A Letter From Kelley Daring
BAGNET: FROM CONCEPT TO PURSE SAVER
MY WHOLE LIFE, as far back as I can remember, I have been passionate about making life beautiful. I have an innate sense and understanding of the effect that physical elements have on mental, emotional, and spiritual condition and wellbeing. Even in childhood, I took quiet note of how spaces could draw me in or urge me out, how objects could elicit a sentiment, how music and sounds made me feel. When I was a kid, my family took a trip to Manhattan and I remember how the dark woods and velvet benches and low lighting of the restaurants made me want to stay forever. How the soft music and the smell of the hotel lobby made me feel warm and relaxed. How the city streets gave me an energy I had never felt before. I remember walking with my mom through the makeup department at Bloomingdale’s, observing the beautiful coats and shoes that shoppers wore. I remember stopping dead in my tracks when I saw a woman at the makeup counter wearing the most beautiful shade of red lipstick. I was absolutely enamored with the crisp lines and contrast against her pale skin, how artfully she had applied it, how its matte texture looked like velvet. To me, it was art.
AS A CHILD, I would go to garage sales every weekend with my mom, getting up early even in the cold upstate NY winters, to hunt for treasures. My favorite finds were always vintage pieces - the ones that showed age and hinted at a history. I loved imagining where they came from and who had used and loved them. In our home, they brought in a richness and weight that new objects didn’t seem to have.
AS A TEENAGER, I changed my bedroom decor often, each iteration a reflection of my changing style, hobbies, and interests. I took advantage of high school as an opportunity to experiment with fashion and express myself through clothes and accessories. It was the mid-nineties and I fully embraced the glory of combat boots paired with babydoll dresses, flannel shirts with men’s denim jeans, satin slip dresses, and even leather pants on my edgier days. I shopped at the Army/Navy Surplus store for olive drab jackets and canteen bags that I paired with long flowing skirts. I was drawn to photography and took black and white photos with a 35mm camera. I studied and appreciated how composition could make or break a photograph, and how a beautiful photograph could be the stunning focal point of a room. My mom was forever updating the rooms in our homes. She would rearrange the furniture to make room for new pieces and create beautiful vignettes with the vintage treasures from the garage sales. I paid attention to the things she would buy, how she would display and compose them, and what other items she would pair with them. I took note of colors and textures and design details, and I especially took note of lighting. I was constantly aware of how all of these elements of design worked together, and how they made me feel.
AS I GREW into my early twenties, I yearned for broader inspiration than I could find in our small town. All of the magazines and movies that I devoured hinted at a world full of inspiration and I was in search of a more beautiful life. I moved to California and attended CSUS, majoring in Interior Design. I took out student loans that not only helped me pay for school, but also funded travels abroad. Through my travels I developed a more expansive view of what living beautifully meant. Food, architecture, art, fashion, furniture, interior design - experiencing these things in different places of the world stoked my passion for beautiful living more than anything I had ever experienced. Twenty years later, travel is still my single most important source of inspiration.
In the years since college I have continued to learn, develop, and refine my personal style in all areas of beautiful living. I travel whenever possible and I’ve designed full home remodels and renovations. I am dedicated to eating well and taking care of myself, and I have a growing appreciation for quality clothing over fast fashion. I now appreciate the beauty in my small hometown just as much as I appreciate the very different beauty of a cosmopolitan city. I continue to have an undying love of interior design.
For me, anything that’s worth doing is worth doing beautifully. A beautiful object, space, or experience can evoke joy, excitement, pleasure, comfort, wonder, awe, ease, contentment, fulfillment, and a whole host of other feelings. Even everyday objects and mundane experiences. I figure if I’m going to own the object, or live in the space, or have the experience, then why not choose beautiful so I get to experience those awesome feelings as often as possible?
My dedication to beautiful living informs everything I do, and my company is no exception.
When I started Bagnet in 2015, my goal was to offer a product that would make women’s lives easier and better. I focused on doing that to the best of my ability and 6 years later, I, my team, and Bagnet have hit our stride and we are ready for the next chapter. That chapter is one that marries our core goal - making women’s lives easier - with my passion for beautiful living. This year Bagnet will experience more changes than ever as we grow into a brand that inspires women to live easier, better, and more beautiful. I could not be more excited to marry my love of beautiful products and design with my passion for making women’s lives easier. For me, it is the ultimate manifestation of the things I love most in the world, and I am so excited to be taking this journey with and for you.