A Tale of Two Birkins - A Personal Tale of a Newbie Collector's H Revolution

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Hi, thank you for allowing me to share!
xoxo, @iheartorangeboxes on ig

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Chapter I – The Period 🕰

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the hope of a Birkin, it was the hope of a Kelly,
the maison had everything before us, we had nothing before us.

Chapter II – The Introduction (and a hint of what’s in the box!) 💙

“You can’t just walk in and ask for a Kelly or Birkin!!! We have a long wait list! Some people wait two to five years for these bags! You need to buy lots of things and a few Evelynes or Picotins won’t do it.” 😱

My journey up the slippery orange slope 🍊started in Fall of 2016. Call me naive, but these are the actual words that rang through my virgin H ears when I enthusiastically inquired about a Kelly with a very small purchase history 🤣. In the world of retail, one would think that if a customer came in to purchase something, the business would do whatever they could to make the sale. This definitely was not the case 😔.

Befuddled, I scoured our modern day encyclopedia, Google, for answers. I read a handful of anecdotes of scoring a unicorn 🦄 during a first visit and without spending a penny prior. And even more stories of purse aficionados who consistently professed their brand loyalty (aka spending the bigggg bucks 🤑) until they finally received “the call.”

Chapter III – The H Games 🐎

Stuck at a crossroads, I was forced to weigh my newfound love for a brand with a rich history, exquisite craftsmanship, luxurious leathers, and timeless style with the sour taste of bad oranges from initial H encounters. Do I throw in the towel and stick with my tried and true brands that would happily sell me any handbag I wanted? Or play the game as there’s really nothing to lose but pride and time? 🤔

Not gonna lie, as annoying as the game can be, the thrill of the chase was intriguing 😮. On free weekends, I’d pop into a boutique to browse and if the connection seemed right, inquired about Constances and eventually Kellys (K) and Birkins (B). For almost eight months in my home state, the response was the ubiquitous “no stock” yet if I hung out long enough at the boutique, I’d magically see a few Bs and Ks being wrapped up for others 🙄.

I also encountered the entire gamut of H Sales Associates, or SAs, along the way — the ones who followed me around the entire store, ones who didn’t give me the time of day, really kind ones who I actually believed would place my name on “the list”, and eventually a Super Awesome SA who has become my H Fairy Godmother Extraordinaire ✨.

Chapter IV – When The Stars Align ✨

Hermes as a brand is so much more than their coveted handbags. Everything in the store from scarves to tableware to the things that go bling under the bright lights exude refinement and beauty. While timing is everything, it’s no secret that the odds of being offered a B or K increase significantly when you have non-leather items in the mix. I may or may not own a $100 pencil wrapped in perfectly dyed goatskin ✏️or a deck of H playing cards ♣️with gold and silver edging.

A few weeks ago, the hubs and I contemplated another non-leather, non-handbag purchase and in the process, I asked my SA whether or not she had my first Birkin 😬. I pose this question often and the answer is usually “I’m trying” but today she replied that she had a noir B30 in togo but it had gold hardware instead of the palladium that I requested 😮. As gorgeous as the bag was, my heart was set on palladium so I politely declined and asked to wait for one with the perfect specs.

I could see my SA go into thinking mode 💭and then she suggests that it might be better to “make” a handbag exactly the way I wanted. My eyes grew large and my brain shut off as I stood speechless with her proposition 😱. Did she just offer me a Special Order?!?!?! Holy cannoli! It took a lot to keep my composure while doing the happy dance inside 💃🏻, ecstatic that my first B would come with an uber special horseshoe stamp! Who would’ve thunk?! But a made-to-order handbag also meant waiting another 9-12 months to finally have a B in my collection 🙈.

Chapter V – The Special Order 😵

The following week I made an appointment to design my Special Order (details to come in another story hehe) with my lovely SA. After flipping through boxes of colors and leathers and second guessing and triple guessing my choices, I casually asked about the possibility of acquiring a rare Birkin on my H wish list 💭. She told me it would be “very hard” to get one as I’m two years too late, but she’d keep her eyes peeled 👀.

As I was driving home, my phone rang. And what happens next might even be crazier than being offered a Special Order as my first B. She tells me that a shipment from Paris 🇫🇷 has just arrived 📦 and in the most unbelievable example of synchronicity in the H universe, the B that I literally requested minutes ago has just checked in and is on hold for me 😱😱😱! At this point, I’m not sure if I’m living a wild H dream or if every H store is filled with professional liars 😅.

And just like that, this unicorn of a beauty 🦄 joined my humble, but very special, H collection.

Please allow me to introduce my first Birkin…
😍💙Ms. Bleu Paradis, a 30 cm Ghillies in Clemence and Evercolor 💙😍.

Chapter VI – Final Thoughts

In the world of Hermes, your SA is everything 💁🏻. They are the gatekeepers and bouncers who decide which clients are bestowed special sealed orange boxes from the back 🍊. When you meet a good one, take the time to nurture your relationship 💖. When he/she calls saying that they have something you might like, do your very best to check it out 🤗.

May we all enjoy the fruits of our labor (pun intended) in good health! Thank you so much for sharing my joy and following along if you made it through my first H novel a la Charles Dickens 🤓.

And a big thank you to some of my favorite H Instagram collectors (@rinyks, @lechatcoquin, @kugzz, @styledbyshishi, @pursebop) who have taken the time to share advice, answer questions and provide H fairy dust along this newbie’s journey ✨!

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Love it! I have a 35 Cm Turquoise blue Ghillies B with Togo and Swift! It’s beautiful! Did you get yours recently? I didn’t think they were making Ghillies any more?

  • wow! your ghillies sounds gorgeous!
    yes, i just got it in May 2017 from the boutique. from what i’ve been told, they aren’t really being made…they’re “stragglers” that were ordered years ago and are finally being produced and shipped out. i got very lucky and am so grateful to have one in my collection :)

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Congratulations! I know how exciting it is to be offered one when you least expect it. My first was the same way and so was my first special order. Enjoy it in great health 😍

  • thank you so much, @blondissima777 :) i agree — the unexpected factor makes it even more fun! blessings to you :)

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