Archive for the ‘Alesya LLC’ Category

New Bag Timing

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Alesya Bags Patterns

The number one question I get these days – by far – is “WHEN are new bags coming out?”  My answer on this has varied from “October” to “The Fall”.   Now I’m going to tell you a different answer.

As many of you know, I’m in the midst of totally changing the bag design and how I make it.  The bag will still carry a laptop and your business day essentials, but it will look very, very different.  Feedback from you – the client, education from three previous collections and my gut feeling about where I want this bag to go has shaped the new direction.

Alesya Bags Manufacturing

Two weeks ago I took the prototype on a flight and had women on either side of the isle ask when they could buy one.  Last week the women at my shipping facility hooted and hollered when I walked in the door.  Then they tracked down their boss and asked if they could each have one as a holiday bonus.  One of my closest business confidants blushed when she saw the new bag she was so excited.

This kind of feedback is encouraging and exactly what I want.  It drives me.  The combination of design, manufacturing process and materials need to be right.  And to make sure it’s right I want to take the right amount of time.

Now the million dollar question – will I make the holiday rush?  I believe I will.  But I’m not going to make any promises.  My #1 priority is the bag itself.  Period.  For now, no official release date until the bag is ready.

Alesya Bags Hint

But you are ready for more NOW?  Let me leave you with a few hints:

  • The next collection will not only include the bag.  There will be 2-3 other products as well.
  • Four colors have been targeted for the new release.
  • One of the new products is named after a current client who came to me with the idea.
  • VERY soon you’ll see a new blog design.  It will give you great insight into the new Alesya Bags.

When I have an official release date, you will be the first to know.  The best way to hear about any new products is to sign up for the Alesya Bags Wait List at the top of the homepage.  Will there be more hints, insights and explanation along the way?  Of course.  You know how I roll.

  • Facebook
  • email
  • Twitter

The Results Show

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Technically Green Bags Sold Out
I’ve had a few of my friends in PR advise me against posts like this.  Posts where I talk about hard sales or real results.  Maybe the numbers don’t make me look big enough.  Or it’s a little distasteful.

Someday I might have a board of directors who vote against this.  Or a team of people begging not to post that unedited letter or the statistics as they exist.  But for now, when it’s just us – the hardcore group of Alesya Bag folks – we can let it all hang out.

Two weeks ago I had the first Alesya Bags sale.   All bags – $199 – with free shipping for the first 24 hours.  During the sale 85 bags went out the door.   Technically Green sold out and there are only about a dozen In the Cloud laptop bags left.  This was the second largest day of sales (by bag volume) right behind the day I released the Black By Popular Demand and Heavy Metal Alesya Bags.  During the first 24 hours of that launch over 100 bags were sold.

The Hot Spot (Pink) bags have been a horse of a different color.  Clients who buy them LOVE them.  I even have friends who have told me they both carry the same bag because they like it so much. But other people just can’t wrap their head around carrying a pink bag everyday.  As a former Detroiter I get it.  As a current Southerner I think “pink?  of course!”  It’s been a great learning experience.  If these last 70 bags don’t sell out in the next 6-8 weeks I’ll put them over on Amazon.  The largest retail site in the world opens me up to a larger audience and I’ve had a lot of success selling there, especially using Amazon Prime.

Alesya Bags on Instagram
Last week we had the first Alesya Bags Sample Sale on Instagram.  And WOW – I was shocked at the results.  The blog post announcing the inventory had 1100 visitors (not page views) in a single day – the most ever for one blog entry.  Many of you not only started following me on Instagram, but created a Instagram account just for the sale.

The day of the sale I couldn’t post the items fast enough.  The sale lasted less than an hour, but I don’t think it would have lasted five minutes if I would have posted all the items at once.  There were a few glitches – people not understanding how the system worked or winning two items but only wanting one – but overall it went very smoothly.  If you won a new bag or wallet they will be mailed out either today or tomorrow.

