Melissa is back. She stole my purse.

But first, before she stole my purse, she opened my mail.

I walked into the kitchen and I said, “Hey, you opened my mail.”

“No I didn't.

“What's this? What's this opened envelope that is addressed to me?”

“Oh. That? I didn't think you counted that as mail.”

“What does it count as?”

“I knew it was from an author. I could just tell from the expensive stationary. So I thought it was like getting a book in the mail from a publisher. And you told me I could open those if I was looking for something to read.”

“No. It's mail.”

“No. It's not. Look. It's from Jon Acuff.”

It turns out he wrote a thank you note to me for mentioning his book on my blog. No kidding. That made me so happy that I forgot to tell Melissa she can never, in the rest of the history of her life, open any mail addressed to me.

It made me so happy that I talked about his book because you know what? I get like ten billion product pitches a day and there has to be some system for figuring out what I'll write about. So I try to just write about stuff that will make people happy.

Of course, I have to like the stuff too. But look, take this water: Hint. They sent me a press release saying that they are the game-changer in flavored water. At first I hit delete. But then I thought, well, my kids like flavored water and they are drinking way too much sugary stuff because I won't let them drink our tap water because I don't trust anyone out here who is testing water for nitrates. Because if the nitrates are too high then we would have to report our dairy-farming neighbors to the Department of Natural Resources. So I think people in our county ignore bad water.

We just spent a week in Steven's Point, WI (at cello camp, again) and I was excited that we were in a city (yes, a town of 25,000 is big excitement for us now) and my son could drink the water. But I took a sip and it tasted so weird that I stuck with bottled water. And now, it turns out, that Melissa, who spends most of her time here researching insane topics, comes up with this link that says Steven's Point is the only place in America that has better tasting water than New York City.

So this is all to say that I'm losing my ability to discern good water, so I had the inspiration to tell Hint that I'd write about them if they sent me samples. They sent ten bottles and we drank them all in a day.

So look, the water Hint makes is good. But it's not like Hint is now going to be a successful company because I wrote about them. Anyway, they are already distributed in Whole Foods. How big of an impact could I have?

I'm telling you this to tell you how to pitch a blogger: Show the blogger how he or she can make a difference.

Look, if a blog has decent-sized traffic, it's because the blogger is absolutely nuts about creating a fun, interesting experience for the community. It's pretty much insane to do the work it takes to have a huge blog. The blog is like a monster that always needs feeding or it becomes mean. There are no vacations and there is no sure way to keep things from going south. It's largely a labor of love.

So I don't want to spend time on my blog plugging products that are not going to somehow help me or the readers. A lot of PR types know this, which is why they send me offers like I can give you guys a 10% discount on someone's insanely stupid webinar. Like that's going to help anyone in life.

I want to tell you one of the best pitches I've gotten in a while, though. It was from someone who is a regular reader of my blog, and she showed that in her email with little mentions of my pet peeves.

And then she told me, in a get-to-the-point-quick way, that she has been executing on a business plan and she has a model that is fundable, but she needs traction right now to show that if she expanded her line she could sell more purses.

I like that she has a plan, and I like that she showed me how I could be part of it. And I like that she sounds like someone I would like.

So I said sure. Send me a purse.

The purse came in amazing packaging and I told Melissa to take photos of it so we could copy it for our next book. Like, maybe the book could arrive in a nice box or something.

But then we realized that this packaging is way too expensive. The book would have to be $200. Which is pretty much what the purse costs.

Then I lost interest in the purse because I had to meet with the guy who I want to do my goat business with me but keeps refusing because he wants to be a millionaire now, not when the company sells.

As I'm going to the meeting, Melissa tells me that I have to use the new purse. It fits a laptop. Melissa packs up my laptop in the laptop spot and the phone in the phone spot and then I throw a fit that I can't find the phone because I didn't know I had a phone spot.

Then Melissa has me change all my clothes because she thinks I am retarded at dressing myself, which I think might be true, but she is retarded at interior design so I don't feel bad, but I feel mystified as to why can't I just think of my body as a room and then be better with my clothes.

