Tag Archives: handbags

Go to Handbag Heaven at Chateau Le Beau

photo 1
Me checking out one of the hundreds of haute couture handbags in Chateau Le Beau’s showroom.

An IT guru is usually the last person you’d expect to give the best fashion tip EVER, but that’s what happened to me this week. My friend Matt (technology writer for Cincy Chic’s “brother” publication Cincinnati Profile) told me about his friend who sells handbags online.

He introduced me to Brenda Buschle, owner of Chateau Le Beau, over email and she invited me to come visit their warehouse. Um, excuse me? We’re not talking about a shelf of bags you’re selling on eBay, you have a WAREHOUSE full of designer handbags? This I had to see…

Brenda Buschle, founder of Chateau Le Beau and Designer Handbags Rescue
Brenda Buschle, founder of Chateau Le Beau and Designer Handbags Rescue

So, I visited yesterday and it’s honestly the BEST kept secret in Cincinnati for fashionistas that I’ve found in my six and a half years of running Cincy Chic. At any given time, Brenda has more than 1,000 designer bags at her 3,000 sq ft warehouse, which is tucked off the road in an unassuming warehouse down the street from Northgate Mall.

This warehouse is home to three businesses:
1: Chateau Le Beau (authentic first quality, designer bags for less)
2: Designer Handbags Rescue (nearly new that feels brand new)
3: Purse’onal Shopping Experiences (bring friends in to shop the showroom to earn a portion of sales!)

Brenda started out her career as a photographer (the original use of the warehouse). She later started a medical imaging company, but an illness caused her to sell her portion of the business and focus on her health. While she was confined to her house, computer and bed, she started selling some of the items collecting dust in her closet. After her high-end handbags sold almost as quickly as she could post them, she knew she was onto something.

She started sourcing from manufacturers and stores, and built a super successful eBay store. In 2010, she transformed that warehouse into a handbag heaven, and eventually branched off from eBay to start selling directly through www.ChateauLeBeau.net. Then, to sell the items that didn’t necessarily qualify as “first quality,” but were still high-end and highly desirable (she works with leather repair experts and seamstresses to get them looking like new again), she started selling those items through www.DesignerHandbagsRescue.com. The handbag parties started recently when local ladies started asking if they could have a personal shopping experience for friends and family.

The names “Chateau Le Beau” was inspired by her dog, Beau, who is arguably head of the household. The name of “Designer Handbags Rescue” was also inspired by her four legged friends, as they are both rescue dogs!

I definitely recommend you “like” them on Facebook, visit their sites, and even contact Brenda to book a Showroom Shopping Party for you and your friends!

Chateau Le Beau Website:
Designer Handbags Rescue Website:

Brenda Buschle’s email:





New Local Handbag Designer: Brittney Kelley

Fashion and functionality don’t always go hand in hand. But, thanks to one local designer, they not only go hand in hand, they also go in your handbag.

Brittney Kelley, a Dayton native, just launched her new “Glam Collection” handbag line. Kelley says “trendy,” “chic,” “elegance” and “functionality” are the four pillars of her design strategy.

I haven’t seen one of these bags in person, but just from looking at them online, it appears they’re all made with patent leather, which is easy to wipe off if you’re prone to drops and spills. Some of the larger bags look big enough to fit a laptop, which would help you transition from work to play with a briefcase and handbag in one. Thus, the “functionality.”

In terms of styling, I love the studs and gold chains. My favorite is the “elegance” navy blue bag with gold studs and chain (pictured above in the top right). You can’t tell from the pic but it’s a deep navy blue color and the shape is really unique. Thus, the “fashion.”

I hope to see more from this budding new designer. Her freshman fashion line is impressive!

Here’s where you can find her bags locally:

The Mustard Seed Boutique
311 Ludlow Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45220

4 U Fashion Boutique
16 E 12th St
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Trend Boutique
2946 Markbreit Ave
Cincinnati, Ohio 45209

Handbag Event – Thursday, October 7th – McAlpin Condos

The Carbotti bag I got at CDS' closing sale... it's sassy and tassely!

Sady Cincy Designer Shoes did close recently ….. a moment of silence please …. but I have good news! The woman who owned CDS, Carrie, still has stuff (mainly handbags) left and she needs to get rid of it asap! She lives at The McAlpin downtown on 4th, so she’s having a handbag sale there. So, if you didn’t get to visit the closing sale at CDS, or you want a super cheap handbag… check it out!

I got a green bag at the CDS closing sale for fall and I LOVE it! I didn’t think I’d like the tassels on it, but now I do… makes me feel sassy! haha! Here’s all the info below about the sale (I copy/pasted it from a mass email Carrie sent out about the sale.)

Date & Time:
Thursday, October 7, 2010 – 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

McAlpin Condos – Downtown – Club Room
15 W. 4th Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202

As many of you know our physical store closed on September 26th, 2010.   We still had inbound shipments arriving for handbags.    Our customers do not want us out of the shoe & handbag business.   While we are undecided if we will offer shoes again next Spring, we have decided to continue to offer some of the finest handbags in the World.    We will be working fashion events all over the city in the next few months.    We would like to invite you to our first event this Thursday, October 7th, 2010 anytime from noon until 3 p.m..    This event is being held downtown at the McAlpin condos club room located at 15 W. 4th Street, Cincinnati, OH  45202.   These beautiful Hermes, Birkin like “Kelly” Style bags are imported directly from Italy and are less than the cost of a designer handbag you could purchase at a department store.    We hope to have some of our “custom” lines available during this event as well.   You will be able to pick a style and colors for a handmade designer handbag by Vin Baker.  We also have some shoes left over from our closing sale and will be selling those as well.   We look forward to seeing you on Thursday!!!!   If you can not make our event and would like to schedule a private appointment to see the bags,
please call Carrie or Katie at 513-284-9957.

