Thursday, 6 October 2011

What type of Handbag are you?

Have you ever wondered what your wearable friend reveals about your personality?



Bowling bag – This lady is fun, flirty and modern. The bowling bags have popped up in fashion a few times during the 20th Century starting with the 1950’s. This lady can be young and trendy, or more mature and sophisticated, either way they have a zest for life that is addictive. Using the bowling bag to project the ‘inner colour’ of their personality, these are ladies are spot on trend. Follow them if you dare!



Saddle Bag  - The saddle bag was originally... wait for it... a saddle bag – carrying your ‘everything’ whilst travelling by horseback. This is the bag for the woman that needs everything with her, but wants it to be secure. This accessory allows weight to be distributed more evenly using the long adjustable over the body straps and is  ideal for the woman who is ready to take on the world! Great for mums with toddlers, as your arms are free for grabbing and wiping. Some of the new styles are actually waterproof, great for those accidental spills– yucky!



Shoulder Bag - This bag usually has big top openings for easy access to your belongings. It is the bag of choice for those on the go women who are ready to get down to business! This lady should regularly empty her bag of irrelevant items or risk becoming a mini hoarder. Although aware of fashion trends, she sometimes plays it safe by opting for a black or dark colour to match into her existing wardrobe – this is her undeniable mistake, instead she should be using her handbag to show off her individuality and take a risk with the wonderful rich modern colours that are so popular within this seasons’ trends. She’ll get noticed and get the job done – two birds, one stone as they say!




Clutch - The clutch handbag is usually slim and elegant. Discretion is the keyword for this personality type. They are very resourceful ladies, how else could someone survive an evening with just a credit card and a lipstick? This lady is smart and sassy and knows how to look after herself. You wouldn’t want to meet one of these down a dark alleyway.



Designer Bag - The designer bag shows that you have money and not afraid of spending it! The woman who carries this bag can sometimes feel as if they can take on the persona of the designer, becoming a rock star or a fashion model! Your handbag should be an extension of your personality and not replace it. Remember to show yourself off in the best possible way by tapping into the trends, but by still being true to you. Don’t get swallowed up by the hype, create your own.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Why 'Party Plan' is the new black... and it is so definitely back!

I have just re-launched my handbag design business with a new direction... in your own home Party Plan. As soon as I mention the word 'Party Plan', I feel people around me cringe and suddenly switch off listening... images of stacks of Tupperware fill their heads and thoughts of being trapped in a room with someone giving them the 'hard sell' fills them with dread. I must admit I have been to parties just like that, waiting for a timely moment to slip out the door without being pinned to my chair and being lectured about joining the company as a demonstrator, with this incentive or that % of commission. BUT wait, things have certainly changed for this area of retailing especially in the last 2 years.


The Party Plan industry has been re-vamped. Showing that this type of direct sales opportunity is a growth market, with sales between $1bn - $2bn per year, in Australia alone. Proportionally these increases are rivalling those of retail and Internet sales. What has changed? Rather than buy from a faceless big company or a 2D screen, customers are now demanding more of a personal touch when buying their products. It is now being seen as a more convenient and better way of shopping.

Customers are feeling they want more for their money, better customer service and more personalised way of shopping. How more personalised can you get, if a company brings their products to your very own living room and surrounded by your friends you can touch, try out for size and shop in a very relaxed social way.

This is why I chose to go down the Party Plan direction with my business, because not only are the proportionate 'sales to time' ratio greater than I have ever achieved within my business, but it is also beneficial for my business to work at this personal level. I pride myself for actually listening to my customers hearing what features they desire in a handbag, what they like and don't like is very important to me. I don't want to be one of these companies that are so far removed from their clients that they leave them behind and become alienated from them. I like to work with the women who ultimately wear my bags. It keeps me real and down to earth and I design functional and desirable handbags because of it.

The reason why I believe my way of  the 'Party Plan' idea is working, is that I don't need to 'sell' my products at these parties. I display them and they sell themselves - they are such an individual product that the ladies are desperate to have a look at them once they arrive. I work around the party and alongside the hostess, answering any questions, explaining the features and benefits of each style and organising great fun games and prizes. Everyone leaves with something and even if I didn't get any sales I would be happy to have had the valuable customer contact to help me design new and even more desirable ranges. It's a win win situation.

So when someone invites you to a 'Party Plan' party make sure it's a H for Handbag party because we have brought it back with style! www.hforhandbag.com





Monday, 4 July 2011

Book review - The Finishing Touch by Imogen Lamport

I have had the great honour to review and blog the following e-book entitled “The Finishing Touch” by Imogen Lamport. This book is the essential guide to all accessories; Jewellery, belts, shoes, scarfs and my personal favourite... Handbags. 
 