I go out to the car and the goats follow me, of course, because goats are like dogs but way more destructive.

As I leave, Melissa says, “The purse looks so good! It matches so well!”

Then I come home, and by the time I am done sorting through my mail to see if Melissa has opened any, Melissa has dumped my stuff on the floor, and the purse is in her room.

And I think that's okay because Melissa loves the purse. And we will do something nice for Alesya. And so, too, maybe will a bunch of the readers, and then she'll get funding. And then, maybe, we'll do that again, with another company that pitches me.

81 replies
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  1. Lindsay
    Lindsay says:

    Two pitches in ONE posting and yet I still read the entire thing! If you thought you were getting an abundance of emails before…I’m guessing you’re going to be getting even more now!

    That purse IS really cute. Kudos to that woman! :) I hope she gets her funding!

  2. Danny T
    Danny T says:

    I think your ADD was in overdrive when you wrote this… which is fine, because mine was too.. so I followed it pretty well. Okay.. no I didn’t. Maybe its a girl thing.
    Have a great day!

  3. denisef in c'ville va
    denisef in c'ville va says:

    that purse rocks my world. i’ve sent the “see” video to 3 friends already. sadly i have no blog, so no samples for me.

  4. Anita Junttila
    Anita Junttila says:

    Smart awesome bag. I like the pouch in the middle – no black hole syndrome. I’m always losing my keys in my purse! I think I need to get myself one of those . . .

  5. Yvette
    Yvette says:

    Girl, I’m loving the direction of the blog. Fun, useful, yet uncomplicated. Also, and maybe it’s because I’m a marketer’s dream come true, because I’m loving the product placements!
    PS – Awesome photos. Glad that Melissa is back.

  6. chris Keller
    chris Keller says:

    You call it marketing or pitching, but truth is, we do favors for one another as a result of social bonding:

    You welcomed Melissa back. You pitch her photos. You let the readership know that Melissa loved the purse–as did you. The purse has a goat following as well. Melissa is interesting. Interesting sells.

    Opening your mail? This, to me, is the competition thread. I have 3 daughters in my brood. They “stole” from one another’s closets growing up. Two of the 3 stole from my closet–one still does some “stealing” as an adult. I don’t regard it as stealing, though. But it IS a variety of competition, IMO.

    You alone can decide where to draw the line. You are her ladyship at the manor.

    • Mel
      Mel says:

      bahhhh since a teenager and even now, my mom steals from my closet and jewelry box all the time. i get rage-y thinking about it :(

      she has so many of my beautiful sterling silver earrings. :/

  7. Deena McClusky
    Deena McClusky says:

    You babble alot, which I find perfectly ok because it feels quite similar to the inside of my own head. What I find most fascinating, however, is when hidden within the babble I find the most fascinating insights which I am afraid people miss. In this entry it was: “Then Melissa has me change all my clothes because she thinks I am retarded at dressing myself, which I think might be true, but she is retarded at interior design so I don't feel bad, but I feel mystified as to why can't I just think of my body as a room and then be better with my clothes.” That, my dear, was incredibly profound and insightful.

    • emily
      emily says:

      Deena, I totally agree – that sentence really hit me in the gut too. I was reminded of a recent Eve Ensler TED talk, where she relates her experience with cancer and chemo – and, while very emotionally driven – she makes the point that she didn’t realize up until then how big of an effort she needed to make to feel that her body was really something she felt connected to.

      Also – I heard once that dreams about exploring new rooms in a house – or imagining extensions in your home – is a symbol of desiring sexual exploration. In some ways I wonder whether feeling like we understand how we dress is a part of figuring out and exploring our sexual selves. For instance – knowing what looks good on us and what suits our body well is worth investigating – although it’s not the most fun for me, personally, because of my own relationships with my body.

