Thursday, 24 October 2013

Handbags from Heaven: A Chat with Jo Hodge

A few months back I had a great time utilising my Free trial from Handbags from Heaven. I had a chat to the brains behind the idea, Jo Hodge, to find out a bit more about the very modern phenomenon.

Jo Hodge is a 34 year old mum of one and Founder & Director of handbagsfromheaven, she describes the forward thinking company as allowing women to hire 100% authentic designer handbags for the same cost as a daily cappuccino! 

Jo started a career in IT in 2000 and spent the next 7 years working her way up the corporate ladder gaining experience in the project management and internet support fields.  A lover of luxury labels she treated herself to a gorgeous Mulberry designer handbag in 2005 with her year end bonus.  However in 2006 when invited to a neighbours wedding she struggled to purchase an outfit that would match her bag.  At that wedding she got talking to a friend who had the same predicament, so they decided to borrow each other’s designer bag for special occasions if the outfit they bought accessorised it better.

Over the following months more and more friends joined the “designer bag borrowing club” and Jo had a flash of inspiration.  If most of her friends needed access to a range of designer handbags then how many more women were out there?  handbagsfromheaven was born. 

Launched on 6th June 2007, handbagsfromheaven allows women all over the UK to borrow a bag from top fashion houses such as Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Prada and Chloe.  Prices start from as little as £1.80 per day and handbagsfromheaven offer an unrivalled membership scheme which not only allows women free hires and the opportunity to purchase stock but also discounts on products from carefully chosen companies which will give women added luxury in other areas of their lives such as cosmetics, clothing and footwear.  They also offer a pay as you go service for a no commitment, no hassle designer bag hire service.  

The borrow a bag idea was relatively new to the UK but  Jo found her sales go through the roof in May 2008 when handbag hire was featured in the first Sex and the City film.  Since then the company has gone from strength to strength and are now even hiring bags to TV and film productions (their bags have been featured in series 2 of Secret Diary of a Call Girl with Billie Piper and series 4 of Skins to name a few).

Jo says there isn’t a typical client “we have women in their early twenties who are members and hire a bag each month as they are Fashionistas and love having the luxury labels they couldn’t otherwise afford.  We also have mid Thirties ladies in client facing occupations such as Solicitors, PR Account Manager and suchlike who again hire bags on a monthly basis to project that professional, successful image.  A large proportion of our customer base is also the “pay as you hire” ladies – women who want to borrow a bag for that special occasion; wedding, christening, job interview or holiday.

Whatever the reason for hiring with gorgeous packaging, next day delivery to all parts of the UK and the ability to shop from the comfort of your own computer at any time of the day or night handbagsfromheaven is fast becoming the number one website for fashion conscious females.

Copy supplied by Jo Hodge.

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