My Ultimate Handbag – Laudi Vidni

(Photo by Jill Weinlein)
(Photo by Jill Weinlein)

I recently received a gift card to make my own handbag inside a Madison & Mulholland Awards Season Gift Bag. Eager to see how the process works, I logged onto Laudi Vidni and found it surprisingly fun and easy to create the ultimate purse for my own needs and styling. Prices start at $75.

Laudi Vidni was founded by two Harvard Business School friends Laura Kofoid and Grace Tsao-Wu. They launched Laudi Vidni in 2009 to give women the option of making their own handbag using quality leather, in the color, style and details to meet a woman’s needs.

With 26 styles from wristlets, clutches, small bags to cross bodies, totes, shoulder bags and backpacks, I made the decision to start working on a leather Fermata Tote with a zipper closure.

My friend Linda has a red Kate Spade tote that I adore, so I tried to make something similar, yet with my own personal touches.

(Photo by Jill Weinlein)
(Photo by Jill Weinlein)

This is the 10 step process to created my first (and not last) custom leather handbag:

1. I clicked on the white Fermata Tote with zipper closure style button.

2. Next I choose the main body leather. There are 46 different colors from soft grain cognac to Marsala honeycomb. It’s fascinating to click on a color and grain and see what the main body will look like. Since I was going for a red handbag, I had three choices: Soft Grain Cayenne, Croco Rouge, and Soft Metallic Ruby. I chose Soft Grain Cayenne.

3. I had to pick the colors of the straps: There were 33 different colors of leather. I chose the pretty Soft Grain Camel.

4. Next is the Binding: There are 32 different options. I kept with the Soft Grain Camel.

5. After selecting the leathers, I now had to choose the lining. With 8 different fabrics from solid colors to animal print, I clicked on brown spotted that gave a leopard look inside my red bag and matched the camel straps and binding beautifully.

6. Lastly I picked the hardware. There are two options silver or gold. Keeping with the rich Camel and brown spotted lining, I chose gold.

7. What I love is after each click in making my own personal bag, I can see step-by-step in the creation. For $10 more I could have my bag monogrammed on the inside.

8. Laudi Vidni stands behind their product 100% – When you click on purchase, a box with hearts states – If you don’t love your bag for any reason, they will take it back. They stand behind what they do. Another box states – Want an expert opinion? Call us at (773) 697-7847 to speak with one of our handbag experts. That is helpful if you aren’t confident in your decisions.  My order was sent to their Chicago workroom to start handcrafting my bag, with care, based on my specifications.

(Photo by Jill Weinlein)
(Photo by Jill Weinlein)

9. They tell on the site that it takes 3 to 5 weeks to make your personal bag. I received email updates of when they started working on my bag, when it was finished and when it was shipped. It took a total of 3 weeks and was delivered to my door.

10. My bag arrived in a big box and was beautifully packaged with Laudi Vidni tissue paper and stickers. There was a black envelope with my name “Jill” in gold handwriting. Inside were four postcards:

  1. A Thank You card signed by Laura Kofoid.
  2. A Care card on caring for the leather.
  3. An Event card informing me about Corporate Event, Client and Employee Appreciation Gift Cards. Plus How To Host a Bridal shower, Birthday party, Baby shower or Girl’s Night Out at Laudi Vidni.
  4. The last card was a stamped postcard to provide feedback and comments to the team at Laudi Vidni.

    (Photo by Jill Weinlein)
    (Photo by Jill Weinlein)

As I looked at my classic Fermata Tote I LOVED it. Who knew I was a purse designer? My bag is perfect. It’s big enough to carry all my daily essentials, plus an iPad. The exterior and interior have a zip pocket, and inside are two open pockets that are ideal for organizing my cell phone, business cards or favorite lipstick. There is a signature Laudi Vidni key clasp to easily find my car and house keys. It’s handcrafted with the highest attention to detail and best of all it was made in the USA.

Is it as cute as my friend’s Kate Spade bag? Yes, and I have the satisfaction of designing it myself. When someone comments on where I bought my handbag, I tell them the story above and give them the online link.

Want to make your purse? If you are in Chicago, they have The Laudi Vidni design studio at 1007 West Armitage Avenue in the historic Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. Inside they will help you build a gorgeous bag and have champagne on ice.

If it helps you, they will ship bag samples and leather swatches to your home or office, at no cost or obligation to you or go online and get started like I did.

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