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Bag for life

Vanessa Lees talks to Carole Fossey about why she’s mad about bags

Published on February 27th 2008.


Bag for life

Most girls have a fascination with accessories, stemming from childhood and the early introduction to the magical world of our mother’s wardrobe.

Accessories are something we never grow out of. And some like founder of Justaboutbags.com, Carole Fossey take their passion to a whole new fashionable level by surrounding themselves with all that glitters in their professional life as well.

Carole who is married to a Frenchman and mother of two, has worked in advertising and recruitment over the past 20 years. However, so seduced by accessories of exquisite design and eternal beauty, she launched her on line bag business in December.

Why did you set up Just About Bags?
It combined my three passions - marketing, the internet and accessories (bags, shoes and jewellery). I’m a self confessed shoe-aholic - and have always loved glamorous accessories. Wearing a pair or jeans with the right shoes, bag and /or bling and you look and feel fantastic.

You only launched in December, how is business going?
So far - its going well, we have orders coming in and a couple of events planned. We are currently sourcing some new designers to add to the collection - our aim is to present hard to find exclusive items, so that when you go out with one of our bags you won't be sitting next to someone with the same bag.

Which designers do you feature and how do you select them?
Currently we have only one designer for the bags - Amishi - who creates the most beautiful bags out of swarovski crystal and precious stones. We don't want to dilute the brand by featuring anything of a lower quality and we don't want to sell stuff (however good it is) that you can easily buy elsewhere. Our criteria is quality, exclusivity, glamour, longevity and the envy factor - we want people who have our bags to feel special and have other people ask them where they got their gorgeous bag from. We also want the pieces we sell to last - that means they have to be made from quality materials and also they have to stand the test of time. Our bags are not cheap and we want our customers to be able to use them this year, next year, in ten years’ time and maybe in 20 years. They will pass them on to their daughters or granddaughters.

Do you think there is a gap in the market for glamorous ‘occasion bags’?
Definitely - and this year big is out and small is back in - so that’s great for our blingy bags. Our range is special and it’s all about making you feel a million dollars. Claudia Schiffer has an Amishi bag. Not everyone can get to Harrods (the only shop in the UK that sells the bags) - and they only stock a small part of the range anyway. Our site makes this designer (and soon others) accessible to everyone, anywhere in the world.

How would you describe the bags you sell?
Glitzy, glamourous, fun, beautiful and definitely - unique.

Do you have any personal favourites?
I love the one I call the ultimate prom bag and we describe on the website as "heirloom masterpiece in black". It is fully beaded and decorated with crystals. That’s the one I most often take out with me - and it always gets admiring glances and people asking where I got it. We also do it in ivory - perfect for weddings, baptisms or other day functions. What I like about this bag - apart from the bling and how pretty it is - is that when you pick it up you can feel that it is quality - not cheap and nasty. It has a weight to it, and the detail is fantastic.

I love all the bags we feature (or we wouldn't sell them) but as Amishi says: “Every woman will find her bag” and the heirloom masterpiece is definitely mine.

Will you remain on line or are there any plans to open a shop?
No plans to open a shop yet - but we might put a concession in another shop – that’s an area we are looking at.

What does the future hold for you? Will you be expanding into other accessories?
Well, we are already working on justaboutshoes.com. We have several European suppliers and one British supplier in place for this already and are weeks away from launch. Shortly after that we will begin work on justaboutjewellery.com - for which we also have a fantastic supplier of unique pieces. Watch this space.

www.justaboutbags.com

Carole will be featuring her amazing collection at Body Confidential’s A Fabulous Affair on 10 April at the Lowry Hotel.

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