Carolyn was once had an eBay business selling new and used designer fashions and accessories.
Searching for the Perfect Tote: Confessions of a Cheap Purse Addict
I have a confession to make. I used to buy really cheap purses because I never wanted to spend a lot of money on them, and I used to believe that designer purses were NEVER worth the money. After all, weren't they the same purses as my cheap ones but with a fancy name on them so the stores could charge more? That's what I used to believe...
Then I noticed my purse would never last more than a few months without falling apart. After three months, it was anything but chic—it was more like a dog's breakfast. It's not like I was that hard on my purses or anything. I would just carry them around and toss them into my truck. However, they always ended up looking like I drove over them with my truck instead.
Suddenly, spending a few hundred dollars on a designer tote that would last longer than my cheap one didn't seem so silly. After all, how much was I spending on cheap purses that needed to be replaced every few months? Was I spending more money on cheap purses than I would on one good-quality designer purse? It seems I was.
Good quality designer purses don't fall apart in a few months. If you take care of them, they will last years. Well, I'll be darned.
My last cheap purse (I spent a whopping $10 on it) is pretty much in the purse graveyard, and I am now a changed woman. I no longer even glance at the inexpensive totes and handbags in the stores or online. I am officially on the hunt for a designer tote, and I have my eye on a Kate Spade New York tote. A pink one, to be exact.
Why a Kate Spade tote? Read on to find out, and I promise that you will definitely consider buying one for yourself whether you are a recovering cheap purse addict, such as myself, or a chic woman with impeccable taste. Did I mention that they come in pink?
She makes the day brighter, she leaves a little sparkle wherever she goes
— Kate Spade
Who Is Kate Spade?
Once upon a time in the year 1991 there lived a lovely American woman named Kate Brosnahan Spade (Katherine Noel Francis Valentine Brosnahan Spade to be exact) who used to work as an accessories editor at the women's magazine Madamoiselle.
While she worked at this magazine, she couldn't help but notice that the world was lacking stylish, sleek, and colorful handbags so she decided to design her own. Thus in 1996, the company Kate Spade New York was born.
She had a daughter and decided to take a little break from all the fabulous designing she was doing. As a result, she sold her ownership stake in the company, and a brilliant woman named Deborah Lloyd took over the reins as president and chief creative officer, and Kate Spade New York has been going strong ever since.
Reason #1: Style (Colors, Patterns, and Structure. Oh My!)
Ever tried looking for a chic, designer pink tote? How about a chic, pink tote built to last with amazing structure, pink sparkling polka dots, and a bow tie? Bet you can't unless it's a kate spade tote. Go ahead, try to find one that matches that description... I dare you.
Okay, I will admit that kate spade is not the only one who makes pink totes or handbags with sparkling polka dots, but they are rare (especially the ones with bow ties).
The style of all kate spade handbags, including totes, is classic, feminine, and chic: clean lines, minimal detailing, and sturdy structure.
Patterned totes include floral patterns, leopard print, black and white stripes, and polka dots, to name a few.
Colors are typically red, white, black, pink, navy blue, nudes, deep plum, light blue (baby blue), and of course various shades of pink.
She has a way with words, red lipstick and making an entrance
— Kate Spade
Reason #2: Durability
This is a huge selling point for me right here: durability. If you're going to fork over more money than you normally would on a handbag, you want to get your money's worth. Durability was the key that won me over from my cheap purse addiction ways. Kate spade totes have it in spades (pardon the pun).
Who doesn't want their tote to last? Totes are especially important with regards to durability because they are meant to be larger in size and therefore able to hold more of your stuff, bigger stuff to be exact. Bigger, heavier stuff = more wear, more quickly to your tote. Ladies, you don't want straps breaking or seams ripping do you? I know I don't (been there, done that too many times).
What makes a Kate Spade Tote durable?
The majority of kate spade totes are made from either canvas, nylon, crosshatched leather (usually cowhide), also referred to as Saffiano leather, pebbled leather, or Italian smooth leather.
Even the canvas or nylon totes typically have a crosshatched leather trim on them.
Most of the popular totes sold through the kate spade new york store on the Amazon.com website are made from crosshatched (Saffiano) leather.
What is crosshatched (Saffiano) leather?
It's leather (typically cowhide) that has been pressed by a machine to create texture: a special diagonal pattern. This leather is then typically treated with a wax finish, which results in a scratch-resistant leather that is now more durable and easy to clean. Voila! Now you're looking at some serious mileage in that new tote of yours.
Kate Spade Retail = The Most Durability
Below I have a video that will show you why purchasing Kate Spade items at retail are more durable and better quality than items purchased from an outlet store.
If you just like the name and things like durability and overall quality aren't a huge deal for you, then skip the video.
You don't need to watch the whole video (though it's very interesting).
