The Walt Disney Company releases incredible new merchandise every single year and each item is made precisely with a target audience, holiday or special theme in mind.
Because of all the care and detail put into Disney merchandise, people of all ages have worked on building up their own unique collections of different types of items. You have your dedicated pin traders, t-shirt collectors and even those who race out to get every single new Disney/Starbucks collaboration mug.
Disney Purse Collectors
Something that is becoming increasingly popular however, is collecting unique Disney style pieces. More specifically, those who build up Disney purse collections, so that they can show off their magical sense of style through accessories in every day life.
We caught up with Disney Purse Pal’s creator — Vanessa Dawson — to do a Q&A on her social page and extensive magical purse collection.
Could you tell our readers about yourself and what got you interested in collecting Disney bags?
Hi, my name is Vanessa Dawson, and I’m the founder of Disney Purse Pals on Facebook. I’m a nonprofit manager based in Orange County, California. I started to collect designer Disney handbags 10 years ago, but got more serious about collecting six years ago.
Disney speaks a universal language of hope and creativity, so collecting handbags has been a great way for me to express my style and love for ‘the mouse.’
When did you start the Disney Purse Pals page and why did you think it was a good idea?
I created DPP in November 2018 as a way to create a community for Disney bag collectors. There are many Facebook groups that focus on buying, selling, and trading of bags, but I wanted to create a space to share information about new releases and Disney news in general. We’re a community of people that love handbags, but bond on so much more.
I never knew the Disney purse community was so vast. Some of the largest groups have over 30 thousand members. Facebook really opened me up to a community that I always felt a part of, and basically accelerated my collecting tendencies. I was able to learn about older bags, classic bags, and hard-to-find bags. I also learned about how to take best care of my bags.
Can you tell us more about what you do on the purse pals page?
I am the founder of the group, and two of my best friends help me with admin support. I post most of the content, and a large amount of the info is then shared among other big Disney purse boards and bloggers in relation to new Disney bags or merchandise.
How has the purse pals page grown since you first started it?
The Pals group has grown exponentially, as has the Disney purse community in general. Disney Resorts are at the forefront of new releases, and most of that info is hard to come by unless you’re looking in the right places (for info). Pals usually gets the news of a new release as soon as the info is public. Sometimes we have the ability to know about new purses a few days or weeks ahead of time, like with Harveys. Many of the founding group members are avid collectors and like to share information and excitement about new bags.
We have our own language, including acronyms. Some are basic selling terms, but if you know about purse “placement,” you’re already a serious collector, no matter how many bags you have.
How many Disney bags DO you think you have at this point?
In counting my Disney bags, I have about 50 Harveys bags, 10 Dooney bags, eight Loungefly bags, one LeSportSac bag, and one Vera Bradley bag. Those numbers don’t include small accessories like wallets, makeup bags, and keychains.
Do you use all of your bags?
I try to change out of bags at least once a week. Especially when I have Purse Pals visiting Disneyland from out of town, I coordinate to match with my friends. Many times when a Pal is visiting the area, I make an effort to meet them and have some fun. We’re really a close community, and I met several of my best friends in the Disney purse community online.
What’s the most effort you’ve ever gone through to get a purse?
I have camped out on a public street for several nights to get a new Harveys Disney bag. If we’re talking about the most effort for a release at Disneyland, the earliest I’ve been there for a release was four hours prior to the stores/park opening.
Out of your entire collection, which of your purses is your favorite and why?
That’s like asking me which niece or nephew is my favorite, haha! I would say my Harveys Mickey Patchwork collection is my favorite line, and the convertible clutch bag is my single most favorite piece.
Mickey is always #1 in my heart, so this line is special to me since it utilizes five of Harveys’ most iconic Mickey patterns. Whenever Harveys puts out a new Mickey line, I have to have it!
Do you have a favorite purse brand/company that you like to shop from?
I love Harveys. They’re an incredible, local, family business based in Orange County. Their bags are American made and are the most durable things on earth. They’re made out of seatbelts!
Harveys has partnered with Disney on some amazing pieces; some are sold in Disneyland and Walt Disney World, and some are exclusive to Harveys.
I collect Dooney & Bourke, as well as Loungefly. I think I would be a bigger fan of Vera Bradley if they had a store at Downtown Disney. There is one in Disney Springs (Florida), and they release beautiful, exclusive pieces.
What other purse brands should collectors look at?
One of the biggest brands to watch out for is Loungefly. Not only do they have Disney Parks exclusives, but their partnerships with BoxLunch, Hot Topic, and Barnes & Noble show they’re trying to hit every demographic of Disney fan. They have an awesome ability to make a lot of bags in a short amount of time. It seems like there are new bags coming from Loungefly every week, and their price point is definitely more accessible to people.
Danielle Nicole, Kipling, Petunia Pickle Bottom, and Irregular Choice are also releasing some Disney great bags. Danielle Nicole is steadily coming to Disney Parks more frequently, so we may see some good things coming from them very soon.
How can our readers join the purse pals page too?
Disney Purse Pals is a private group on Facebook. They can join by clicking HERE.
Are you a Disney purse collector? What types of bags do you collect? Let us know in the comments.