Thank you for all your positive feedback on the opportunity to have part of my private collection.  So many of you wrote in to say how exited you were and literally jumped at the change to get a one of a kind product.  We will do that again when the time is right.

And now I’m off to Boston for some more business meetings.  Oh you liked those wallets?  You’re waiting for new/former colors?  Maybe even something totally different?  Let’s chat soon.  ~A

  • Facebook
  • email
  • Twitter

Sample Sale Inventory

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

You’ve asked for my secret stash of bags and I’m giving it to you.  I’ve saved bags that have been used in photo shoots, test items I never put into mass production and samples.  While I’ve loved hoarding keeping these bags all to myself, it’s time to open up the archives and give you the opportunity to love them too.

The Rules of the Sample Sale Game:

1.  All prices include ground shipping within the US.
2.  Purchases will ship 24-48 hours after payment.
3.  All sales final.  No returns, no exchanges.
4.  Products will be posted on Instagram starting at Noon ET tomorrow, August 6.
5.  First person to leave their email will receive a PayPal invoice.  You will have 1 hour to pay that invoice before it’s turned over to the next person on the list.

Special Note:

***All products in very good condition unless otherwise noted.  There may be some minor scuffs and scrapes, but nothing significant.  The bags from my first collection (Tan, Kelly Green & Eggplant) are made of a thinner, yet softer leather.  All bags have the same pockets as the laptop bags currently available.***

Alesya Bags Red Hot
Red Hot Alesya Bag
Color: Fire engine red, black lining, silver hardware – GO Charleston’s Deal’s Holly Roberson owns the only other one in existence.
Price: $199

Alesya Bags White

Alesya Bags Inside White
Bright White Alesya Bag
Color:  True white, orchid lining, silver hardware – Candy Shop Vintage’s Deirdre Zahl owns the only other one.  May have mentioned she thought it should go in mass production.
Price: $189

Alesya Bags Kelly Green Bag
Alesya Bags Kelly Green Bag
Kelly Green Alesya Bag
Color:  Very true green, true purple lining, brass hardware- named in honor of my friend Kelly Moore O’Quinn
Price:  $199
Two Available

Alesya Bags Equestrian Tan
Equestrian Tan Alesya Bag
Color:  Buttery Tan, bright pink interior, brass hardware – the first Alesya Bag I carried
Price:  $199
Two Available

Alesya Bags Eggplant Sample Bag

Eggplant Alesya Bag
Color:  True purple eggplant, coordinating purple interior, brass hardware NOT customized with Alesya Bags branding – Sold out for years and I still get requests for this color.
Price: $199

Alesya Bags Green Blue Bag

Alesya Bags Green Blue Inside
Hunter Green Alesya Bag
Color – Technically Green is a super dark, gray, very neutral shade of green.  This bag is a true Hunter Green with a bit blue with a bit a of sheen.  NOT patent leather, but not totally matte either.  The inside is bright orchid, hardware silver
Price: $199
Two bags available

Alesya Bags Radiant OrchidRadiant Orchid Alesya Bag
Color – A brighter, punchier pink than Hot Spot currently available, silver hardware and black lining.
Price: $199

Alesya Bags Grape Ape
Grape Ape Alesya Bag
Color:  A total wild card, this is a true purple bag with black interior and silver hardware.   The leather also has some shine to it.
Special Note:  This bag is smaller than than the rest with a square-ish shape.  It would be ideally suited for a 13″ laptop or tablet.
Price:  $59

In the Cloud Alesya Bags Blue Wallet

Inside In the Cloud Wallet Alesya Bags

In the Cloud Wallet
Color: Caribbean Blue, black interior, silver hardware (matches bag currently available)
Price: $55

Alesya Bags Hot Spot Wallet

Alesya Bags Hot Spot Wallet Inside
Hot Spot Wallet
Color: Raspberry, midnight blue interior, silver hardware (matches bag currently available) – love this with any color bag so you can find your wallet quickly.
Price:  $55