A lot of people forget about accessories, but as Imogen puts it, they are “ The icing on your cake” and she is right. A very ordinary outfit can be transformed into something quite special, by the correct use of these essential items. Accessories can bring alive your outfit in so many ways and it is a perfect way to express your personality. Not all of us have the courage to wear bright bold colours in a entire outfit, but a cute pair of yellow earrings that match a pair of yellow ballet flats can give you that little bit of edge to get you noticed. In this book, Imogen says by grouping similar coloured accessories and changing them daily you could even look like you are wearing a different outfit everyday.

Accessories can be thought of as an non-essential items, but they can seriously make or break an outfit, Imogen shows you how to use them to the best effect and has some great little tips you could use for speedy dressing of a morning.

 Imogen helps you to decide what accessories to buy and whether they should be a cheap fashion spend or an invested classic. What size you should buy according to your bodyshape or what feature you would like to enhance and the all important how to store them. If you don’t know what you have you may as well not have it.  In the chapter ‘levels of refinement’, She talks about what fabrics go together and why. She touches on the fact that many modern day women are not wearing enough accessories in fear of getting it wrong this book helps you to trust your decisions with straight forward facts and images.

A lot of the tips and suggestions really are common sense, but written down in such a simple way, with diagrams to help, Imogen helps to establish the rules firmly in your mind so when choosing  glasses, a hair style or that killer handbag, you clearly know what shape or style to complement your face shape and body frame. I love the chapter of your ‘balance points’ helping you to divide your body up into points you should highlight with certain accessories. She has come across a lot of women who had the right accessories, but were not wearing them at the correct heights it’s sort of Feng shui of the body.

I would not suggest you reading this book all in one hit. There is far too much information to take on board, this book is ideally suited as a text book, as you can dip into it regularly to find tips and hints. An ideal coffee table book and a great addition to your book shelf.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

What do customers think of H for Handbag?

As I have said in previous blog posts I LOVE feedback. It enables me to solve any design issues and provide a better service for my customers. I recently approached some of my fantastic 'H for Handbag wearers' and these are some of the things they said about the bags they purchased...

Lisa from Melbourne
What H for Handbag style do you own? 
Ladybugs Tote & Milly in Khaki colour
What are the best features of the bags?
Ladybug - Size. This bag is a workhorse. If only grabbing a few things at the supermarket, they can generally fit in my handbag.
Milly - This is still my everyday bag and a real favourite. It's washable, very comfortable to use (doesn't slip off my shoulder) and goes with just about every casual outfit. Not too big, not too small, just the right number of pockets … it's just right! I love the extra little clip-on purses too. Just the right size for coins or a lipstick : )
Have you seen others wearing a H for Handbag? If so where?
Melbourne. I know of folk with the Sausage Dogs, Kitties and another Ladybugs. Everyone loves them.    

Penny from Watson, ACT
What H for Handbag style do you own?
Milly in crimson, Grace in white & Crush in red 
What are the best features of the bags?
Plenty of space, nice wide straps
Would you recommend H for Handbag to other women?
Most definitely and I have done.
Anything extra to say about H for Handbag?
I think Clare is a great designer - she thinks of all the little things. I particularly love the lining of H for Handbag bags - funky and original.



Johanna from Gordon, ACT
What H for Handbag style do you own? I have the pink ‘love me do’ bag, Tropicana in blue and Fleur in pink
What are the best features of the bags?
Best features of the bags are the bright colours! Also the internal zipped pocket and the pen holder.
Would you recommend H for Handbag to others?
I have recommended them to friends. My mum has one : )
Do you have a H for Handbag wish list?
I would love one of the new tote bags with prints.


So there you have it, some very happy customers - Thank you Lisa, Penny and Jo! If you are interested in 'bagging' a H for Handbag of your very own I would LOVE to hear from you. Our contact details are on the website www.hforhandbag.com this site is currently being updated with our new range, but I would be very happy to send you out a catalogue.
All H for Handbag designs are chic, unique and a little bit wicked!

With love Clare x

Monday, 27 June 2011

Why is H for Handbag different from other Handbag businesses?

You guys!

I have designed for the big High Street businesses both in the UK and Australia and all they do is copy the high fashion brands such a Gucci and Prada, changing very little. The designers have little or no contact with the consumer (you guys) and the end result is 'fast fashion' bags, that go out of date quickly and tend to have design issues because they are not wear trialed for long enough. These problems all arise as the lead times from design to store are so tight. Giving little thought to the bags comfort and design faults, all companies striving to get the 'copies' on the shelves first.

