Em

I super duper love this review of Em of Akira and Everything Nice!

A lot of girls shy away from buying my satchel because they think nothing will fit in it. Well, as Em will happily prove to you (click on the link in the first sentence!), the 11" satchel is ready to bring all your essentials and more! Actually, when I saw all the stuff she had, even I got nervous. So I was SO HAPPY all her gadgets, baby stuff and kikay kit fit!

Thanks, Em! You are the second person I know who said she dreamed of the satchel. I think that's amazing that your dream has come true! I also want to thank your hubby for insisting you get the satchel. That makes him just like my hubby. Em, ang swerte natin sa asawa grabe!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Why the satchel is P3500 and other questions answered

photo by Aileen Siroy Photography

In late July, my partners and I ended the fabulous introductory price of P2,500. The price of our 11" satchel has been P3,500 since then. That already includes packaging and shipping within the Philippines. For an all-leather, handmade bag, that's a really good price, but for some of you, that's astronomical. Girls, astronomical is an Hermes. My satchel, in comparison, is crazy inexpensive.

And so I dedicate this post to all of you who wonder why things cost the way they do. I don't like doing educational posts because my image as a silly, shallow girl gets shattered. Like, totally. But as more and more people deluge my inbox with tawad, I just have to address this topic of cost. I like to imagine you were daydreaming or flirting or napping during your Economics class, you naughty girls! So sit up straight, smooth down your blouse, and pay attention!

Why is my satchel priced at P3,500?

First, it's all about economy of scale. The more items we make, the cheaper the item gets. How is that possible? Well, when Uncle Buck buys leather, he has to go all the way from Batangas to Malabon and back. Let's say one cow hide costs P1,000 and it makes 4 bags, does that mean a bag should cost P250? No. Uncle Buck spent time and money for his trip. And that's a very long trip! So if one trip means he buys a lot of hide, then the cheaper the bag gets.

Same with delivery. Again, that's gas burned to and fro Batangas to Mandaluyong (where I live). So even if Uncle Buck finishes one bag in 2-3 days, we wait for a batch of finished bags before he delivers here. To keep gas costs down, we ask for just one delivery.

But because everything is painstakingly handmade, we can't accommodate huge orders. Believe me, I'd love to sell a thousand bags a month but Uncle Buck can only make a few so there goes my get-rich-quick dream of supplying to SM!

Second, there's the cost of labor and other expenses. Uncle Buck has a very small team of craftsmen making the bags, which are completely cut, tanned, tooled and sewn by hand. No machines at all! Sure it's slower but the bag comes out much better. It's not just their time and talent that you're paying for, however; there's also mine! I spend a few hours each day answering bag inquiries, checking and making payments, wrapping bags, writing thank you notes, sending the bags out. My time isn't free. Neither is my phone bill. Oh and my stationery, my pen, my Scotch tape, etc!

My two partners also devote their time and energy to this business and we don't get a salary from it. My entrepreneurial friends say we should get a salary but we chose not to because that's just going to drive the price way up. What should our salary be? Well, in my case, as a professional writer and editor, I already command a pretty good price for an hour's work. If I charged the bag business my rate, then one satchel will be in the P10,000-15,000 range. That's just my rate; I haven't included the hourly rates of my two other partners!

Third, consider quality. As I keep emphasizing, each bag is handmade. Each bag is the result of backbreaking labor. Those perfectly distanced holes, those perfect stitches, the precision and care that go into each satchel is all human. And the bag is entirely Pinoy--from the cow to the courier! This is Pinoy service at its best!

Fourth, your bag is rare. Because it's completely handmade by only a small group of leather craftsmen, only a few people in the world own that bag! This is not a mass-produced bag. Consider, for example, how a fashion chain orders 500,000 black dresses and 500,000 pairs of black peep-toe heels from China. While you may think you made a unique fashion statement in your cute LBD with matching shoes, so did 499,999 other girls. That doesn't make you very unique!

So you might be thinking (and I actually got this question), "Well then, why don't you just get cheap leather and get machines to cut and stitch the whole damn thing?" Unbelievable.

Because, first, there's no such thing as cheap leather. Unless you're talking about fake leather, which means it isn't leather, right? Second, if we got machines to do the job, then the fabulous craftsmanship of each bag I sell will be lost. Third, if I can produce a million bags (that would be nice!), yes, the bag will be waaaay cheaper but it would have lost its unique appeal. Then what's the point of my bag if it's just going to look like any old fake leather cheapie?

You know, after listing down all my reasons above, I am now convinced that my price is actually incredibly low. As my customers from the United States keep saying: "A genuine leather bag that's handmade and it's only $80?! Are you sure it's only $80?!" Maybe I should raise my price!

