Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mixed Media Autumn Colors Shoulder Bag. 1960s. Maker: Dova/Caron of Houston. Large, case-style purse with embellishments that include needlepoint flowers, mini pinecones, faux gems, brass-tone flower petals, velour leaves and shiny trim. Twist-lock closure. Inner zip pocket. Lined in vinyl. Faux leather straps.

What’s interesting about this is that it’s stamped with the name “Dova” on the inside, but it has the Caron of Houston, Texas tag glued in. A lot of designers of the era had multiple tags or a tag saying “(Name) for (Other name).” I even have a bag that’s got the manufacturer name tag and the name tag from the department store at which it originally sold.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Miniature Plastic Purse Key Chain with Poodles and Eiffel Tower. 1960s. Maker: Unknown. Sweet little plastic purse and key chain with painted or printed poodles and Eiffel Tower motif, then sprinkled with gold glitter. Marked Made in Germany on the ring.

I’ve seen (and have) a lot of plastic purses (see previous post), including one with poodles, but this one is special. I’ve never seen another like it—not that there aren’t any out there. You just never know!


Monday, July 16, 2012

Plastic Covered Purse with Antique Style Boat Pattern. 1960s. Maker: Unknown. Gorgeous bag with an antique style print of boats, palm trees and people, covered in plastic, then decoratively stitched. Gold lame trim and handle.

I have a number of these plastic covered bags. This one is in nice condition, considering that many of them have yellowed with age or are stained or crumpled. This one has a bit of crumpling, but it’s not too bad and the yellowish hue is its original color. I opened it when I was photographing it and found a business card from a car dealership I went to nearly three years ago. I guess I haven’t used this one in a while!


Friday, July 13, 2012

Vintage Purse a Day Interviews Off The Beaten Strap

I was lucky enough to talk to Jacob Morris, one of the owners of Off The Beaten Strap, an online thrift store that carries an extensive line of vintage purses.

Vintage Purse a Day: How did you come up with the idea of an online bag thrift store? Tell us a little about the great minds behind the concept.

Jacob Morris: The idea for Off The Beaten Strap was thought up by my brother, Ben Morris, our friend Claire Wildman, and I. We each love distinctive things that help define our individual personalities – thrift stores, antique shops, and the like are all perfect places to find these types of items. We thought to ourselves, why not bring that experience online and offer a really niche line of products for people looking for that one unique bag that fits their personality?


VPaD: What types of products will you carry? Will they be refurbished or upcycled or pretty much remain au naturale?

JM: Off The Beaten Strap will carry all sorts of products. As far as appearance goes, first and foremost, we focus on finding bags that are unique – you’ll only see one of each item pass through our store. Currently in our store room we have everything from camera bags to clutches. As long as someone can carry it and put their stuff in it, that’s what matters to us. We’re essentially an online thrift store, so the products will show a bit of age but for us it only adds to the appeal – we’re also dedicated to ensuring they’re of a high quality.


VPaD: Who’s your target audience? Is there a distinct demographic or will Off The Beaten Strap appeal to anyone who likes to carry a cool purse?

JM: Off The Beaten Strap was founded by three twenty-somethings, so as a company you might say we’re definitely able to connect with a younger audience – but when it comes down to it, all we want is for the bags we sell to end up in the hands of people who are going to absolutely love them, no matter what age they are. 


VPaD: Where are you located? Will you ship internationally?

JM: We’re based out of Toronto & Waterloo, Ontario in Canada. No matter where you are in the world compared to us, you’ll be able to buy a bag – we ship internationally free of charge. 

VPaD: What’s the site’s official launch date? Will you be having any special deals to celebrate your grand opening?

JM: Off The Beaten Strap will be launching on Sunday, July 29th. As a special promotion we’ll be giving away coupon codes to our customers to purchase any product at a reduced price. To win a code, people just need to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!


VPaD: Is there anything else you want shoppers to know about Off The Beaten Strap?

JM: Only that we’re excited to launch and cannot wait for people to start checking out Off The Beaten Strap on the regular for unique pieces you won’t find anywhere else!

To connect with Off The Beaten Strap, click these links:

Photos in this post courtesy of Off The Beaten Strap.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

SPECIAL POST! In my "real" life, I'm a professional freelance writer. Currently, I have a project on the website Kickstarter, which helps to fund creative projects through pledges. My project is the nonfiction book A DISCOURAGING WORD: True tales of rejection, dejection and unnatural selection in the world of writing.

The book will consist of horrifying, yet (hopefully) funny anecdotes about my writing career, including the time I was told by a collectibles book publisher that a contract for my vintage purse book would be forthcoming, but instead I got a rejection letter and the return of my proposal packet. A year later, the publisher came out with a book using my idea (with a slight change to the title) and one of their staff writers. Yep, this really happened!

Anyway, I'd appreciate it if you go to Kickstarter and check out my project, or just click the video below. I think it's pretty funny. Then again, I once won a hoodie in a beer-themed haiku contest...

Monday, July 9, 2012

Three Cats Kit Purse. 1960s. Maker: Unknown, possibly a General Crafts kit purse, made by a crafter way back when. Black linen-like tote-style bag with adorable scene featuring three gold-painted cats with sequins, gold trim and faux gems in blue, green, pink, white and purple.

I am so excited about this one. I’ve been wanting the kitty kit (HA!) purse for a very long time and was really glad to be able to find it at a fairly reasonable price. I’m a little sad that these kit bags aren’t going for $5 and $10 like they used to—and don’t get me started on the cost of shipping—but, sometimes, you just have to go for the one you love.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Golden Tote Purse with Musical/Dance Scene. 1960s. Maker: Delill. Gold leatherette tote covered in plastic. Features a beautiful Edwardian-era scene with harpist, pianist and sweet little ballerinas (there are two others standing at the window on the outside edge of the bag). Some of the figures are outlined in gold stitching over the plastic. Has built-in change purse and gold feet.

Delill makes some seriously awesome purses. I especially love the bags that, in their way, tell a story. I’ll be putting this one and another Delill on this blog’s sister site, The Vintage Purse Gallery.