      Fashion is complicated for me because it’s very hard to compete with my own expectation of perfection and my feeling that that the fashion industry banks on this insecurity. Alternative fashion sites are helpful for me and so is thrift shopping – since I love the idea that I can dress creatively without too much risk. That said, I’d love to buy that bag because I’d like to support someone who’s made her own business out of problem solving something in her own life.

      • Simmonetta
        Simmonetta says:

        @ Deena
        @ Emily
        Not to take point about the writing here, but analogies between fashion & interior design are a dime a dozen. Just read any shelter magazine, like Elle Decor or Architectural Digest and you will see them. Heck, fashion designers have been extending their line to decor since I remember.

  8. Jenny Bent
    Jenny Bent says:

    I love this bag and am ordering one today; I haven’t been able to find a laptop bag that looks decent and have been using my backpack like a 12-year-old. Thanks for the tip!

  9. Shawn
    Shawn says:

    As a guy who knows next to nothing about purses, what impressed me most was the packaging, more importantly the emotional response it elicited from Penelope. While its hard to quantify, I’d have to imagine that the purse itself got extra “like” points because of the experience of opening it. Well done Alesya, I hope you get funding! :)

  10. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth says:

    That purse is GORGEOUS. I’ve been looking for a purse to hold a laptop (versus a “computer bag”) for a long time. I want it in purple.

  11. Alex
    Alex says:

    I’m curious about your use of the word “retarded”. By now advocates for kids with Down Syndrome and other intellectual disabilities have done a good job letting the world know how hurtful and damaging that word is. (http://www.r-word.org/) But you use it twice, where five, ten, other words would have served better, and without taking strips off another person’s hide. You’re starting to remind me of my unpleasant old relatives who would go out of their way to use the word “colored”.

      • Penelope Trunk
        Penelope Trunk says:

        People write this comment a lot on my blog because I use the word retarded a lot on this blog.

        I use the word in the right way — to describe something or someone who is learning or doing something at a slower rate than everyone else, usually because of brain development.

        I’m very open on my blog about me being retarded, Melissa, my son, and many of our extended family. We are retarded in social skills. So what? I accept that that’s how things are, and then I own the word.

        Maybe it’s like nigger. If I were black, I could use it, right? Isn’t that the rule?

        And, get ready for total insensitivity: Look , if you kid has Down’s Syndrome, your kid is retarded. I don’t understand. It’s just factual. I think as a noun — retard — maybe the word is offensive. I just don’t get why it’s offensive as an adjective.

        It may console you that the Farmer almost dies of pain every time I use the word fuck. It is just absolutely not okay to use in middle-America farm country where we live. But I use it anyway. Because it really really is fine for me. So he tries to read past fuck on my blog.

        So maybe those of you who don’t want to hear that I am retarded in certain areas can skip over those sentences.

        Penelope

      • Katie
        Katie says:

        I am glad to see someone stand up to the asinine nature of “political correctness” that has taken over the English language. Vilifying a word or denying its existence does not help anyone.

        It’s one thing to reprimand a child for calling another “retarded” in the same way we would reprimand for calling another child “stupid” or “ugly,” but baning those words–valid adjectives–from the language completely makes little sense.

        On an unrelated note, what happened with Melissa’s job? Did you have an “I told you so” moment?

  12. Diana
    Diana says:

    i love the blog, and this is always the case. i always like it whether i am interested in the content or not. somehow you make me interested.
    this week i especially love the pictures. how priceless is the one of you trying to go off to a meeting and the goats are all gathered to you at the car? i love that.
    what i also love is that purse. how often do you see a purse that has the little metal feet on the bottom? sign of a great purse. i want it.
    is melissa back for good? i really thought she would stay in austin through the winter at least.

  13. Marcy Dockery
    Marcy Dockery says:

    Glad to read that Melissa is back and hope you are too. I never thought about pitching you with a product but now you’ve opened the door…don’t worry, I won’t unless it’s relevant to your readers. Which the purse and book were, I think. Love your blog because it’s life with a twist.