Win a Handbag Contest at Century House

I got an email last week from Century House … subject line “Win a NEW handbag from Century House!” OK! you’ve piqued my interest! I open it up and there are pics of some of the cutest handbags I’ve ever seen (I really love the clutch! It would look like you’re carrying a big flower!)

Then I read on to learn about the handbag contest they’re holding. Apparently, you upload a picture of your old handbag to their facebook page and tell them why you need a new one. I thought that was cute! I’m totally going to upload something so I can win that clutch! Now, I just need to come up with a really good story about why I need it…  : )

Here’s a screen shot of the email I received so you can enter the contest too!

Christmas in July

Today I was reminded of how much I love my job and the cool people I get to meet because of it. I met with a wonderful woman named Tracey Vest. She emailed me saying she made her own accessories and handbags, and wanted to be a vendor at some of our events.

When she first walked in, I noticed she was a bit shy and unassuming. A stark contrast to the loud, ostrich feather handbag billowing off her shoulder. I told her I loved her bag and she said it was one of her designs.

Hmm… ok, tell me more, I’m IMPRESSED…

She proceeds to pull a myriad of “look at me” items from her bag. A leather print fur clutch, flower headbands, and feather cuffs… I’m still shocked at all the loud pieces this quiet woman created.

I asked her where she got her inspiration and she said her grandmother had a passion for flashin’ her fashion. She apparently never left the home without her neck, ears and every limb and finger accessorized. She said her parents loved to go out on the town and she loved to watch them get glammed up. And today, she helps others glam up and grab attention with her eye catching, hand-made pieces.

Turns out, she’s been featured in Essence Magazine, Cincinnati Magazine and her items were recently in an episode of “Ugly Betty.” But she was so humble about it! If my designs were in a national TV show or magazine, I’d be shouting it from a rooftop. But no, not Tracey!

With things as unique as this, I asked her if I could try on a few to take pics for the blog. I couldn’t help but fall in love with two of her headbands, and she GAVE them to me because she knew I’d be a good advocate for her with all the running around I do. I couldn’t believe how generous she was. It completely made my day! So, today is kind of like Christmas in July in Amyland! YAY! Ho Ho Ho! Merrrrrry July 20 everyone!

Feather headband (one of the ones I got!) ($65)
Bangles ($35)
Floral headband (one of the ones I got!) ($18)
Feather cuffs ($65) ...how cute would these look with a strapless LBD?!?
Leapord clutch ($350)

Big Sale on High-End Handbags!

I got an email from one of my favorite local handbag designers, Missy DeGroot. Not that there are a ton of local handbag designers… but she is my favorite! haha!

She said she’s having a big sale on her handbags through the end of the day today* on www.enviius.com! So, if you’re in the market for a new bag, I suggest you check out the sale.

I’m a die-hard DeGroot bag fan. I purchased my first one two years ago. I used it every day for an entire year and I finally needed a new one. I bought my second one and I’m going on MORE than year, literally using it every single day. They really are great bags. Here’s a picture of me with my more than a year-old bag. And it still looks the same… and it’s white.

Now, that’s saying something. Actually, it says two things: 1) I don’t care about carrying a white bag in winter, fall, spring and summer… and 2) that DeGroot Handbags are the best bags EVER!

This is me (left) wearing a white bag in winter. Because I'm a rebel like that. 🙂

*UPDATE: After I posted this blog, I sent it to Missy. She sent me the below email indicating the sale has been extended due to this blog (see below)! WOOHOO!

Hey Amy, I just sent the link to your article to the president of
Enviius.com and he LOVED it and therefore is extending the sale into
the weekend!!! 🙂 Thanks a ton!!!!

To Heaven in a Handbag

DeGroot Handbags
DeGroot Handbags Fall 2009 Collection

Handbags are the ultimate accessory in my book. I don’t wear a lot of jewelry because my bag is usually loud, large and in charge.

I also don’t like to change my handbag much. I find it time consuming and annoying. And I usually forget things like my wallet or lip gloss in the rushed bag change-over. So, the whole handbag debacle has been a thorn in my side for a while.

How can I find a bag that meets my form and function needs… and happens to look fabulous with everything?

Miche Bags are a good option. Especially their hobo style because I tend to lug everything but the kitchen sink with me in my bag. But even changing the shell is too much hassle for me.

But then I met Missy DeGroot. She’s beautiful, ambitious, talented, successful – but still Cincinnati’s best kept secret. She’s a local handbag designer who started her own company (DeGroot Handbags), designs all her own lines and manages relationships with retailers such as Kitson, Fred Segal, Saks and Bloomingdales to get her bags on their shelves.

I met her about a year ago and got a white Isis Tote. I wore it every day for a year and a half (yes, I snubbed the “don’t wear white in winter” rule, and it felt good!). To work, out with friends, on weekend getaways. That bag went everywhere, through everything with me. It carried computers, doggie treats, coffee mugs, water bottles, notebooks and champagne bottles.

I consistently got compliments on it. It went with everything. It was exactly what I needed. So, when it started to fray and look a little worn out, I gave Missy a call. She said I had perfect timing because she just got in her new collection. So, naturally, I told her to bring her wares to the office and I’d do a little blog on her!

Check out the video below to see my new white grommet hobo bag, learn about all the new colors/prints/styles she’s introducing with her new collection, and virtually meet the amazing Missy DeGroot!