Watch the video below starting at the 6:28 mark until the 7:30 mark for the section talking about Kate Spade products.
Kate Spade Retail vs. Outlet Quality
Reason #3: Affordable Designer Luxury
In the world of luxury designer goods, not all is fair. Even though the actual quality of leather and workmanship may not be all that different from a Chanel purse to a Prada handbag, we know that the price certainly will be. Ever seen the price tag on a Hermes Birkin? I can assure you they are not made of solid gold though you would think so from the price. Even used a Birkin can cost you over $85,000.
Now I'm not saying a Kate Spade handbag is in the same category as a Hermes Birkin, but it's also not in the same category as a Guess purse (no offense to Guess purse owners). Kate Spade is a highly recognized designer around the world, and the quality and style of her handbags puts her in the "luxury designers" club.
If you own anything Kate Spade, you will at least be recognized as a woman of taste.
Now the good news is you're not going to have to pay a ridiculous amount to have access to this club. You're going to get all the style and durability that comes with purchasing her tote without having to pay an exorbitant amount. Let's face it, in today's economy, it's nice to know you can still have beautiful things and not feel bad because you simply cannot afford them. I cannot afford a Birkin, even a used one. Not even close.
She has a zest for seaside strolls and putting her best foot forward
— Kate Spade
Most Popular Kate Spade Handbag
Reason #4: Re-Sale Value
Let's face it, as a woman we tend to change our minds... a lot. And as a woman, I think we have that right.
Sometimes we change our minds about handbags because we lose interest, it's no longer in style, or sometimes we just need the extra cash. It happens.
What's nice about Kate Spade totes is that like all of her products, it has a high resale value. What does that mean? It means that if I grow tired of my pink tote (heaven forbid, I know) and I no longer want to keep it I can get most of my money back if I choose to re-sell it.
As a seller on eBay, I follow a lot of estate sales here where I live. Despite how cute you think your cheap little no-name purse is, they don't really fetch more than a couple of dollars. It's sad but true. Nobody is interested in cheap second-hand purses.
What's really sad is some of these cheaply made purses cost a fair bit brand new. I shall not name names but there are quite a few cheap brands out there that ask way too much money for their handbags, I'm sorry.
When you buy a Kate Spade tote (or any other good quality, designer handbag) you are buying something that will retain most of its value. So if you ever decide that you simply must splurge on a pair of Christian Louboutins (who wouldn't?) but don't have enough money, parting ways with your Kate Spade tote will probably fetch you more than enough money to cover the difference.
I should also add that a designer name will only fetch you so much for your handbag because the condition that your handbag is a big factor as well in determining how much you will get for it. As mentioned earlier in this article, Kate Spade totes made with crosshatched leather, which helps ensure that your tote will last. Be sure to keep your tote clean and in good condition.
If something does rip or need fixing, you can take your tote to a reputable cobbler, and they should be able to fix it for you. The cost is not worth it for a cheap purse, but it is worth it for a designer handbag such as Kate Spade.
We're dedicated to empowering low-income New York City women...
— Kate Spade & Company Foundation
Reason #5: Female Empowerment
Like all fairy tales, this article also has a happy ending.
In case you are still on the fence about splurging on a Kate Spade tote, I will give you one more awesome reason to truly give it your consideration. It's called female empowerment, and the Kate Spade & Company Foundation offers it to the women of New York City.
The Kate Spade & Company Foundation according to the official website, is
"dedicated to empowering low-income new york city women to find a trade (their own business, a career path or a skill set- not just a job) that will support them and their families, and create positive ripple effects in their communities."
They have three pillars that they work through are:
- Women in entrepreneurship
- Women in technology
- Women in the arts
While I'm not American and I don't live in New York City, I respect and appreciate that money going to the Kate Spade company is going to help empower these women.
If you want to support this cause as well, be sure to buy directly from a Kate Spade retail store, online store, and authorized Kate Spade sellers. Kate Spade has its own store on Amazon.com, but beware of third-party sellers as you may end up with a fake, and your money will not go towards helping empower any women. Be sure to order only from the Kate Spade store on Amazon.com.
© 2017 Carolyn Dahl
Share your thoughts
Martha Gomez on September 29, 2018:
I will look in to getting a Kate Spade for me. I have bought two Kate Spade for my 2 granddaughters for Christmas this year. Can't wait to see there faces. To what grandma Martha got them.
Carolyn Dahl (author) from Ottawa, Ontario on June 21, 2018:
I think only time will tell. Kate Spade left her company many years ago so many of the newer kate spade handbags are not necessarily her design. Possibly the older kate spade handbags would be more valuable because they would have been designed by Kate Spade herself. Certainly the more rare bags or any that were a limited edition would fetch more. This is just my opinion.
Connie Baldwin on June 14, 2018:
Will my new purse be worth more money now