  14. Marti
    Marti says:

    Loved the blog. And am curious about the viability of a company with only one product. Oh, ok. A quick reread shows me where she wants to expand her line. Never mind.

    I think I would go mad if I had goats following me everywhere. But then, I have grown old enough to be totally done with pets, and quasi-pets. I have grown into grouchhood.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      Yeah. You’re right. I thought of that after I posted. She is just here for a visit. We miss her. It feels a lot like a grown kid coming home from college.

      I feel an urge to cook for her (her favorite thing to eat is raw cookie dough) and the kids feel the urge to pillage her stash of fun electronics.

      She is leaving in a few days, though. And, PS she loves her job :)

      Penelope

      • karelys davis
        karelys davis says:

        I am happy that she loves her job. But I am sad because then it means she won’t come back to the farm and try to make it work on her own. Meaning, making money by herself.

        ps. It’s hard to tell if it’s you or melissa from the back.

    • zan
      zan says:

      i know…there are aspects of “political correctness” that annoy the crap out of me, too. but this is an issue of respect for other human beings. that isn’t “politically correct.” it’s just common decency…which NEVER annoys the crap out of me!

      • Lina
        Lina says:

        @ Zan – See any “political correctness” can be positioned as common decency. In your case, you think not using the word “retarded” is common decency. For others, is not using despective ethnic or sexual orientation words. Just sayin’

      • Paul
        Paul says:

        Well Penelope is a social retard, so as a member of the retardnpopulation I think she is entitled to say or write retard all she wants. Much like black people can use the n word with impunity. And I will continue using it in my daily life because it makes me happy.

  15. Alex Dogliotti
    Alex Dogliotti says:

    I swear, I think I read all your posts. This one…I can’t decide whether it’s genius or nuts. You know what the funny thing is? That it doesn’t even matter! People got out of it different things, and that’s what’s amazing about it. Anita and Lindsay commented on the purse, Yvette on the direction of the blog, Alex and Peter on the word ‘retarted’ and Deena and Emily on that sentence about considering your body as a room.
    Then I thought: ‘what did I get out of it?’. A great business lesson.
    Not how to pitch a blogger. Rather, how a great blogger pitches.
    Fantastic job.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      Thanks for this comment, Alex. I am always surprised in some way by the topics people choose to discuss in the comments. It’s one of the things that makes reading the comments so fun.

      Penelope

  16. Irving Podolsky
    Irving Podolsky says:

    You know, if your life was a sitcom, which is IS, and Melissa was a reoccurring character, which SHE is, the dialogue would be hilarious! I can just hear Melissa’s “pitch” when she showed up on your front porch.

    By the way, didn’t some producer want to do a reality show about you? (Or maybe that’s in my head.) But if it isn’t, what happened to THAT pitch? If the project gets a green light, Melissa HAS to be part of the show, along with the goats, and the pretty kitty…and the farmer who will forever remain nameless. (How could anybody make this up?)

    Oh yeah, my wife is now addicted to goat butter. Where’s your product? Waiting…

    Irv

    • Irving Podolsky
      Irving Podolsky says:

      First time I’ve replied to my own comment, but I have to jump in on this subject about being, or acting “retarded” because I feel that way myself right now. I used bad grammar in my comment. I wrote: “You know, if your life WAS a sitcom…” It should be “…WERE a sitcom…”

      Man, I should have learned that rule back in the fifth grade. But even then I was starting to realize girls were more interesting than words, and so I wasn’t paying attention, and I was falling behind the class. I was becoming less advanced than the kids who got it right. They called me a “retarded”. They were right, and I didn’t care. Everybody was “retarded” back then. Even your best friend. We were all morons, and dumb and stupid and ignorant and dense. We were cretins and idiots and brain-dead. The words carried NO meaning, really. They were all “lame.” Whoa! Maybe we shouldn’t use that word either. Although that’s okay, right? Being crippled is okay? We’re not insulting war veterans, just animals, like donkeys, and goats. Oh, can’t use goats. P loves goats.