The range here at H for Handbag, is constantly being tweaked, re-designed and tweaked again, striving to bring to you the ‘perfect handbag’.  I listen to what you all have to say about the handbags that you will eventually carry round with you as little wearable friends. Every comment is valuable to me.

H for Handbag is a 'fashion forward' brand, which means we don’t follow the fickle fashion trends, we research elements with longevity, so that they are more classic and can be worn season after season without looking tired or dated. I recently took a H for Handbag poll as to how long a bag should expect to last, everyone replied longer than a year. Fashion changes from season to season new trends emerging constantly but large shifts are seen every season. A handbag fashion life is relatively small, about 3 months, before it looks 'so last season'.
This is why H for Handbag is different as your bags will always look chic, unique and a little bit wicked. All the bags are designed in a practical way, I am able to lock-in small production runs, so they are limited edition styles and they all have a little element of surprise, like bright linings and quirky colour combinations. All the bags are designed for it's end use - work, fun and party, and all are designed to be practical and comfortable taking a little bit of stress off your shoulders, so you can get on with your busy lives.
These styles are also not in the high street shops, which is a good thing for you guys too, as shops always add a minimum of 100% to the price, to cover over heads. I don’t need to do this, so the prices can be kept as low as possible also making them very affordable.
Designer brands at affordable prices.
Our website is currently being updated with all our new exciting styles, but if you are keen to see them book a 'Girls Night in Party' today. Where we bring the bags to you and hostesses receive HUGE discounts and free gifts!


Tuesday, 21 June 2011

When Handbags become Hell!


There is a HUGE trend at the moment which could be affecting your health – Over sized bags. There is nothing wrong with them as a fashion trend, I think they fab, but they are not an opportunity to use the extra space to carry a whole plethora of objects that you really don’t need everyday.
I remember once my cousin was searching in her bag for something and she pulled out a lightblub (yes Nicola!), I was actually shocked that she had such a obscure item in her bag, but this sort of thing is quite common. I even caught my mother 'breaking the rules', she had filled up her bag with sorted change for the bank, but kept forgetting to exchange it, and as a result, she was lugging Kg’s of coins around for weeks! Maybe you put things in your bag just in case and never use, these little things, although small and harmless, can all add up to a very heavy weight which you are lugging around everywhere you go.

Try this: Put your handbag on the scale and weigh it. You could be asking for trouble if it weighs over 3kg. You wouldn’t carry around a 3kg dumbbell from the gym. So why would you sling a bag weighing the equivalent over your shoulder and walk around with it?
That kind of weight can leave a lasting impression. If you think about how you carry a bag, it’s usually on one side and you pull your neck to one side and lift your shoulder. It’s a very unnatural position. It creates strain along the neck and into the nerves down the shoulder, so it can be very painful later on leaving you with back, neck and shoulder pain, headaches and possibly even arthritis.

THINGS YOU CAN DO TO PREVENT PROBLEMS
·Downsizing -Try minimising your wallet. Carry only the credit cards and cash you need, leave the over sized makeup bags at home. Take out those extra non essentials

·Balance yourself - By carrying a bag on one shoulder and a short-handled tote in the other hand

·Best type- The best are bags that are fairly flat and of soft, lightweight material that moulds to the body—soft PVC or canvas mix are ideal

·Structure- Slouchy bags are a no no. When items shift around and aren't well distributed, your balance is thrown off. Even an oversize bag can work if it's got a definite shape, a firm base, and inner compartments to keep belongings stable and outside pockets for frequently needed essentials
·Easy Access- If you have to do a major expedition to find your phone, you're twisting and distorting your torso. You want possessions to be reachable yet secure—a long top zipper or magnetic closure helps. Inner pockets are a must

·The Test-Drive- You wouldn't buy a dress without trying it on; follow that rule with your handbag choices
·Chiropractor approved –The 3 approved positions for a short-handled bag: over your shoulder and tucked under your arm; over your forearm (or in the crook of your elbow); or held in your hand. When worn over the shoulder, your bag should fall as close to your centre of gravity as possible. Very busty women should avoid carrying anything on the shoulder: They're already being pulled forward by the weight of their breasts, and this aggravates the misalignment
·Handles-Long-strapped shoulder bags are out: They tug you to one side in a C shape, with the purse bumping at your hip and the strap Avoid chains too; they tend to gouge the flesh. Look for short handles, not too flimsy or narrow (with very skinny straps on a hefty bag, you're asking for trouble)
GOOD NEWS

With all the do's and dont's there is good news for you at last! All H for Handbag styles are designed with the 8 tips mentioned above. Straps are designed to distribute the weight of your bag evenly over your shoulder. Large top openings and inner pockets are standard - matching clip on purses are ideal for your phone. All bags are made out of soft PVC’s or a mixture of fabrics to mould to your body. AND the best bit is you can book a handbag party and have all the styles brought to the relaxing comfort of your own home. Clare, the designer, will explain all the features and benefits inbuilt in the bags. You could even take one away with you on the night and if you are the Hostess you can benefit from all the special deals available - you might even walk away with a free handbag!

