Four years ago, self-confessed handbag devotee and online shopaholic Miranda Gillespie, now 31, found herself frustrated at the lack of authentic, second-hand luxury handbags for sale online in Australia.
Miranda felt that the-then existing online businesses were not providing the full service package that buyers have come to expect when buying luxury items online – being a fantastic range of on-trend and classic handbags, excellent value, great communication, beautiful packaging, quick shipping and change-of-mind returns.
So she started Luxe.It.Fwd.—an online boutique where buyers can acquire beautiful pre-owned handbags at great value and feel completely comfortable regarding the authenticity of their purchase and also easily sell or consign their luxury bags.
Who do you live with?
I live with my husband, our eight month old boy, Angus, and our boofy German Shepherd, Zeus.
Describe yourself in three words:
Fashion-lover; direct; driven.
Tell us a little bit about your background:
While it couldn’t be more different from Luxe.It.Fwd – I initially practiced as a commercial lawyer for almost 10 years. However I’ve always been obsessed with both fashion and online shopping so I was always really itching to do something in that space.
When and how did the idea for Luxe.It.Fwd come about?
A few years back I was looking online to buy a pre-owned bag myself however found there to be a poor offering outside the peer-to-peer sites like eBay and Gumtree, where there are massive risks around authenticity. There was no online store that had the full offering of a great selection of luxury bags for reasonable prices coupled with easy customer service and – really importantly – authenticity verifications. So from realising that, I set about building a luxury store that had all of these things that Australian buyers like myself would want to shop from.
How long did it take to turn your vision into a reality?
A relatively long time initially. I spent about 3 months really investigating the concept and ensuring there were no insurmountable hurdles to Luxe.It.Fwd being a success. Then it was another 6 months of planning and implementation before the site was launched and ready to go. It’s now been 2.5 years since we launched and have seen really great constant growth.
What high-end brands are available through Luxe.It.Fwd?
We have a carefully curated collection of handbags and accessories and we only take on top-tier luxury brands – including Louis Vuitton (our most popular seller!), Chanel, Hermes, Saint Laurent, Gucci, Dior, Givenchy, Ferragamo, Valentino and Louboutin.
How do you ensure the quality and authenticity of each item?
Without a doubt, guaranteeing authenticity is the most important part of Luxe.It.Fwd. We use specialist authenticators to verify the authenticity of each item that arrives at Luxe.It.Fwd and they are absolute experts at knowing every last detail of authentic items and therefore weed out any replicas. This is the really key distinguisher from buying second-hand luxury from us as opposed to elsewhere, as our buyers can have the complete peace of mind of authenticity as we’ve done the hard work for them in that regard.
Who are your beauty and style inspirations?
Nadia Bartel is always immaculately dressed and groomed, and I absolutely love her style aesthetic. If only I could learn to create perfect waves in my hair like she does!
Are you neat or messy?
I definitely like a bit of order and tidiness. Outer order leads to inner calm, as I always say.
What’s the best holiday you’ve been on and why?
My best holiday would definitely be my trip to Europe 3 years ago when my now-husband and I got married in Paris, joined by a small group of family and friends, and then had a 4 week honeymoon around Europe. Bliss.
What’s your dream handbag?
Oooh it changes on any given week. At the moment, it would be the super-stunning and rare Hermes Kelly bag we currently have at Luxe.It.Fwd. It’s really hard to come by and the Kelly style is THE ultimate in handbag luxury, which is why it has the $12k price tag to match!
What are your hopes for 2018—both for Luxe.It.Fwd and personally?
Luxe.It.Fwd has had a really great period of growth recently and we’re really focused on catapulting that growth and reaching even more people this year who may not be aware of the great alternatives to buying pre-owned luxury rather than peer-to-peer sites like eBay. On a personal front, last year was such a crazy year balancing the business with my newborn so I’m really excited for a year of more balance and breathing room this year.