A short interview with the owners of a Swiss online shop called Metoyoubag
How much would you invest in a Louis Vuitton or Prada bag? What if you could rent your favourite Michael Kors for a week or a month?
The sisters and owners of Metoyoubag just launched their own business in Switzerland: You can rent a luxury bag from an online shop. They turned their passion into business and fulfield the dreams of some Swiss women. With Metoyoubag you can rent your luxury dreambag for one, two or four weeks.
Here you can read the thoughts, ideas and wishes behind Metoyoubag:
First of all, could you introduce yourself?
We are two sisters, Ekaterina and Elena Derkatch, who have a great passion for bags. Both of us love bags from luxury brands, but as students our funds are unfortunately limited, so we have to choose few bags we’re really into as they cost a fortune!
Are you working beside your new project?
Yes, Ekaterina studies Business Administration in her forth semester at the University of St.Gallen and Elena has already obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Art History at the Zurich University and is currently working in a broker company, which is specialised in art insurance. That`s why a real job beside our project is very important – we need to invest in our passion!
What was the reason that you have launched Metoyoubag?
First of all, we are both huge fans of SATC (Sex and the City), where the idea of renting bags originally came from. Elena was confronted with this trend when she has been in London, where several companies / web-shops provide the possibility to rent bags, clothes and shoes as well.
Currently there aren’t any companies from which one can rent a bag without a huge security deposit in Switzerland. So we decided that this idea should be set up in Switzerland. Being not that wealthy shouldn’t keep you from wearing a luxury bag, seeing the difference between a cheap and a luxury one and feeling like a real princess, because this is what you get, when you wear a luxury brand bag – high quality, recognition and happiness!
There are many situations where one needs a bag for only one occasion- so instead of buying an expensive clutch, when going to a ball or your boyfriend’s parents, people can simply rent one.
Our main goal is to make people happy and satisfied through making it possible for them to wear the bag of their dreams. There is another idea of launching Metoyoubag – thinking green. An expensive bag keeps its quality for decades, but women usually get fed up quite quickly with a certain model and throw it away, even if the bag is in a great condition! So instead of spending 2’000 CHF on a bag which only keeps you happy for a limited amount of time, why not invest the money in different bags which keep you happy for so much longer?
Was it always your dream to set up something own?
We always enjoyed spending time together. On the 31.12.2012, we were celebrating New Year’s together and talked about our passion – bags – once again. The idea itself, to set up our own business, came up during our talks by chance. So in 2013 we started to work on our dream and turned our vision into reality. By September 2013 everything was ready and Metoyoubag started to lend bags!
Who helped you to open this store?
Our family, especially our mother, supported us strongly. But we also got lots of help through our network. Before launching Metoyoubag, we had never expected to have such great minds around us! We quickly found someone with IT-skills to help us set up our homepage. We took all the pictures and designed the flyers by ourselves and developed great Photoshop skills during this project. Of course, there were some small things like opening up a Paypal and bank account, but most of it didn’t cause big troubles.
How difficult is the leap into self-employment?
The most difficult thing is doing everything on our own. It is some sort of “learning by doing” mentality, including making mistakes as well. We have to keep an overview over the whole projects and also remember the small things. Jobs have to be done on time and there are no excuses like “I don’t have time for this”! Otherwise this project would go down the tube.
How much do you personally value on luxury?
We do value luxury a lot. Luxury in our eyes is not just the recognition or the name of the brand, but also the delivered quality and the price/performance ratio of luxury bags is quite high.
What do you think about people, who wear just expensive brand-clothes or accessory?
There are different people. Some people do understand the meaning behind brands and others don’t. It’s important to understand, how bags or clothes from well-known brands are made. For example Louis Vuitton has a huge history and it was in the beginning known for high quality baggage and later on, Louis Vuitton decided to expand, by producing bags, clothes, jewellery, and so on. And again, we love to invest, but this does not mean, that we will buy everything just because it is expensive. ZARA and H&M do have a lot of cute dresses, good jeans and other things, which we would definitely go for. But then again, a H&M or ZARA bag will last for maybe a year and then break- not mentioning the fact that some of your friends will probably have the same one as well. An expensive bag, however, guarantees exclusivity to a certain point. How high is the chance that your best friend will have the same Céline bag as you? Very low.
Due to your store, could you explain how everything is working? How can people renting a Louis Vuitton bag?
At first you have to register or log in if you have already made an account. Then you simply choose the bag you want for the time span you want (one, two or four weeks) and pay by using Paypal or a Credit Card. In the next 3-4 days, the mailmen brings you a box with your bag. Every bag has a dust bag and some also have accessories like keys or locks. When the time span you rented the bag for has expired you just put the bag back into the box you received, stick the return slip on top and bring it to the post office.
What do you think, what is the extraordinary reason that people rent bags in your online-store?
So far, we have only received positive feedback. They share the affirmative responses experienced with our bags and send us pictures where they take our bags to. Of course, a lot of people don’t like the idea of wearing bags, which do not belong to them – but you can hire skis, you can hire jewellery, you can hire a dress for a wedding or a ball, why not hire a bag? This is something very extraordinary. If you give us time, people will get used to it and to our ideas.
What are your plans for the future?
We hope that we will be able to expand our range of customers in 2014, so more people could take advantage of renting our bags. Besides, we are continuously working on our variety of bags and brands and are looking forward to including Céline and Chanel to our web-shop! And because there have been several requests, we are planning to introduce some bags for men by the end of 2014.