Alesya Bag Black Wallet 1

Inside Wallet 1:2 Alesya Bags
Black By Popular Demand Wallet 1
Color:  True black, black interior, silver hardware
Price:  $55

Alesya Bags Black Wallet 2

Inside Wallet 1:2 Alesya Bags
Black By Popular Demand Wallet 2
Color:  True black, black interior, silver hardware
Price:  $55

Alesya Bag Black Wallet 3

Alesya Bags Inside Wallet 3:4Black By Popular Demand Wallet 3
Color:  True black, black interior, silver hardware, large open pocket on back
Price:  $55

Alesya Bags Inside Wallet 3:4
Black By Popular Demand Wallet 4
Color:  True black, black interior, silver hardware, large open pocket on back
Price:  $55

Alesya Bags Heart Keychain
Black By Popular Demand Heart Zipper Pull
Color:  True black, silver hardware
Price:  $14

Alesya Bags Black By Popular Demand
Black By Popular Demand Alesya Bag
Color:  True black, black interior, silver hardware – The #1 most popular Alesya Bag to date, sold out for months.  I’ve been saving these bags in case of emergency, but oddly no laptop bag emergencies have occurred.
Price:  $249
Two Available

—————–

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below so we can all learn together.  See you tomorrow, at Noon on Instagram.  We’ll have fun!

  • Facebook
  • email
  • Twitter

My Father

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Many of you have been following me since the beginning of this journey.  You know somewhere in the middle I took a break – especially from social media.  I never explained the absence and everyone respected my privacy.

In the fall of 2011 my father, Larry Opelt, started having pain in his abdomen.  On December 31 of the same year he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which we later found out was inoperable.  He went through chemo, radiation and multiple surgeries.  On September 9, 2013 he passed away from complications of the disease.

…..

My father worked for over 30 years as the Finance Director for the City of Adrian in Michigan.  In his spare time he kept the books and advised the owner of a gas station – taking the business from in the red, to in the black and then creating a fund so the owner could retire. He was asked to be on the finance committee of every organization he joined.

After retiring himself, he took a side job doing tax work for “fun”.  My dad also sat on the board of the Municipal Employees’ Retirement System for the State of Michigan for ten years.  Once he left his full time job, they asked him to be Chairman of the Board.  He also held the role of CFO for Alesya Bags, although I don’t think that ever made it on his official resume.

There is a misnomer that accountants like money.  Not so.  The good ones like numbers.  My father could look at a balance sheet and tell you something was off.  A restaurant check would come and he’d instinctively know what to tip at his normal 18% rate.   He knew if you’d added your golf score incorrectly in seconds.  It was a natural gift.

As soon as I started Alesya LLC I asked my father to be my business accountant.  It was, and will always be, the easiest hire I’ll ever make.  It was a gig he could handle in his sleep.  But more than that we had fun.  Dorky business fun – but that made it all the better.  It was our favorite kind.

Here we were – me in my 30′s and my dad in his 60′s – and he was still teaching me things.  We’d go through each line of my bank statements and make sure each expense was accounted for.  He’d add up what I was spending with one business and ask if I knew how much I was paying them.  His pencil would slam down on the table after I questioned his judgement, “You marketers never want to say it’s a marketing expense!  But it’s ALWAYS a marketing expense!”  He was right.

The morning after he was officially diagnosed, we were trying to figure out this new life around the breakfast table.  In an effort to be helpful my mom suggested, “Didn’t you both say you needed to do the Alesya Bags books?”

My father and I couldn’t look at each other.  We just hung our heads and cried.  This wasn’t a CPA and a business owner.  It was a father and a daughter.  And we’d wanted that relationship to go on forever.

In the final months of his life my dad all but begged me to send our records to my new accountant.  I didn’t want to because I knew when I did that meant the end was near.  Once I finally did it my account said they’d take a look and let me know what kind of shape we were in.

