You may remember my Bag ‘n’ Shoes post from last week, where I revealed my much-lusted after Fendi B Bag, a style I’ve loved for years but never thought I’d have the opportunity to own – particularly as they don’t make them any more! As I mentioned, I nabbed mine second hand, and sometimes this can be a daunting prospect, as you’re not always sure whether you’re buying the real deal… This is where the fabulous Shian from Naughtipidgins’ Nest comes in! The site is a handbag lover’s dream, chock full of designer gear from labels like Chanel, Mulberry, Dior, Jimmy Choo and more – all of them authentic, second-hand, designer bags, in great quality condition, at reasonable prices.
I first stumbled upon the site after stalking Purseblog’s forums, particularly the Mulberry section. As you know, I’m a massive Mulberry fangirl so when I heard that there was a much-trusted, second hand seller of Mulberry, I was quick to check it out. I was desperately after the Mulberry Valentine’s clutch from this year (eventually bagged one on eBay), and Shian was so helpful that I check her site regularly ever since. (Seriously, she is lovely.)
As Naughtipidgins is nearing its 5000th sale (and planning to celebrate in fine style!) I thought it would be interesting to talk to Shian about the business for the blog. Because let’s face it, anyone with that many designer handbags in their vicinity is definitely worth talking to…!
What got you into the business (and how long have you been in business)?
“Downsizing my own collection when we moved from London to Lancashire in 2005. I started selling my own bags on eBay and both Buyers and Sellers seemed to like the way I took lots and lots of photos and described things very honestly. It wasn’t long before people were contacting me to ask if I could sell their bags for them and it really went from there. In May 2011 I decided eBay had served its time for the ‘Nest’ and set up my own website which has been incredible fun and I’m loving every minute of it.”
What’s your own collection like?
“Rather sadly depleted from its peak, but it is true… I really don’t need two different bags a day, every day of the week, each month of the year, any more! (At least that’s what I try to keep telling myself when my collection creeps up in size. An occupational hazard of the job, so I’m not too hard on myself). I now tend to keep a core of classics that I rarely stray from, and a varied collection of Mulberry (mainly older styles as it seems to take me a while to ‘warm up’ to newer ones). As long as they all still fit in my designated ‘personal-bag-space’ then I know I’m still in control, lol!”
Do you remember your first designer bag purchase?
“Absolutely. Though I dabbled with a few Bally’s in my late teens, my first ‘wow’ moment was the first time I walked into Chanel Rue Saint-Honoré. I left with my first Chanel 2.55 and the rest is history.” (SO JEALOUS)
What’s your favourite brand? Bag?
“That’s such a difficult question to answer and I don’t actually think I can choose just one brand. Different occasions call for different bags and there isn’t one single designer that can do it all. I’d still say the classic 2.55 Chanel 10″ is my favourite style though and have been known to sit and stroke a lambskin for hours, lol!”
What’s the most unusual bag you’ve sold?
“I’ve sold a few ‘famous’ peoples’ bags and some quite amazing exotic skins over the years, but only ever sell things that I actually like, so being a bit conservative, I don’t think there’s ever been anything too ‘out’ there in the grand scheme of things.”
How do you authenticate your bags?
“Authentication is a time-served skill and takes a lot of experience, observation and research. You have to have observed, handled and examined a lot of bags, both genuine and fake, over a long period of time, in order to be able to discern the authentic from the counterfeit. Yes, some fakes are really rubbish and anyone can ‘tell’ but many are incredibly ‘close’ to the real thing and those who haven’t the knowledge or skill to identify the indicators can be very easily taken in. It’s ALWAYS a complete waste of money to buy fake, whether knowingly or unwittingly, as they will never match up to the longeivity, quality and ultimately, beauty and craftmanship of a genuine item.”
Where did the name of your business come from?
“It was my eBay ID, and as word spread, it stayed with me. How it actually came about in the first instance is a bit of a mystery really… not the easiest business name to say or spell, so, had I known I’d eventually have a business, I’d of chosen something a bit more relevant!”
What makes an iconic design in your opinion?
“That’s a good question as a lot of those bags you’d call ‘icons’ don’t actually stand the test of time in terms of style. Some do, but I’d say a true icon is a bag that is completely timeless.”
What are some bags that really hold value?
“In terms of financial value the bags that depreciate the least, currently and very generically, are Chanel Flaps, Lady Diors and Mulberry Bayswaters. Maintained well, these styles will retain the greatest value and in some instances appreciate.”
What advice can you give people on how to store and care for their bags?
“It depends on the finish. You would treat a lambskin leather differently to an LV canvas, but generally the golden rules are:
- Ensure you know how to care for your finish
- Make sure you have the right products
- Remember to clean and care for them regularly (which again will depend upon finish and usage)
- Store with stuffing inside their dustbags to maintain their shape.”
If you had to create a capsule designer bag wardrobe of five items (with no budget!) what bags would you pick? (Colours too!)
“Created for my lifestyle now… (10 years ago this would have looked different!)
- Mulberry Bayswater in oak darwin with older style glossy postman’s lock plate – smart everyday bag perfect for work, play or anything life can throw at you.
- Lady Dior medium in black lambskin leather with gold tone hardware – classic, great for day with shoulder strap or evening without.
- Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM in damier ebene – shopping, gym, beach… you name it, its big and easy to use.
- Chanel 2.55 flap 10″ in black lambskin with silver hardware – no more need to be said…
- Hermes Birkin ostrich 32cm (preferably in chocolate) – just because I’ve never owned one!”
My thanks to Shian for so graciously answering my questions, and allowing me to use these images from her site. As of the time of writing, all of the bags with prices listed next to them were still available on the site, so get shopping… Plus, Naughtipidgin is soon set to celebrate the 5000th sale from the shop with a special gift certificate worth £100 at the Nest’s shop! All you have to do to be in with a chance is enter by making a purchase – and the winner will be announced in November.
Visit Naughtipidgins Nest at http://www.naughtipidginsnest.co.uk.