My husband Seth and I first met in Hong Kong when he was on a business trip. I was working there at the time, but I’m originally from the Philippines. We got married in Hong Kong and moved to London, England.
Seth had been working in banking from the age of 18 and got a position as an associate data analyst for Goldman Sachs when he was 44 years old. I was working as a pharmacy assistant, but quit my job in 2016 to be a stay-at-home mom after giving birth to my second child.
I began selling some of my old clothes online because I had gone up two sizes since giving birth due to postpartum weight gain. I began selling on Depop and eBay.
I was down to my last £400 ($492) and decided to buy a Mulberry Alexa bag. I used it for a week and then sold it because it wasn’t for me. I made a bit of profit, £50, ($61), and realized that I could potentially sell designer bags for a living.
With the money I had made from selling the designer bag, I bought a Louis Vuitton Neverfull bag and sold it, making a £100 ($122) profit. From then on, I began buying two designer bags a week to sell, followed by three and then four.
Back then, I wasn’t paying for a mortgage, as Seth was the sole breadwinner. He was making £70,000 ($86,000) a year from banking, and I wanted to find us a side hustle that we could later turn into a business. I wanted something that was mine, and I didn’t want to work for anybody else.
In 2016, when Seth and I moved into our new house, I started buying used designer bags on private Facebook groups from collectors. I was in roughly 25 different groups.
I then Googled the resale price for these bags and began selling them online, making 10 to 30 percent profit on each bag. But I felt that my business was expanding at a minimal rate.
That’s when Seth decided to quit his job to help me with this business. He was fed up with working nine-to-five and not having many evenings free and he wanted to be able to see me and the kids—his job was too stressful for him. His company was also against working from home, which meant that Seth couldn’t spend much time with us.
After Seth joined, he helped me emotionally and physically. We split the business responsibilities and immediately worked well as a team. We also halved our parental duties, sharing the school run and a lot of housework chores, while including the demands of the business work in our day-to-day lives.
Business was quiet from September 2022 but in March 2023 it began to really pick up.
In April 2023, we were approached by “Whatnot”, a selling platform that, similarly to an auction, allows us to live stream and sell our designer bags. We began selling roughly 100 bags per week.
Within the first five months, we managed to make £146,900 ($179,298). We were shocked—we’d never made so much money.
At first, we didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into by signing up for a new buying app, as we were so used to Facebook, Depop, and eBay. It was trial and error, but I’m glad we took the risk.
Currently, as we don’t have any overhead charges or fees, we’ve been charging relatively low prices for the bags we’re selling, which works out for both us and our clients. For example, we’d sell a Chanel bag that is worth over £9,000 ($11,041) for £4,500 ($5,520).
We’ve been planning our first holiday abroad since 2018, and we are going on a tour of the Philippines in 2024. Ultimately, we would like to turn our business, Bags Chase, into a family business that our children could work for and eventually own.
We are both incredibly proud and grateful for having this success in such a short space of time.
Ana and Seth Navabi are the joint owners of Bags Chase, a small business based in the U.K. They are married with two young children and run Bags Chase while juggling the demands of family life.
All views expressed in this article are the author’s own.
As told to Newsweek’s associate editor, Carine Harb.
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