A few days later the call came through.  “Well, Alesya, for most people we charge a fee to get your accounting cleaned up.  But these are the best records we’ve ever seen.  Your books are in perfect order and there will be no fee.”  When I called my parents with the news we had the briefest moment of happiness.  Somewhere in this horrific mess something was it exactly as it should be.  For a second there was calm.

…..

From the time I started earning money, my father talked about saving money.  We often created budgets for my college education and at the end of each one he made me add in a line for something he labeled Mad Money.  “You know, when you want a pizza or you have to go out and buy pantyhose?  Women are always buying pantyhose.”  I’d roll my eyes and add the extra amount.

My paternal grandparents gave me and my sister a $100 savings bonds for each birthday and Christmas until we were 18.  We both used the money for college.  Mostly books and any costs coming outside tuition, room and board.  I’d held on to a few and used them to start this business.  (Oh how the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.)

One day while my father was ill I picked up the phone and there was a broker on the line.  The broker told me my father was on the call and he wanted to open accounts my girls who were then four and one.  There had been no discussion, but I knew immediately what was happening.

My father was setting up funds as if he was there for each one of my daughter’s birthdays and Christmases and able to give them those same savings bonds.  Later he told me, “Tell them to use it for Mad Money in college.  To buy pantyhose.  And to have fun!  You know?  FUN.  And tell them its from their Grandpa.”

Crazy as it sounds, when the statements come in the mail it’s like a note from my dad.  Watching him file his own documents every month for years on end I won’t ever be able to look at any statement without thinking of him.  And in the strangest way, filing away these statements is a comforting feeling.  You might call it a gift from heaven.  But I know my dad would say it’s the magic of compounding interest.  Either way – I’m grateful.  Not for the money, but simply for the numbers on the page.

…..

Thank you for infinite understanding and support during what have been the most challenging of times.  There were many, many days when emails and calls didn’t get returned in a timely manner.  This blog stopped and I gave you little reason to continue following me on social media.

But yet, you did.  And you never questioned what was going on or asked me for details.  You just understood that there are some things in life more important than business.  I can’t fully express how wonderful that feels, but it really does.

Will there be other bumps in the road?  Mountains to climb?  Bridges to rebuild?  Undoubtedly.  For now, we move forward.  And it’s so amazing to know I have all of you right there with me.  Perhaps my father is with us too.  Rooting us forward, watching the bottom line and of course, making sure all the books are in order.

  • Facebook
  • email
  • Twitter

Alesya Bags Sale

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

You’ve waited for it and it’s almost here!  The first Alesya Bags Sale.  Tomorrow, Wednesday July 23 at Noon EST the sale will start.  All available bags will available for $199 with free shipping.  (Wow!)

Let’s say that again:

All bags.  $199.  Free shipping.  Tomorrow.  Stock limited.

Need a friendly reminder?  Sign up for the Wait List at the top of AlesyaBags.com.  Not only will you get an email when the sale is live you’ll receive the free shipping code.

Now, the color commentary.  Why the sale and why NOW.  Two reasons:

1.  It’s a great time for you to have these colors.  They will work beautifully from summer into fall.  Rather than wait until after the holidays to do a clearance sale, I want to do it now so you can use your bag (you guessed it) now.

2.  Alesya Bags is in the middle of a big brand change.  Big.  Over the next few months I will go through the process with you and my thinking behind it.  Mistakes I’ve made and probably needed to make.  But it’s going to bring us all to a good place.  An exciting place.

See you at the sale tomorrow!  I can’t wait to see which color sells out first.  ~A

  • Facebook
  • email
  • Twitter

Sale News

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Alesya Bags In the Cloud Hot Spot Wallet

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you already know I’m planning the first Alesya Bags Sample Sale.  Here are the timing details:

Through July:  Keeping looking for hints on what will be available during the sale.  I’m cleaning out the archives and I think you’ll be excited to see what I’ve found.  Some old, some new…all unavailable until now.

Tuesday, August 5:  Right here on the blog you’ll find a full list of Sample Sale items.  There will be photos, details and prices.  You’ll see products that I’ve never thought I’d sell.  An email to the Wait List will be sent when the blog has been updated.