      In 1972 I took a job at a facility in Atlanta, Ga. – a cutting edge, behavior-modification, federally funded mental hospital called GRC. You know what “GRC” stood for? GEORGIA RETARDATION CENTER. Yep. Back then, “retarded” was perfectly acceptable. However, “It sucks” was definitely NOT acceptable. In the sixties and seventies, “sucks” had everything to do with oral sex and NOTHING else. So for all of you that say, on daily basis, “It sucks!” I know what you really mean! And that goes for your kids, too! So there!

      IRV

  17. Jim C.
    Jim C. says:

    You should think long and hard about whether you want someone in your house (again) who snoops in your mail and who “dumps your stuff on the floor” just because she wants to use your purse and is too lazy to dump the contents on a table. I detect a serious dysfunction here, not a friendship.

  18. zan
    zan says:

    i don’t get the friendship with melissa. but she’s not MY friend, so i don’t have to get it.

    and, like some of your other readers, i don’t condone the casual use of the word “retarded.” but this is YOUR blog, not mine.

    i do love the goats.

  19. Annemarie Donnelly
    Annemarie Donnelly says:

    I think that all of us are mature enough to know that mentally challenged individuals are not “retarded” and we would never refer to them as such. However, language is colorful and needs diversity at hand. No political correctness. You know how sometimes you just have to use the word”fuck” to aptly convey your meaning? “Retarded” is like that, too. It has punch.

  20. Hazel
    Hazel says:

    Melissa chose the 80s t-shirt, cut off skirt and leggings? I am not particularly impressed by her fashion sense.

    • Sandra
      Sandra says:

      Hazel, I agree with you. While Melissa’s choice of fashion may be suitable for her, it is not suitable for Penelope, especially not for a business development meeting. Granted, I grew up in a rural environment and people dress a lot less formal there and WalMart is really the only place where you can buy clothes outside of online or through a catalog. However, I would suggest Penelope lean more towards the likes of Anthropology, Urban Outfitters or Banana Republic and less Forever 21. You can still be trendy, comfortable and rural casual, yet don’t have to look like a college student. Even H&M and Topshop offer options that are less expensive, but more age and business appropriate. And if you MUST shop at WalMart, buy items that look like knockoffs from those places I recommended and not from the Junior line. And if in doubt, a dress and flats in summer or boots in winter usually always works.

      • cnichole
        cnichole says:

        I was in a painting class this summer and there was a woman who dressed exactly like this, except the sweaters were tighter and no goats.

    • betty in munich
      betty in munich says:

      I was thinking the same thing. “Hey Penelope, Madonna called and she wants her 1980’s outfit back!” If Melissa dressed you, I am pretty sure you can do better.

  21. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    You know, I have wondered how much of “Penelope Trunk”‘s life is real and how much is made up, but I keep reading the blog because I don’t really care — it’s entertaining, and it makes me think. But ads don’t make me think much, and they’re not generally very entertaining unless very well done. These two ads for water and purses weren’t all that well done, and weren’t entertaining at all (at least for me).

    Yes, it is intriguing and relevant to the Story of Penelope Trunk that Melissa is back, and I imagine you dropped that little teaser to keep us all eager for your next post in hopes that we’ll find out what happened. But the rest of the post seemed contrived and clumsy. Being pitched to is boring. I do appreciate your transparency about the process — but I think you have much more interesting things to say.

  22. Alexandra the Tsaritsa
    Alexandra the Tsaritsa says:

    Very helpful article. The best pitches are personalized and relevant to the person whom the pitch is directed. It also helps if the product is good!

    The bag is really cute. I wish I had designers sending me free stuff in the mail! I would definitely do it up on my blog.

  23. Jennifer B
    Jennifer B says:

    Penelope, I’m curious about why Melissa opening your mail bothered you so much. Not saying you were wrong about it, but it doesn’t strike me as the type of thing you would be bothered by. Other folks, but not you.

