When Gretchen Bauer, owner of Sarasota high-end handbag manufacturer BSwanky, was approached by television network Peacock, she certainly wasn’t expecting it.
The streaming service was looking to purchase 11 of the company’s luxury handbags to be featured in its new TV series “Killing It.” The show is about a python hunter, featuring actor Craig Robinson and directed by Mo Marable.
“They came to us,” she tells Coffee Talk, noting they sought really specific luxury handbags. “We’re one of the very few, which was good for us.”
But when Bauer walked Peacock through her pricing, it wasn’t the budget the streaming service had in mind for the two episodes the handbags would be featured in. “So we did something we’ve never done before,” she says. BSwanky rented out the bags for a week. “We saw it as an opportunity.”
And run with it she did. The handbags are now being used at auctions to help raise money for various charities. So far, BSwanky has raised $19,000 — with a goal of raising $100,000.
The handbags’ history of being featured in a TV show has added a novelty aspect, allowing them to be auctioned off at higher prices. One of the bags went for $7,500.
Auctioning off purses isn’t a new practice at BSwanky. “Our clients are so philanthropic,” Bauer says, so it just made sense for the company to also have a philanthropic side.
Bauer says the handbags are featured at a luxury retailer store during the TV show and a wealthy woman purchases a bag and puts it in her closet. Bauer says this is representative of her clients who really purchase the handbags as collectors.
“The idea is to make a one-of-a-kind piece with resources we have here,” she says. “We love that our bags have become a collector’s item.”