So now all you need to do is choose your favourite. Check out our current range on our website www.hforhandbag.com ... bag one today. Go on be wicked!

When Handbags become Hell!

There is a HUGE trend at the moment which could be affecting your health – Over sized bags. There is nothing wrong with them as a fashion trend, I think they fab, but they are not an opportunity to use the extra space to carry a whole plethora of objects that you really don’t need everyday.

I remember once my cousin was searching in her bag for something and she pulled out a lightblub (yes Nicola!), I was actually shocked that she had such a obscure item in her bag, but this sort of thing is quite common. I even caught my mother 'breaking the rules', she had filled up her bag with sorted change for the bank, but kept forgetting to exchange it, and as a result, she was lugging Kg’s of coins around for weeks! Maybe you put things in your bag just in case and never use, these little things, although small and harmless, can all add up to a very heavy weight which you are lugging around everywhere you go.
Try this: Put your handbag on the scale and weigh it. You could be asking for trouble if it weighs over 3kg. You wouldn’t carry around a 3kg dumbbell from the gym. So why would you sling a bag weighing the equivalent over your shoulder and walk around with it?
That kind of weight can leave a lasting impression. If you think about how you carry a bag, it’s usually on one side and you pull your neck to one side and lift your shoulder. It’s a very unnatural position. It creates strain along the neck and into the nerves down the shoulder, so it can be very painful later on leaving you with back, neck and shoulder pain, headaches and possibly even arthritis.

THINGS YOU CAN DO TO PREVENT PROBLEMS
· Downsizing -Try minimising your wallet. Carry only the credit cards and cash you need, leave the over sized makeup bags at home. Take out those extra non essentials

· Balance yourself - By carrying a bag on one shoulder and a short-handled tote in the other hand

· Best type - The best are bags that are fairly flat and of soft, lightweight material that moulds to the body—soft PVC or canvas mix are ideal

· Structure - Slouchy bags are a no no. When items shift around and aren't well distributed, your balance is thrown off. Even an oversize bag can work if it's got a definite shape, a firm base, and inner compartments to keep belongings stable and outside pockets for frequently needed essentials
· Easy Access - If you have to do a major expedition to find your phone, you're twisting and distorting your torso. You want possessions to be reachable yet secure—a long top zipper or magnetic closure helps. Inner pockets are a must

· The Test-Drive - You wouldn't buy a dress without trying it on; follow that rule with your handbag choices
· Chiropractor approved –The 3 approved positions for a short-handled bag: over your shoulder and tucked under your arm; over your forearm (or in the crook of your elbow); or held in your hand. When worn over the shoulder, your bag should fall as close to your centre of gravity as possible. Very busty women should avoid carrying anything on the shoulder: They're already being pulled forward by the weight of their breasts, and this aggravates the misalignment
· Handles- Long-strapped shoulder bags are out: They tug you to one side in a C shape, with the purse bumping at your hip and the strap Avoid chains too; they tend to gouge the flesh. Look for short handles, not too flimsy or narrow (with very skinny straps on a hefty bag, you're asking for trouble)
GOOD NEWS

With all the do's and dont's there is good news for you at last! All H for Handbag styles are designed with the 8 tips mentioned above. Straps are designed to distribute the weight of your bag evenly over your shoulder. Large top openings and inner pockets are standard - matching clip on purses are ideal for your phone. All bags are made out of soft PVC’s or a mixture of fabrics to mould to your body. AND the best bit is you can book a handbag party and have all the styles brought to the relaxing comfort of your own home. Clare, the designer, will explain all the features and benefits inbuilt in the bags. You could even take one away with you on the night and if you are the Hostess you can benefit from all the special deals available - you might even walk away with a free handbag!

So now all you need to do is choose your favourite. Check out our current range on our website www.hforhandbag.com ... bag one today. Go on be wicked!

When Handbags become hell!

There is a HUGE trend at the moment which could be affecting your health – Over sized bags. There is nothing wrong with them as a fashion trend, I think they fab, but they are not an opportunity to use the extra space to carry a whole plethora of objects that you really don’t need everyday.