  24. -k-
    -k- says:

    That purse costs 265 fucking dollars. It’s pointless for me to even comment on its relative cuteness. (It is cute, though, and good luck to Aleysa.)

    The only thing that made me feel better about that price was that the model was dressed like a total douche (hey, did you dress the model?), which made me think I wouldn’t want to use the purse anyway.

    • zan
      zan says:

      she’s a businesswoman. she gets to hawk things in her blog.

      and (as i have learned from making my own protestations about her choice of words) she’s a retard. so, she gets to use the word “retarded” without recrimination.

      and we’re the readers of this almost-insanely frank expose of her life, so we get to offer commentary, as long as she allows.

      when i was a network television development executive, my mother used to ask me why there were so damn many commercial breaks. i reminded her that i wouldn’t get paid if we didn’t have commercial breaks. i showed her the mute button. now she has a DVR.

      entertainment comes with a price.

  25. Robert
    Robert says:

    I really enjoy this blog; even though I know Penelope is hawking something when she’s not hawking someone elses stuff but its escaping me. I’ve read the Brazen Careerist and have read many of the past post. I am starting my blog tonight as a compliment to my entrepreneurial activities. I would have to say I prefer Saddleback Leather as I yearn to be a manly man and nothing says manly man like a leather ipad 2 case…With that said I like the cat pic in this post.

  26. Jae
    Jae says:

    Even though this was a tertiary (or perhaps quartary or quinary) point in your post, I’m totally stuck on why you rock at interior design (btw… love the steampunk in your farmhouse!!!) but not dressing yourself. Could it be related to either Asperger’s or you being an ENTJ or a combination of both?

    I’ve read that Asperger’s in women often leads to difficulties in grasping nuances in fashion because there is a distinct tradeoff in form vs. function, and those with Asperger’s will often gravitate toward comfortable clothing (often a few or just one established outfit) with less regard for social context. The ENTJ temperament could reinforce the emphasis on function.

    As for the interior design/personal styling split, could sensory overload have an impact? This doesn’t sit well with me even as a preliminary theory because some basic principles that pertain to sensory processing overlap here, like lines, proportions, color contrasts, etc. However, the type of detail-oriented visual work required to dress a person is a lot more to register/process in comparison with doing the same in a space.

    This blog post (http://life-with-aspergers.blogspot.com/2010/09/teenage-aspies-and-fashion-sense-date.html) says that “Aspies” can fixate heavily on textures in clothing, esp. in minor components like buttons. Do you find that to be true? In that case, the interior design/personal styling split could also be explained by your physical distance/removal from specific components, i.e. even though curtains, carpets, wallpapers, etc. have textural qualities, they’re not directly plugged into your sensory perception in an immediate way like a shirt or a sweater. Lastly, is it possible that the consumption process for interior decorating components can be systemized in a way that makes for more robust processes (file folders, paint/fabric swatches, floor plans drawn to scale, etc.) whereas clothes shopping is more haphazard because the logistics for proper fitting & style curating requires some physical interaction with a loose variant on bureaucracy (waiting in separate lines for fitting room, cashier, sizing up and down vis-a-vis brands, etc)?

    To generalize, SPs are characterized to be the most adept at dressing with flair, while SJs value neatness and conventional guidelines in personal grooming. Though NTs can tend toward the extreme in absentmindedness and apathy for appearance (Einstein’s hair), ENTJs are said to be most fastidious out of the Rationals. So is there a possibility that you just don’t care as much about styling yourself as you do about designing the space you live & work in? (I ask that question in a completely neutral way.)

    I did enjoy the rest of your post (love your blog in general, also love the bag, especially bc you mentioned that it fits a laptop!) but for some reason I fixated on this minor point. Would love to hear your thoughts. (FYI I’m a career coach & INTJ, don’t have Asperger’s myself but have had a couple clients who do).

  27. Chuck Rylant
    Chuck Rylant says:

    This post is hilarious. I love the way you write your stories. Very entertaining.

