What’s with the name?

It comes from the saying “Champagne taste on a beer budget” (or one of the many variations of this phrase). This blog is designed for those that love the finer quality things in life – no matter what their personal budget is.

How do you afford this stuff?

This is a topic I’ll do a post about in the future because the explanation is kind of long. The short answer: I’m really, really good at shopping. 99% of what I own is used (‘pre-loved” is the term preferred in the fashion community). I also intentionally seek out pieces that have cosmetic defects or damage because I’ve learned how to “rehab” goods. My goal is to aim for a discount of 60-80% the retail price (though it’s really a case-by-case basis). Also – my closet funds my closet. I’m constantly selling things to pay for new items as my personal style grows.

For real though, I want to stress again: I don’t pay full price. Almost everything you see on the blog, social media and “real life” was purchased pre-loved. Most of it looked really worn and damaged when it came into my possession… if you think that the items featured look nice now, that’s the biggest compliment ever! I have put a lot of hard work into restoration and it’s a labor of love for me.

Can you authenticate this item for me?

Nope. It’s not personal – I just don’t want to deal with the legal requirements of being a professional authenticator. I’m happy to recommend services I’ve used though!

Are your items real?

What you need to understand about the designer resale community is: reputation is everything. Any item that you see on my blog, Instagram, Snapchat, etc is authentic – something that I feel so confident in the authenticity, that I would go to court arguing it. I will return to my point above – I intentionally seek out items that are damaged and have defects, and restore them myself. So yes, someone extremely familiar with a brand might notice that the leather is slightly darker, the hardware looks a little different, it doesn’t have the same strap/heel cap, etc. Reasons for this can be: I had to re-dye the material, the hardware was scratched so badly it needed to be replaced, or a strap or whatever has destroyed so badly I purchased a non-brand one. Personally, I enjoy putting a little work into my items – it gives me a sense of pride to take something damaged and make it beautiful again.

Have you ever been scammed? If so, what do you do with the items?

YUP. I’ve been doing this for over a decade now. Anyone that claims they’ve never accidentally bought a fake is lying. It’s impossible to have a perfect batting average with the volume that I purchase and sell. Yes, it sucks. There have been some hilarious stories I’ll share with you in the future. I’ve learned to avoid certain brands and also realized that “super fakes” are totally a real thing (anyone that says otherwise is lying). Regarding what I do with items that aren’t real – it varies. I’ve given things to friends and family members that don’t care and just admire the style. Some stuff has been destroyed, others have been used for materials.

What are your thoughts on the counterfeit industry?

This is such a loaded question (I feel like I could do a series of blog posts on the topic). My answer is going to be a controversial one: it’s not something I really care about. There’s a lot of misinformation on both sides regarding this topic. While I do think the fashion designers deserve their copyrights and intellectual property, I also think the industry needs to be transparent about their manufacturing practices in third-world countries. I highly recommend anyone interested in this topic read “Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster,” by Dana Thomas – it’s a little bit of an older book but does show both sides pretty well.

How did you get into selling items online?

Um, I have a shopping addiction (#jokingbutnot). While I had been buying online for years, it wasn’t until my husband and I moved into our house that I realized I was literally using both guest bedroom closets as extensions of my own. When I looked at what I still had around the house, a lot of the items were things I wore in high school and college (it didn’t help that my parents moved out of my childhood home a month after we closed on our house and dropped off several huge boxes of old clothes when they came to visit…). I listed them online and after seeing them sell quickly, I realized there might actually be an opportunity here.

Do you have any weird stories about buyers or sellers?

Anyone that has ever worked in retail knows that you encounter some strange things. Online shopping is no exception. That being said, the majority of people I come in contact with are wonderful. I have a handful of buyers and sellers that I’ve become friends with – it’s great to hear the updates in their lives and help them find the perfect dress for their daughter’s last homecoming dance or a gift for their elderly mother. One seller went above and beyond in helping me gather both earrings and my dream Christian Louboutin shoes for my wedding (and then finding a box in better condition than the original for wedding photos!). So yes, there’s some “odd duck” stories but the tales I like to tell the most are ones about the great people.