Friday Fun: Are You A Bag Lady?


Friday Fun is Diva Marketing's virtual happy hour from cosmos to Jack to lemonade. A waiting for the weekend 'playground' time to be sophisticated-silly. Or sometimes just plain silly.

I've a riddle for you. No cheating don't scroll down! What is filled with danger and intrigue?  Is something common but personal and very intimate. It holds emotion, pleasure, beauty, finance, disgust and sometimes despair.

No, it's not the new Harry Potter book. No, it's not the next James Bond film. No, it's not the next Lindsey Lohan or Paris Hilton media blitz. Give up? Diva_purse_2It's a woman's purse sometimes called a handbag or pocketbook or clutch.

Kelley Styring, InsightFarm, found that the mysterious world of a woman's purse is even more than that. It might just be a clue to unlocking billions of dollars in new product opportunities for marketers. Kelly spent over 100 hours interviewing 100 woman and exploring the contents of their pocketbook. She found remarkable insights into their lives and a surprise .. potential unmet needs. 

“I found that the purse - the nerve center of a woman’s life, bearer of her most important things – is also a disorganized bag full of junk. But that’s where the opportunity exists for marketers to fulfill unmet needs.”

Did you know that 95% of U.S. women aged 18-64 take a purse with them Every Day? I bet the divas of marketing to women, Yvonne, Mary and Michele, could tell you that women make about 70% of all retail buys. Think of if this way .. that seeming innocent Coach bag or Target special is the only physical link between home - where needs are created and the store - where those needs can be fulfilled. (K. Styring). What is in that  pocketbook and how it is found may be the catalyst for the next iPhone. I'm thinking a lipstick and mirror holder, as part of an iPhone, would be ultra cool.

Kelley Styring boasts that “In Your Purse: Archaeology of the American Handbag” is the first  quantitative and qualitative study to delve into the contents and context of a woman’s purse. Kelly has even turned her findings into a clever YouTube video. Well worth a watch.

Divas what is in your purse? I'll start - In my pink purse I found: a wallet, cell phone, blue tooth thingy, lip gloss, gourmet tea bags (for when I travel and don't want to drink the boring stuff or horrid coffee), note book, pens, biz card holder and a piece of chocolate.

Heard it from: The Merrill  Dubrow Blog

Sidebar Update: Lip-Sticking - Handbags Post

Sidebar Update: Sorry, didn't mean to leave out the divos. For divos, like BBF Lewis Green .. what's in your man purse? I'm thinking a man purse research project is something I could get into (smile).


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I have a man purse. Does that count? Have a great weekend, Toby.

Posted by: Lewis Green on Jul 20, 2007 3:47:03 PM

Well, I answered offline and will keep the online version G rated. When I used it, I kept my wallet, my keys, a bottle of water, tissues, chap stick, fingernail clippers and sometimes a book and tickets to an event. Thank you for thinking of us manly men.

Posted by: Lewis Green on Jul 20, 2007 4:18:59 PM

I do the same thing with tea bags! I usually carry a few with me, just in case...

Also, I've got: a wallet, 3 lip glosses, hand sanitizer, hand cream, gum, 2 pens, loose change, several hair elastics, a key ring, a small mirror, and napkins (stolen from Wendy's 2 days ago).

Posted by: Nancy on Jul 20, 2007 5:17:53 PM

Well my latest bag is the Harvey's Seatbelt bag...mine is made of Mercedes Benz black seat belts, very environmental friendly and looks this wonderful CAR girl's best friend bag are my:

Key ring with detachable feature for valet parking and CAR keys etc.
Pictures of Grandkids in the cutest red Grama Brag Book,
Travel Wallet with Passport , credit cards, cash and lots of other crap ( I do need to reduce here) lol
Four lipsticks ( Okay I love variety)
Sudafed, Tylenol, several pens and so much change in the bottom I think this bag weighs about 10 lbs! mmmmm better clean that out before my next trip or I may set off the airport scanners....mints collected from random dining experiences< ( some of these look pretty old YUK...and a bunch of paperclips!

Thanks Yvonne it was time to clean up the clutter and taking inventory helped!