    Oh, and on the water bit, you don’t appreciate tap water in the U.S. until after Mexico. My family just returned from a month down there, which is awesome, but just to be able to brush your teeth without fear of catching something nasty is heaven.

    And, then if you have little ones, it’s even worse, because your always afraid they don’t get it and will take a gulp.

  28. Karina
    Karina says:

    Dear Penelope,

    “If I were black, I could use it, right? Isn’t that the rule?”

    I don’t think that is the rule. It has EVERYTHING to do with context and intent.

    In any case, I find “n-word” much more revolting.

  29. Don B.
    Don B. says:

    I am still trying to figure out when a purse becomes a suitcase. I try not to get hung up on words but know I don’t use the word retarded so I reread the post to figure out what word would I have used in the context. I thought it was interesting that the dictionary lists foolish and stupid for retarded but if I were speaking the thoughts in this post I would have used to word inept at dressing and decorating. But I think that using the word inept is uncommon. So I find myself curious what word most people would use there. When I was young in the 1960’s the word retarded was used a lot. I don’t hear it much anymore. I also liked Alex’s comment and realize the picture of the packaging and the cat had me wanting to hit the buy button on the pursue/suitcase. The nice lettering of the name Alesya on the lining looked so luxurious. I am waiting for all the products with the Alesya label. Penelope I sure enjoy reading your blog and the comments. I miss Melissa and don’t even know her. Glad she visited and to hear she loves her job.

  30. Alesya
    Alesya says:

    Hello fellow Penelope readers! Thanks for your nice comments about the laptop bag. I really appreciate you taking the time to look and comment.

    As many of us are entrepreneurs, I wanted to share the results of being featured on Penelope’s blog. The business is about 7 weeks old and this is, by far, the biggest mention I’ve had.

    Yesterday, I had over 2,000 page views on AlesyaBags.com and almost 500 on my blog. On a normal day those numbers are more like 200 and 175. Some new folks also found the Alesya Bags Facebook page and found me @Alesya on Twitter.

    In the last 24 hours, I’ve had 5 bags sell that I’m sure are a result of Penelope’s influence. So far, my normal sales rate is 1 bag a day. (Which I did have, from a woman my father works with.)

    Most surprisingly, I also had several overseas requests. One from Amsterdam, one for Melbourne and one from Israel. Wow!

    In today’s economy, $265 is still a good sized purchase for most. I’ve found that some people need time to consider such a purchase, so I’m sure I’ll see a few more sales as a result.

    I also received emails from one person who wanted a vegan bag, one who wanted a magnetic closure and one who wanted a bag to review on her own site. While not as good as sales, this kind of interest is still important to me.

    Personally, yesterday fell into the “big freaking deal” category which counts for a ton too. I’ve read this blog for years and I’m still in shock to see the bag here.

    Thanks again for your support. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about the business, etc.

    • betty in munich
      betty in munich says:

      Hi Alesya! I love your bag, do you think you will have it made in Black? I love the colors – but what can I say? Black is what works for me.

  31. Leonie
    Leonie says:

    Alesya, love your design! Am thinking of getting the bag. :-) Congrats and it was a smart pitch :-)
    best wishes on the business. Look forward to seeing more designs soon!

  32. Rebecca Gonzalez
    Rebecca Gonzalez says:

    Penolope… since you are pitching in your blog, I will write back to the pitchers via your blog (I hope you don’t mind). Message to Alesya … I seriously want your purse… however, ran into some weird glitchy stuff with your site that makes me not comfortable with buying $265 purse. Auto fill in of your city, state zip (weird)… issues with password process. Needs a good QA. Also, not sure if my laptop would fit. It is 16″ diagonally. BUT I really want the green purse. I think you should add more info about the dimensions of a laptop that would fit including height and width for those of those of us who do not understand what a 15″ laptop is. Just saying, because it is in fact an expensure purchase when I typically buy laptop bag for $35 at Costco (not a pitch, but a truly wonderful place).

