I have to apologise PROFUSELY Tan before we get into her guest post. She was absolutely amazing for writing this for my blog readers, and I have kept her waiting for months before putting the post together and publishing it.
I am not sure what happened because I am not normally so forgetful, and she had to remind me several time. Tan I am so sorry and thank you ever so much for this wonderful post. I really love your bag. I think you have a real flair for design!
The ‘perfect handbag’. Does such a thing even exist? Well I think I have found something that comes a close second to that. I thank Janet for her input and for giving me a chance to share my experience here. Grab a cuppa, it’s a long one and picture-heavy.
I have been wanting a half-decent workbag which would accommodate all the things that I need to carry on a daily basis. I wanted pockets and lots of them. I was moonstruck by Janet’s custom ostrich handbag.
When I was finally ready to order one (after spending a small fortune on trying other bags that just did not work) I was informed that the seller had closed shop! Someone then suggested Corysbags on Etsy and Instagram but I did know of anyone who had actually ordered from there. I was swimming in the murky waters of uncertainty but the fact that she had quite a good feedback score on Etsy, payment was via Paypal, and my need was becoming as desperate as my want made me go ahead and explore this option.
I had more than a rough idea of what I wanted. So I shot Corina Bodeanu (of Corysbags) an email. She outlined the steps towards ordering a custom handbag.
Firstly I drew a fair sketch of what I wanted the dimensions to be along with the style of the front and back of the bag
I detailed everything (padded back pocket for my tablet, size of the outer pockets, drop handle length down to the position of the zip-pulls when the zipped slip-pockets were closed. I went with the standard configuration that she offered for the inside of the bag minus the middle dividing compartment. You see, I knew exactly what I wanted.
Second step is the simulation pics. that she sends free of charge to confirm the overall style and design. She also suggests certain modifications for it to look more proportional as well as what is possible to execute and what isn’t.
Step 3 is the invoice payment via Paypal specifying the leather and thread colour, customisation details, shipping cost as well as an approximate estimated time of delivery.
Step 4 was the long wait. As it got nearer to the one month estimate that was given, I began to get a bit skittish since I had no updates. But she did reply to my enquiring email explaining the delay in delivery of the leather to her workshop. One week later she sent me pics of the prototype,
and one week after that, eeeeekkkkk!!! It was ready for shipment!!!
Here are some first impression pics. She even included a free matching pouch which was a pleasant surprise!
It has been a few days since I got it and I love how utilitarian the pockets are. It is unassumingly beautiful and professional. I have not yet started using it for work, I need to get a bag-insert that fits in, first. The workmanship is excellent and Corina and her team executed the task well, down to the minute detail of the stitching and the finish.
Things that are a bit on the other side of sunny :
- The end-tabs for the main zip compartment: they are riveted to the inside lining of the bag which makes opening and closing the zip a bit awkward. I am unable to get a comfortable grip to make taut the end whilst zipping and unzipping. As I am writing this I once again try and have managed to pull the rivet through the lining leaving a tiny hole on one side and it is only day 3 of receiving the bag. Never-the-less, it has made things easier and I will probably gently do the same on the other side. It is a bit of a downer though to have tiny holes in the lining from the get go. I shall have to patch them up.
- The width of the crossbody strap: Corina had given me 3cms and 4cms options. I had chosen 4 but she said that 4cms is for ‘man’-bags. So I went with the 3cms. Now, I wish I had stuck to my guns as the wider width would have tied in with the broader shoulder straps.
- The shape of the small pockets: I would have preferred them to be squarish rather than have a bit of a taper at the top. I had not asked for the narrower top but the design of the flaps was Corina’s suggestion so I guess that changed the shape of the pockets a tad bit; not a deal breaker but a tiny detail that I would have done differently.
- It took 12 weeks in all from the date of payment to receiving it to my home in Canada? I think the 1 month that the seller get was highly under-estimated.
All in all I am thoroughly satisfied with my bag. The quality of the work is perfection (riveted zip tabs not-withstanding) and will definitely reorder or recommend her. She replies within a 4-5 day delay and communication is excellent.
Here is the bag with my current weekend bag the Fossil Rachel (similar to the famous Sydney model) for size perspective.
And here is my bag with my constant daily companions, my Zojirushi flask and my custom Van der Spek ring binder. Can you guess my favourite colour?