My bespoke leather satchel is for the discriminating customer who values hard work, quality and the value of her peso. My customer appreciates style and craftsmanship and is willing to pay for it. If that describes you, then buy my bag!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Happy bespoke leather satchel owner: Leah

Meet the new favorite bag of Leah of Bright Spot:

Leah calls the satchel the F&V bag. If I take away the ampersand, it'll be FV, like LV! But unlike the LV, I won't get overenthusiastic with branding. Actually, I haven't even gotten to the brand itself. Right now, to the press people, I call the bag the Frances Satchel from Frannie & Vinnie. But I don't know. Lacks oomph.

So anyway back to Leah and her new bag! This is what she thinks of it:
1. Impeccable craftsmanship.
Yes! That's why it takes soooo long to make one. Handmade takes time!
2. Even tanning.
Your batch was a quirk, though. Other batches are dark and uneven. Uncle Buck says the weather has something to do with it. If it's rainy season or very humid, the leather doesn't absorb the tanning liquid evenly.
3. Looks classy.
That surprised me, too! The satchel is, at first glance, very cowgirl. But I was surprised that a lot of girls can use it even with their most formal attire!

Thanks, Leah, for loving our unnamed satchel! Maybe I should do a contest--Name our satchel and win your very own bag!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Happy bespoke leather satchel owner: Trixie (take 2)

Look who's really happy with her satchel: It's Trixie of Wild About Retail!

I'm amazed at how Trixie can come up with so many outfits to match her tan bag. Well, not so amazed--the tan really does go with everything! Thanks, Trixie! You're inspiring me to do outfit posts, too. I'm just sooo lazy! Anyway, I'll visit the Nuffnang office super soon. See you!

P.S. Just remembered that Trixie brought her satchel to Bangkok and that it rained there but she happily reported that the bag survived the rain. Whew! If you wanna know how I protect my leather satchels from this rainy weather, click here!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Happy bespoke leather satchel owner: Irene

This is Irene of Ineng's Diary.

She didn't say much about it but judging from the smile on her face, I'm guessing she likes her new bag!

Thanks, Irene! Where are you, by the way, in that photo? Looks like a nice place!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Happy bespoke leather satchel owner: Michelle

I love how Michelle of My Mom-Friday absolutely loves her new bag!
She Tweeted it as soon as she got it!
And used it every day, everywhere!
Here's her review summary:
1. Twin magnetic snap closures make opening the bag easy to open and yet still secure.
I really love that this was my idea haha!
2. Craftsmanship and materials are Grade-A!
Thanks to Malabon cows and Batangas talent!
3. Small bag still looks great on a tall girl!
This bag looks great on anyone!
4. But the small bag still fits a LOT of stuff.
Hooray for the pliant leather!

Thanks, Michelle, for loving the bag and for using it so often!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Happy bespoke leather satchel owner: Joanne

This is Joanne of Dear Blog.

And she's wearing all my favorite things: orange, skinny jeans and my very own bespoke leather satchel!

Her review summary:
1. She was surprised to find that the satchel was gorgeous!
2. She loves that the bag has many compartments.
I do, too! I'm such a pocketsy person.
3. It may be a small bag but it can fit a LOT of stuff.
Leather is soft and pliable and did we mention the many pocketses?
4. The leather smell is heavenly.
Mmm. Right now, my living room smells like leather!

Thanks, Joanne! I love that you love it. Love your orange top, too. Where'd you get it?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Happy bespoke leather satchel owner: Fleur

This is the new handmade leather bag of Fleur of Mommy Fleur.

I love how the photo shows her life: organized chaos and style! Yep, organizer to the left, toys to the right, and in the middle of it all--my bag! Fleur is my mommy blogger friend. She's one of the funniest, most real people ever. We finally met a few weeks ago at Philippine Fashion Week. Read the fun story here! You have to read it so that if you ever meet me, you'd know it's safe to approach hahaha.

Anyway, her review summary:
1. The smell of genuine leather is love!
I love that smell myself. Kinda overwhelming, though, when all the bags are delivered and my entire living room smells like a pet shop haha.
2. The strap is long enough so that she can carry it across her body, freeing her hands.
And when you're a busy lady--mommy or not--that's very important!
3. The neutral tan color is perfect.
Matches absolutely everything in your closet!
4. The magnetic snaps makes life easier!
And don't we all need things like that?
5. She loves the many pockets.
I love that, too!
6. Considering it's made entirely of leather, it's affordable.
Yes, it's absolutely affordable!

Thanks, Fleur! May utang pa ako sa iyo!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Happy bespoke leather satchel owner: Aileen

Aileen of Travel.Food.Finds. totally loves her new satchel!

Her review summary:
1. Ordering was simple and easy.
That's because I like things to be simple and easy. I'm nice, too!
2. Real leather!
Yep, the entire bag is made of real Pinoy cow hide.
3. Impeccable workmanship.
Thanks to the expert hands of Uncle Buck of Batangas!
4. She loves the many pockets!
Because I love pockets, too!