    • Alesya
      Alesya says:

      Hello Rebecca – Thanks for your interest. I haven’t seen the issues you are reporting, but did have a full site review done by the development as late as 10:50 PM ET last night. I also tested the site myself this morning and can’t see the error. Please feel free to reach out to me at alesya (at) alesyabags.com if you’d still like to try the bag. I’d be happy to offer you free shipping for your efforts.

  33. Mary B.
    Mary B. says:

    I love the word “retarded,” it just works so well for things that are STUPID or DUMB. Especially love how it’s pronounced in my neck of the woods (eastern Massachusetts), which is “retahhded.” Something that’s CRAZY STUPID is “wicked retahhhded.” We will nevah stop using that expression.

  34. Cash Flow Trader
    Cash Flow Trader says:

    Two pitches in a single submitting and nonetheless I however read all the thing! In the event you thought you had been receiving an abundance of emails before – I’m guessing you might be likely to be gaining much more now!

  35. Tacy
    Tacy says:

    Great post and cute bag. Glad to hear Melissa’s back. I’m curious, you don’t charge for reviews on your blog, do you? So many do these days (especially the mom blogs) that it is disconcerting. Even though they usually do disclose it.

  36. Andrea M
    Andrea M says:

    At first I really liked the bag. But then I thought about it more. With everybody and their mother becoming handbag designers these days, there really are a ton of stylish bags out there that are big enough to fit a laptop and such. I don’t see that much differentiation in this product – at least not enough for me to not think twice about spending $265 when there are so many less expensive options out there.

    Ivanka Trump has an entire executive collection. And her prices are around $150. This bag is very nice, and may even be better quality than Ivanka’s, but Ivanka Trump is a well known brand and I didn’t see much detail on the quality of this bag on its website.

    I think it would be useful for Alesya to put more emphasis on the quality of the bag on the website, not just pitch the design at the #1 reason selling feature. I find that good quality is more difficult to come by than design in handbags. But failing reassurance of superior quality, I’d choose Ivanka Trump or another lower priced bag.

    I only write this as constructive consumer feedback to Alesya, not to criticise. It does look like a great bag. I hope she finds the feedback useful.

    The bag also would have held my interest longer if it came in black :)

  37. Brooke Farmer
    Brooke Farmer says:

    If I had $265 I would buy the purse this instant. Love it. I hate always carrying two bags around to have my laptop with me in case I want to do some writing along the way.

  38. Not Yet A Mommy
    Not Yet A Mommy says:

    I really enjoyed this post. I’ve worked for a PR firm and learning how to pitch products to appropriate bloggers was a real challenge. It’s nice to know that you only want products that your readers will actually enjoy or benefit from learning about. Great blog, looking forward to more!

  39. Holly Fedele
    Holly Fedele says:

    Penelope,

    You do own the word “retarded” and from what I can tell, you DO use it correctly. Am I the only one that finds it sad that although you even speak about using it as a noun and could recognize that as hurtful, the comments from people agreeing with you are using as a noun? That is the problem so many of us parents of children with Down syndrome (no apostrophe because Dr. John Langdon Down did not HAVE Down syndrome, he simply named it.) Even those commenters that used it as an adjective used it to mean stupid, dumb, CRAZY STUPID, etc. So are our children with Down syndrome moronic, ignorant, dumb, dense, or CRAZY STUPID? Are or they simply slower with development?

    Perhaps if you want to own the word and use it correctly, then support that. But be careful not to be lumped into the category of people who support the incorrect usage and name calling. Because as a parent, THAT is what I have an issue with.

    And really, to me, those that use it and continually fight to use it aren’t concerned with PC, Freedom of Speech, or even correct denotation. They use it for connotation. And as a big “fuck you” to those that profess to be hurt by the word.

  40. Chris Mentor Me
    Chris Mentor Me says:

    I found it extremely exciting to read through I would enjoy to determine you write additional on this subject. I'm subscribed to your RSS feed now so I'll examine in far more generally!

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