Bridal Handbag Parties with 1154 LILL Studio of Boston

You’ve heard of them, you’ve been to them, and perhaps you have even held them.  Hosted sales parties.  You know what I mean – Pampered Chef, Lia Sophia, Party Lite Candles, Tastefully Simple.  The trend of combining shopping and mingling has been around for decades, way back to when our mothers were hosting and attending Tupperware and Avon parties.    They’ve come a long way, that’s for sure.  

But I have to say I literally froze when I heard about the latest trend – handbag parties.  Could this be?  OMG why hasn’t anyone ever thought if this before?  If you are anything like me, you actually salivate at the thought of a new handbag.  You may even frequent http://forum.purseblog.com/ where others who share your same lust for handbags can finally converse about their favorite topic without judgment – even have a little fun by trying to ID celebrity bags seen on TV or in magazines.
I attended a Bridal Expo in Boston last summer and came across 1154 LILL Studio.  Hmm, this looked interesting.  Handbags?  At a bridal expo?  I’ve got to check this out.
Evidently, (no had ever told me, probably in an attempt to keep me from never wanting to leave their Newbury Street shop) 1154 LILL Studio is a one of a kind retail and e-tail store specializing in customized handbags.  I stood before a table of gorgeous bags thinking “How in the world am I going to choose just one?”  These bags were gorgeous – the fabric, the patterns, everything.  And to think you can customize them!  Even today, I find myself (sneaking) to their website, waiting to see what new designs they have come up with.  
You’re probably wondering this all sounds great, but what does it have to do with weddings?  A lot.  I remember planning my wedding and struggling to find the perfect gift to give my bridal party.  Believe it or not, my thank you gift to them were handbags.  I wish I had know of 1154 LILL Studio.  
As a bride, you actually have a couple of fun options.  You could choose clutches or wristlets for your bridal party to either use the day of your wedding or just to have for afterwards.  Or, (this is where the fun comes in) you can host a handbag party.  This can be done at your home or at their Newbury Street location.  How does this work?  Well, you basically gather your bridal party in the location of your choice, hang out together, look at designs, pick out fabrics and basically design your own handbag.  And in less than a month, you receive your new handbag!
I recently spoke with Alan Karo, Chief Marketing Officer with 1154 LILL Studio:
Me:  Can you tell me a little bit about handbag parties?  How is a typical party run and what is the typical timeline of events for both in-store and on-location parties?   How many attendees can you accommodate for a handbag party in-store in Boston?
Alan:  Our handbag parties, like our handbags, are tailored to meet each customer’s specific needs whether in our boutique or on-location. In all cases, personalized attention and design ‘guidance’ is provided by our expert stylists and party reps. And since the custom-designed LILL bags ordered at a party take 3-4 weeks to be individually tailored in our Chicago headquarters, we work with our customers to schedule parties accordingly.
Me:   How long does a “party” normally last?
Alan:  Parties generally last between ninety minutes and two hours. There’s never any need to rush.

Me:   How many parties can your Boston store location hold at once?

Alan:  The minimum party size is 5 and our store can accommodate up to 3 parties at one time and still manage walk-in traffic. We are also able to accommodate one large party of 30-35 people.
Me:  How are the prices determined for custom designed handbags?  Is it by style or material selected?
Alan:  We price our custom handbags and accessories by style. Materials are included in the price and we offer a selection of over 150 designer fabrics, including wedding palette silks and sateens.

Me:  What are the benefits of hosting a party?

Alan:  Creating a one-of-a-kind experience to usher in a bride’s big day.  Store parties are held at a dedicated design table with one of our expert design stylists to attend to your every need. We also offer a Hostess Discount.

Me:   What is your “Design a Bag Kit” and how does it work?

Alan:  Design a Bag Kits are the ultimate in creative gifting. Think of it as our custom design experience in a bag so you can design at home. Each kit includes a sample LILL bag (we offer kits in 10 of our most popular styles), fabric swatches to mix and match, simple ordering instructions and a pre-paid shipping label to return the order form and the kit contents. And it all comes in a black drawstring LILL Studio bag.
When someone receives a kit she can either keep the sample LILL bag that is enclosed or redesign it and return it our Chicago headquarters so we can begin the process of individually tailoring her personally-designed LILLunique gift idea.

Me:  Approximately how many bridal-oriented parties has your Boston location done? 

Alan:  We host about 60 bridal-oriented parties a year. During the Spring season we host between 8 and 10 parties each month.

Me:   Is there a cost to hosting a party?

Alan:  There are no fees to hold your party in our store, just the cost for what is purchased.

For more information on 1154 LILL Studio’s handbag parties, visit http://www.1154lill.com/shop.axd/In-Store-Handbag-Parties
The Boston store is located at 220 Newbury Street Boston – they can be reached at 617.247.1154 or boston@1154lill.com
Look out for 1154 LILL Studio’s Spring Bridal Week coming in March – details will be posted here as well!
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