Thanks, Aileen, for liking the bag and saying I'm "super nice." And may I say again: Such gorgeous photos of the bag! Even I wanted to buy it, totally forgetting I sell it!

Happy bespoke leather satchel owner: Trixie

Meet the uber cool Trixie of Wild About Retail.

She got her satchel the night before she left for a Bangkok trip and she is totally in love with the bag!

Her review summary:
1. The satchel may be 11" long but it can fit a lot of things.
(that's because the leather is supple so it's flexible enough to expand for your stuff!)
2. The leather survived being drenched in rainwater.
(that's because it's real cowhide!)  

Thanks, Trixie!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Satchels update!

Good morning, folks! I know Mondays usually don't make anyone smile but I'm just happy to be well again. I've been sick the entire week last week and it was an especially bad time to be sick because the bags finally arrived from Batangas and I had to collect payment, then package the bags and send them out, and it was the deadest deadline week of the magazine I edit.

I was able to drag myself to the office on Thursday in a jacket and a scarf wrapped around my head and neck and make sure the August issue was put to bed on time, but as for confirming payments and sending out the bags? No such luck.
Thank goodness my customers have a sense of humor!

I was so stressed out because in the world of online business, once the customer pays, the item must be on her doorstep in 3 days max. Unless it's overseas, of course. Since all the bags were fully paid and I wasn't shipping them out at all, I was plagued by thoughts of my first customers thinking I ran off with their money!

I was able to send out a few bags, though. Here are the first reviews:
Thanks, Trixie, for the Transformers 3 tickets!

I'm sure Joy meant "bag". Damn auto-correct!

Hooray! And today I am finally feeling better! Vince and I packed 10 bags last night (we slept at 2am!) and will finish the rest this week. We're also starting on the prototype of the 14" and the second batch of orders. You haven't ordered yet??? Why, click here to do so now!

I am soooo excited! This is going to be a very good week. I feel so happy about life! May you have the same excitement and joy, dear reader!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The bags are ready for delivery!

To the left are the black 16", the dark chocolate 14"
and the 11" in natural leather.
The first batch of bags is here! They arrived from Batangas yesterday afternoon and now our entire living area smells like leather.

The 11" tan satchels. The straps are folded into the bag. 
I sent out invoices last night and this entire day, my first clients paid in full. Wow! You guys are amazing. Thanks! I'm just sick with a very bad cold and a fever so Vince will attend to the packing and sending. Will send them all out this week, dontcha worry!

How cute is the natural leather? It's pinkish!
We're accepting orders for the 11" satchel (available in tan, dark chocolate and natural leather). Ya, still just that. We haven't decided on the final look of the 14" satchel (yes, I made a mistake--it's actually 14", not 13"!). Some feedback we got wanted the top handle, some didn't. Some said they liked the inner divider, some didn't. Yikes.

What do you think?

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Bag biz update

I am so sorry for the absolutely-no-update week! I have been beyond deluged with inquiries about the leather bag Vince gave me. I am truly now in the bag business, folks! And if you're interested, go to this post to see the bag.

I'm so happy because our bag is proudly Pinoy made. I feel very good about giving business to a small group of Batangas leather artisans, headed by Uncle Buck, who had lamented to us that their craft is dying and that all their young people are moving to the city to become call center agents. They're happy that their kids are becoming office workers but they're sad that no one is taking up the craft. Soon, no one will know how to work with leather. And if you see my bag, it's really done well, lovingly made, perfectly stitched. If no one wants to be Uncle Buck's apprentice because there's no business, that craft will be lost.
Look at that craftsmanship!
I'm actually thinking of taking lessons from Uncle Buck. I don't know if I'll find the time but I have been looking for a craft ever since Angelina Jolie said she learned how to fly a plane because if world war happened again or some global crisis, who has use for actresses? Same with me. Who has use for entertainment magazine editors?

I was thinking carpentry actually because when I was in college, I installed my own book shelves. Bought plywood and nails, did some measurements, sawed away and put up the whole thing in my bedroom. They're still there today, 15 years later.

But now that I'm in the bag business, learning how to work with leather seems like a better option. How about you? What skill do you know that, in case of a massive global crisis, will be useful? Or if you're like me and don't know anything, what skill do you want to learn?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sneak peek!

I've been Tweeting about this with utmost excitement yesterday so to all who got infected by my online shrieks of glee, here's a peek at my new bespoke handmade leather satchel!
Tough and sturdy hardware
Tanned and tooled leather--by hand!
Magnetic snaps for easy access
Flexible leather and extra zipped inside pocket
Extra secret pocket at the back
Perfectly hand-sewn
Isn't it so exciting?! It's absolutely gorgeous! I'll talk more about my bespoke leather satchel soon. Must plan an outfit first to go with the bag so you can appreciate it better!

Thanks, Vince! You always make me happy.