Wednesday, August 6:  Starting at Noon ET, I’ll be putting each item up for sale on Instagram.  First person to leave their email will get a PayPal invoice.  As long as the invoice is paid within the hour the featured product is all yours!

Can’t wait for August?  No problem.  Next week there will be a full fledged sale on AlesyaBags.com.  All three in stock colors will be for sale at an amazing price.  Want to be the first to know?  You guessed it, make sure you sign up for the Wait List to hear the news.

Questions?  You know I’m here.  Please ask them in the comments so everyone can see the answers.  If you’re wondering I know other people are too.  ~A

 

 

  • Facebook
  • email
  • Twitter

#WinAlesyaBag Winners

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Wow!  You made the judging difficult.  Thank you for sending me all your creativity and enthusiasm.  And now – the winners:

Joa Franco created two videos.  Alesya Bags – The Bag of Your Dreams and Alesya Bags to the Rescue.  Please enjoy them both below.  Plus Joa is traveling to Puerto Rico so she also created each video in Spanish.  Incredible!

Ronii Bartles created a story board using Pinterest.  Her #WinAlesyaBag board took me on a journey and I loved every moment of Ronii’s social media savvy.

#WinAlesyaBag Board

Emily Hines created a fun blog post including my favorite phrase of the contest – “I have this desire to explore.”  And don’t well have the desire to explore something?  Enjoy your trips to Chicago, Indianapolis and back down South Em!

Carla Ayers printed out a large photo of one of the original Alesya Bags, cut out and handle and took it around town with her!  Then she posted her adventures on Instagram.  Can’t wait to see you with your REAL laptop bag Carla.

Carla Ayers for Alesya BagsCarla Ayers for Alesya Bags
Kri Burkander
tweeted me every, single day with her summer plans, moving goals, kids trips, outfit choices for her new bag, her bff/husband and funny jokes.  But what really got me is her hard work on her dissertation while carrying this sad looking backpack.  Get ready to kick butt with your new bag Kri!

Kri and Sad Backpack

Big thanks for all your entries!  There were some hard choices to make because you all are so talented.  If you didn’t win, fear not.  I’m sending you a gift code just for entering.  Look for it in your inbox shortly.

If you are a winner please send me your choice of bag color and your shipping address to alesya (at) alesyabags.com.  Looking forward to seeing you with your chic new laptop bag!

  • Facebook
  • email
  • Twitter

Your Chance to #WinAlesyaBag

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Where will your Alesya Bag go this summer?  This is your chance to travel with a fresh laptop bag on your arm.

Part fashion, part function, this stylish laptop bag has plenty of room for your carry-on comforts. Throw in your sunglasses, a bright summer lipstick, your phone and all the other essentials and still have plenty of room for your laptop.

Interested? Here’s how to participate:

In 140 characters or less, tell me using the hashtag #winalesyabag where you’re headed this summer and why an Alesya Bag would help you get there.  I know you can’t possibly get it all said in 140 characters so feel free to include photos, drawings, or any visual aids that will help your cause.  You’re extraordinary – go ahead and show me. I’m looking for personality.

This is the final collection of this bag design for the foreseeable future, so if you want one, act now. Load up Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn with your mini-masterpieces.  Include the hashtag #WinAlesyaBag and you’re officially entered.

Judging Criteria:

  • Creative use of social media
  • Individuality; that certain something that only you have
  • Clearly communicated message about why you want the Alesya Bag

FAQs:

Can I write a blog post and then use the #WinAlesyaBag hashtag to direct traffic to the blog?
Sure you can. Smart thinking.

Should I enter if I already have an Alesya Bag?
Of course! This is a chance to add another color to your collection.

What colors are being offered?
Each winner may pick from Hot Spot, Technically Green and In the Cloud.

What are the dates of the contest?
The #WinAlesyaBag contest runs from May 28 through June 15th.

