A long time ago, I worked for Neiman Marcus in San Francisco. I sold Kiehl’s skincare products in the cosmetics department. Directly across from cosmetics was the handbag section, where every day I gazed upon the elegant and very expensive Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton and Kate Spade handbags.
Twice a year we had an extra employee discount day called 30/30. You got your usual 30 percent off, then an additional 30 percent off that. I kept telling myself I would eventually buy a Gucci bag on 30/30. But I never did. For a long time I regretted that.
Here at Marcopoloni.com, employees accrue “MP Bucks.” Eventually we can use those MP bucks to make a purchase.
I’ve got my eye on this gorgeous BELLI bag by Campomaggi. I love the woven pattern, the vintage look, the beautiful stitching on the sides, and most of all the buttery softness of this full-grain Italian leather as it sits on my shoulder. It just feels right.
I don’t need to regret passing up a Gucci bag so long ago. Campomaggi bags are even better than those designer purses with immediately-recognizable logos and patterns. When you buy a Campomaggi you are buying something made by hand at an artisan’s workshop in Italy, colored with environmentally friendly vegetable-based dyes. Not something that comes off a factory assembly line. And your bag will look like nobody else’s.
So for now I will wait. And hope this bag is still here in stock when I am ready to cash in my MP Bucks!
Was I excited about receiving our first shipment of shoes on Thursday? You bet, especially since I was going to make at least one pair mine. I was also really hoping not to become disappointed as my expectations were getting to be extremely high.
That definitely did not happen this time. Although my TOSTA silver sneakers did not quite look like the shoes I had seen in the pictures provided by Maledetti Toscani, their quality simply blew me away.
The first time I wore them they felt pretty tight and I noticed that the strings would lose some of the silver when I tightened them. They also felt stiff here and there. Luckily, my worry that they wouldn’t break in soon dissipated though. After a few days they loosened up a lot and they only felt stiff against my toes when I bent them as much as possible. I will confirm that this has gone away in a future post, for now let me tell you what my first impression has been.
The shoes go great with the dark blue jeans and with the distressed gray jeans I have. I actually bought the gray ones hoping that they would pair well with the sneakers. I couldn’t be more pleased. Not only do they look great, they also feel great. When I am not wearing them my feet long for the next time I will put them on. There is a love affair going on, one that I expect to last a very long time.
There are very few things that can make me mad: Italian customs is one of them. It is an institution that cannot be explained in terms of logic and that often drives Italian entrepreneurs to leave the country. When a few years ago they intercepted a bag that I was trying to return to Dionigi and wouldn’t let it go unless I paid Italian duties three months later, I felt that I was dealing with what is to be expected. I was mad, don’t get me wrong, but I wasn’t surprised.
This time they sequestered our shipment of shoes going out of Italy and made sure that it was returned to sender. To this day we do not know the reason. The only thing that was missing with the shipment was the English translation of the commercial invoice for US Customs, which was promptly provided and which had been accepted by US Customs who cleared the shipment. Yet, somehow, the shipment could not leave and had to be returned to sender. No explanation was provided and no effort was made to help us solve the problem.
Our decision to expand our offering to shoes was influenced by how quickly we fell in love with Maledetti Toscani shoes. We are extremely excited about receiving them and the delay has been so painful, especially for me: I have picked out a pair of sneakers that I can see on my feet every day as I go to work. Now the second shipment also sat in Italian customs for four days and I had to have Maledetti Toscani contact Fedex and customs to get it moving (again, apparently everything was in order). Finally, tonight, the tracking log shows that the shipment has reached Memphis! What a relief!!! Tomorrow might be the day… I might get to walk home on a new pair of shoes!
I really hope that these shoes are worth the effort. What if I am disappointed? I cannot even consider that possibility right now. I wish I could be a fly on the wall in Memphis.