I remember once my cousin was searching in her bag for something and she pulled out a lightblub (yes Nicola!), I was actually shocked that she had such a obscure item in her bag, but this sort of thing is quite common. I even caught my mother 'breaking the rules', she had filled up her bag with sorted change for the bank, but kept forgetting to exchange it, and as a result, she was lugging Kg’s of coins around for weeks! Maybe you put things in your bag just in case and never use, these little things, although small and harmless, can all add up to a very heavy weight which you are lugging around everywhere you go.
Try this: Put your handbag on the scale and weigh it. You could be asking for trouble if it weighs over 3kg. You wouldn’t carry around a 3kg dumbbell from the gym. So why would you sling a bag weighing the equivalent over your shoulder and walk around with it?
That kind of weight can leave a lasting impression. If you think about how you carry a bag, it’s usually on one side and you pull your neck to one side and lift your shoulder. It’s a very unnatural position. It creates strain along the neck and into the nerves down the shoulder, so it can be very painful later on leaving you with back, neck and shoulder pain, headaches and possibly even arthritis.

THINGS YOU CAN DO TO PREVENT PROBLEMS

·         Downsizing -Try minimising your wallet. Carry only the credit cards and cash you need, leave the over sized makeup bags at home. Take out those extra non essentials.
·         Balance yourself - By carrying a bag on one shoulder and a short-handled tote in the other hand.
·         Best type - The best are bags that are fairly flat and of soft, lightweight material that molds to the body - soft PVC or canvas mix are ideal.

·         Structure - Slouchy bags are a no no. When items shift around and aren't well distributed, your balance is thrown off. Even an oversize bag can work if it's got a definite shape, a firm base, and inner compartments to keep belongings stable and outside pockets for frequently needed essentials

·         Easy Access - If you have to do a major expedition to find your phone, you're twisting and distorting your torso. You want possessions to be reachable yet secure—a long top zipper or magnetic closure helps. Inner pockets are a must.

·         The Test-Drive - You wouldn't buy a dress without trying it on; follow that rule with your handbag choices.

·         Chiropractor approved –The 3 approved positions for a short-handled bag: over your shoulder and tucked under your arm; over your forearm (or in the crook of your elbow); or held in your hand. When worn over the shoulder, your bag should fall as close to your centre of gravity as possible. Very busty women should avoid carrying anything on the shoulder: They're already being pulled forward by the weight of their breasts, and this aggravates the misalignment.

·         Handles- Long-strapped shoulder bags are out: They tug you to one side in a C shape, with it bumping below your hip. Avoid chains too; they tend to gouge the flesh. Look for short handles, not too flimsy or narrow (with very skinny straps on a hefty bag, you're asking for trouble).



GOOD NEWS

With all the do's and dont's there is good news for you at last! All H for Handbag styles are designed with the 8 tips mentioned above. Straps are designed to distribute the weight of your bag evenly over your shoulder. Large top openings and inner pockets are standard - matching clip on purses are ideal for your phone. All bags are made out of soft PVC’s or a mixture of fabrics to mould to your body. AND the best bit is you can book a handbag party and have all the styles brought to the relaxing comfort of your own home. Clare, the designer, will explain all the features and benefits inbuilt in the bags. You could even take one away with you on the night and if you are the Hostess you can benefit from all the special deals available - you might even walk away with a free handbag!

So now all you need to do is choose your favourite. Check out our current range on our website www.hforhandbag.com ... bag one today. Go on be wicked!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Finding the right bag to fit your body type

With so many handbag styles available, it’s important to know the differences between each design, so you can choose the shape that fits you best.

Finding the right fit!

  • Your handbag should be the opposite shape of your body type
  • For maximum flattery, your handbag size should be proportionate to your figure. As tempting as it might be, don’t be fooled by a trendy new style that doesn’t fit your figure....there are lots of wonderful alternatives.



Tall and Slim - a shopper is not the best choice for you. A chic satchel would be more suitable because it’s wider than it is high. It takes the emphasis away from your height, and puts it where it belongs ....on you!





Short and Thin - look fabulous carrying a barrel handbag. Its round design makes a nice contrast to your slender build.



 




Slimming - shoppers and bucket-style handbags can actually give you a slimming appearance, which is perfect if you have a larger body frame.



 




Everyone - the classic hobo is a basic bag that can be found in big or small designs, and complements nearly all figures.




Special Occasions - a stunning clutch will add the finishing touch to any woman’s evening gown!






All featured styles are original designs by Clare from H for Handbag. Check out our current range on our website www.hforhandbag.com ... bag one today. Go on be wicked!