I really want to win! How many times can I enter?
I’ll accept one entry per day, per person.

How many people will win?
Five winners will be chosen.

Are you only giving away bags?
You know I like surprises.  You never know what kind of rewards might pop up!

  • Facebook
  • email
  • Twitter

Wanted: Fashion Interns

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Alesya Bags is in search of three upwardly mobile, chic, hard working, straight talkin’ interns.  Applicants need not live in the Charleston, SC area but must be willing to FaceTime as needed.  All work will be project based.

The internships are unpaid, but excellent work will be rewarded in fashion.  (Yes, you will get a beautiful laptop bag.)  More importantly you will gain valuable experience and insights into a growing business.  Glowing, over-the-top references will also be given as warranted.

** Bonus:  I don’t drink coffee, so no fetching of any searing hot beverage will be required. **

PR Intern
Are you excited about life?  Passionate about pitching?  Hoping you could be the next Kelly Cutrone?  Step right up.  Public relations interns will be representing Alesya Bags by pitching our story mainly via email.  Depending on the person, you may also be involved in other aspects of the business as well such a photo and video shoots.  Excellent follow through, communication skills and professionalism is expected.

To apply:  Email your resume with a note including your favorite publication (and why) to alesya(at)alesybags.com with the subject line PR Intern.

Twitter Intern
If you love social media, are super trustworthy and think an organized system is the key to life, this is the gig for you.  You’ll work closely with me to fine tune the way we use Twitter.  It’s not just about 140 characters, it’s about connecting with people.  If @GaryVee or @OscarPRGirl don’t ring any bells, this isn’t the right fit for you.

To apply:  Send me a tweet about why you want this internship.  Follow up with an email and resume to alesya(at)alesyabags.com with the subject line Twitter Intern.

Graphic Intern
Everyone knows “your laptop wants to look good too.”  But so does your laptop bag marketing!  Graphic interns will be responsible for creating social media graphics.  You must be willing to work within brand guidelines while bringing your own flair.   But wait, you have bigger, better ideas than just an Instagram graphic?  Bring it on.

To apply:  Please send a link to your portfolio and/or samples of your work to alesya (at) alesyabags.com with the subject line Graphic Intern.

  • Facebook
  • email
  • Twitter

2014 Bag Details

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

You have questions about new bags, I have answers about new bags.  Let’s jump right in.

Q:  When will new bags be available?

A:  New bags are scheduled for Fall.  This means you’ll see them in late summer and most likely August.  If you want to know the moment they are available, please sign up for the Wait List.

Alesya Bags Women's Stylish Laptop Bag

Q:  Will there be new colors?  Will Black By Popular Demand be coming back?  What about Heavy Metal?

A:  While I haven’t made any decisions on other colors I can tell you Black will be BACK.  Women who frequently fly need a bag that hides stains – even the ones you get from putting it under the seat in front of you.

It’s fairly unlikely you’ll see Heavy Metal again this season.  As far as as other colors, please keep pinning your suggestions on Pinterest.  I’ve been surprised by some of your choices, but I love seeing every single one.

Q:  What color will the lining be?

A: While I don’t know yet, I can promise you it will NOT be black.

Q:  Will the design of the bag change?

A:  Yes!  But I’m not sure by how much.  Features I’m considering include:

  • A crossbody strap
  • Lighter overall weight
  • Change in the way the laptop is inserted
  • Easier access for file folders

The goal of any change would be to help you get to your destination stunning and impossibly fresh-looking.

Carrie in Paris

Q:  Will you make a fabric or vegan bag?

A:  This one’s a real head-scratcher.  While I do think a fabric/non-leather bag is in the future, I’m having a hard time reading if there’s a real need or demand for it.  Ask me again tomorrow and I could have a totally different feeling.

Q:  Is there a way I can get a sneak peek?

A:  Shhhhhh…I often leak details prior to launch on Facebook and Instagram.  You MAY also see some hints over on Pinterest.  See you there?

  • Facebook
  • email
  • Twitter