Jody DeVere

Posted by: Jody DeVere on Jul 21, 2007 3:47:05 AM

I really am not a purse woman I just never had that purse/shoe dna other women seem to have (gasp!). I'm sure I could be rehabilitated if I had more money and time :). But here's what is in my Target purse that I bought because it had an interior light (you can tell so much about me from this, it's not funny):

- wallet with pictures of my 2 girls
- HP12C calculator (the queen of all calculators!)
- business card holder with other people's cards plus a few of my own
- nasal decongestant tablets
- blackjack phone plus spare battery
- digital camera plus spare battery plus battery charger
- feminine protection
- small notebook with pen attached (that doubles as a handy dandy notebook to write down clues in)
- a checkbook
- three pens
- a small red clutch with 3 lipsticks (I never wear makeup but lipsticks can be useful every now and then - I don't need three though!), 4 spare batteries, emergency perfume
- 2 mint flavored lip salves (1 left now)
- infant drops tylenol
- collection of small candies
- about 5 shopping lists (gone now)
- many receipts (gone now)
- 6 pens (3 left now, 1 is purple)

I must say, that was very therapeutic Toby. Thanks!

Posted by: Laura Bennett on Jul 21, 2007 11:44:55 AM

Nice reason to clean out the old handbag Diva! Contents:

8G iPhone in sassy red case
40g USB drive (back up of photography files)
2g USB stick (contents unknown)
Small wallet containing credit cards, cash and tons of receipts
1 lipstick, 2 swank glosses, 1 Kiehl's lip balm
1 great pen (3 pens that didn't work)Where is my good mechanical pencil?
4 packages of gum with 3 or fewer pieces left in each
Moleskine notebook
Ancient Advil bottle with Advil, Tylenol, Bayer Aspirin, Benedryl and something blue (which I threw away because I couldn't identify it)
Office ID badge, keys
$1.19 in loose change
3 Starbucks cards with a combined grand total of $4.27 remaining
Bent June T-Pass
1 winning lottery ticket ($2)
3 losing lottery tickets (-$3)

Posted by: Lori Magno on Jul 21, 2007 9:51:04 PM

What fun! Collectively we could rule a small country.

Lewis - thanks for giving us an insight into a 'man's bag life.'

Nancy - good to know that other people travel with tea. if ever we are on the same flight let's trade bags. remember like when you were in school and you traded sandwiches (smiles).

Jody - what a cool idea. so very appropriate for the diva of cars!

Laura - i've never seen a purse with a light but what a great idea!

Lori - your 'sassy red' cell case is a great peak into your diva fun personality!

I'm remember that my mom had a pack of lifesavers just in case my sister or I need a diversion.

Wonder what Kelley would think of our sample?

Posted by: Toby on Jul 23, 2007 9:04:48 AM

I heard a study reviewed on NPR last year which concluded that women actually (psychologically) consider their handbags as an extension of their bodies. Wish I could find that study again, it was fascinating.

Posted by: TAR ART RAT on Jul 23, 2007 9:51:00 AM

Ok, I'll send you a picture of my man purse collection at work- I have a wall of my cubicle draped with about half of my working collection of bags... it's scary.

Posted by: Tim Jackson on Jul 23, 2007 11:58:15 PM

Tim -that's one photo I am really looking forward to seeing!

Posted by: Toby on Jul 24, 2007 12:10:19 AM

YEs i am, and i love purses! In fact, i got 5 of them now 3 from I just love them all.

Posted by: Shannon on Jul 30, 2007 2:21:25 AM

Nice post. China wholesale

Posted by: yiwu on Oct 27, 2008 2:05:52 PM

good to know that other people travel with tea. if ever we are on the same flight let's trade bags. remember like when you were in school and you traded sandwiches (smiles).

Posted by: yeast infection on Apr 8, 2011 10:37:02 AM

Well, hopefully we won’t have to setup a contest to figure that out. (

Posted by: Self diagnosis on Sep 21, 2011 9:29:55 PM

I just wanted to leave a comment to say that I enjoy your blog. Looking at the number of comments, I see others feel the same way! Congratulations on a very popular blog.

Posted by: Course work writing on Apr 13, 2012 4:36:26 AM

That is great if you do, because you are probably a woman who loves variety and change. And of course you must be a woman with some style

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