The Good Kind of Baggage
"We all have a little baggage and it’s time we put it to use." This is the sentiment behind a new line of clutches called Comes with Baggage, which secretly offers you to release those inner thoughts brewing. Here, we chat with Lori Levine, founder of the PR firm Flying Television, and the woman behind the line.
Jauretsi: Do you remember that Aha! moment when you decided you were going to make a line of bags with statements on them?
Lori Levine: I think the Aha! moment for me was when my love for tattoos and passion for art collided. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not into covering your entire body in tattoos, but I appreciate and respect the art behind them. I have admired… [MORE] graffiti artists in New York City my entire life. I also have a bit of an old soul and became obsessed with these vintage clutches I was finding on eBay.
I also have a very sharp tongue and shouldn’t always say what I am thinking. I am constantly using expressions in my everyday life and conversations. One day, my boyfriend at the time (who happens to be a very well known artist and graffiti artist) said to me, “Why don’t you put your expressions on the clutches your obsessed with?” All of a sudden this lightbulb went off in my head that I should tattoo the bags with all of my favorite expressions. That’s how Comes With Baggage was born!
J: Can you explain the history of the bags in terms of materials and sourcing?
LL: All Comes With Baggage clutches are vintage, hence our tagline “Vintage Reclaimed.” Most of the clutches stem from the old Etra design. I love their clutches because of the unique clamshell or trapezoid hinge frames. I just love the way that the bags open up into a diamond shape. All of the clutches are one-of-a-kind. I literally travel and search the world for the vintage handbags. Everywhere I go I am always bringing back new clutches and inspiration.
J: Do you consider yourself a glass half empty or half full type person?
LL: Half full for sure! I eat life and don’t ever take one moment for granted. Not to be totally “granola” here, but I try to approach everything I do and everyone I know from a place of loving kindness. But I am a Scorpio, so loving kindness is where I start, but if you cross me it is not where I will always finish!
J: If there was one mantra to the philosophies of the bag proverbs, what would you say it is?
LL: Talk less, listen More. Or, speak softly and carry a loud bag!
J: You seem to be juggling and mastering multiple skills in your workday. Can you offer any nuggets of entrepreneurial advice to girls starting their own business today?
LL: I think you have to be very passionate about your business and extremely interested and committed. It is not easy to start a business and you cannot let things get stale, otherwise the desire and passion will die out. You have to keep things fresh. Bottom line: When you stop loving it, you might as well close up shop!
J: What exciting things can we expect from you coming down the road in terms of the bag line?
LL: New and even more edgy/snarky expressions and crazy colorful clutches! We are also working on manufacturing a line of new bags with larger size options and adjustable hidden chains.
J: Your fav eBay find?
LL: Other than the literally thousands of vintage bags I have purchased? Too many to even list — but I can tell you the new eBay “saved search” option is the most refreshing new addition to the site! I just love having all my finds listed when I log in or open the app on my phone. My favorite sound is that “cha-chaing!” when I sell something on eBay! Just makes my whole day!
(Photos courtesy of @comeswithbaggage via Instagram. Text by Jauretsi)