40 Fit N' Stylish
Melissa McNallan shopping at Poppi Italian Leather Goods

Want a luxury handbag (or more)? Shop Poppi in Downtown Rochester

June 6, 2018 Comments Off on Want a luxury handbag (or more)? Shop Poppi in Downtown Rochester

“A stylish woman must always look like she’s en route to the most marvelous event in her life.”

– Nina Garcia, The Style Strategy: A Less is More Approach to Staying Chic and Shopping Smart (https://amzn.to/2sAFdbs).

Now that I am an official 40-something, I’m setting my own style more. It’s been a decade since I’ve wanted to tout a brand across my chest, or my butt. Confession: When the words-across-the-butt trend became a thing, I was too old for it. If you’re reading this blog, maybe you were too.

What does setting my own style mean?

A proper handbag, shoe, or accessory needs to do more than communicate an allegiance with a brand if I’m going to invest in it. I’ve arrived at a point in my life when I’m doing more than lamenting that unethical manufacturing processes exist. I’m making more ethical purchasing decisions.

Like most middle-class women, I don’t have the time or money to be sure about 100% of my purchases. Sometimes, I forget to bring my reusable bags with me shopping. I take the middle road.

When I can, I treat myself to a true couture, luxury item that is handmade. I like to make well-informed, splurge-worthy decisions.

I’ve done my research, most popular brand name goods are made in countries with questionable employment and manufacturing practices. Their spendy handbags are usually chemically tanned and mass-produced. Can an item really be all that luxurious if everyone is carrying it?

That’s why it was such a delight to visit Poppi Italian Leather in the Shops at University Square and talk with Rebecca, the store owner.

Melissa McNallan shopping at Poppi Italian Leather Goods

The Poppi Italian Leather shop looks much like a boutique one might find in Italy. Yellow handbag by Innue.

My visit to Poppi Italian Leather

Nothing mass-produced is available at Poppi. It’s all made to order in limited quantities. Most of the handbags are made of veg-tanned leather.

What’s so great about veg-tanned leather? In addition to being gentle on the environment, each bag created is unique in hue, tonality, and texture. When you have a veg-tanned leather bag, no one else will have the exact same one.

Melissa McNallan Poppi Italian Leather

Once this Red Ripani Handbag ($385) was in my hands, I couldn’t let it go.

I connected with a fashionable acquaintance who adores shopping at Poppi. I asked her why she loves it. “After spending time in Milano and Florence, I gained enormous knowledge of and appreciation for fine Italian leather goods,” said Cindy Jo Dickson, owner of CJD Interior Design + Style Agency. “The fact many are hand created shows their dedication to the craft. Plus, the feel of fine leather is like this buttery yummy-ness.”

The items Rebecca brings into Poppi are, “For the woman who likes to set her own style.”

Italian Fashion

“Italy is one the leading countries in fashion design,” Rebecca said. “They play a major part in setting trends”

She attends the shows in Italy twice each year, spending four days at the bag show and a couple of days at the apparel one to handpick the items she carries in her store. About the handbags in her store Rebecca said, “The companies I buy from, I’m the only shop in the United States to carry these brands.”

Having been to Italy many times, Rebecca knows how to dress Italian. She often gets stopped for directions while in Italy. If you have a trip planned to Italy and want to blend in and not look like a tourist, stop in and visit her at the store.

Mention 40 Fit N’ Stylish to save 10% at Poppi!

Want to save 10% on your next handbag? Mention 40 Fit N’ Stylish when you visit Poppi Italian Leather in the Shops at University Square to receive the discount. Follow Poppi Italian Leather on Facebook. Have questions? You can call the store at  507-282-3088, or send an email to poppibags@gmail.com.