The Finest of Bag Ladies

By Caki Diehl

I knew the gift was special, but I had no idea that it would be the “gateway drug” to a world of intricate handbags. Given to me in 2008, the floral, earthy scent of BOTTEGA VENETA perfume (contained in a simple, modern bottle) made me feel feminine yet bold.

Upon further investigation of the brand, it was love at first sight when I saw the treasured purses made by the high fashion house; I immediately saved to buy one. Well-made, Italian leather, and ageless, the over the shoulder “Hobo” gets better with time. It’s a “workhorse” and I can take it anywhere. Once acquired, I considered changing my Facebook status to “in a relationship!”

Yes, a bit materialistic but having an affair with a piece of art is not against the law.

You can’t have too many handbags – like Christmas tree lights, shoes, ties, and even girlfriends! There is one for every occasion.

Bottega Veneta Classic
My best cohorts are like a classic Bottega. Dependable, respected and true, I revere these women and our enduring relationships. I was with two of them when they met their husbands so I feel privileged (and a little responsible thank you!) to have been on the “sniff check committee” for these gals.

While the ladies are different in their own way, they share a love of travel, food and wine, and are passionate about their work and families.

I remember poignant times gone by in big cities, (New York, Rome, London, DC,) and small beaches, (Sullivan’s Island, South Hampton, Praia do Rosa,) involving deep conversations where we figure out the “world’s problems.” Late nights and early mornings creating connection born from trust, good deeds, time and love.

Best friends you have forever and will never go out of style. We can be apart for years and when we get back together it’s like we never missed a beat.

LL Bean Canvas Tote
Another type is the travel companion with whom you share a hobby. To share a love with someone over sailing, camping, or writing is a healthy way to bond. I call this the Tote because like a canvas bag, you just say the word and they will go anywhere, anytime. While looking fashionable on the move, the Canvas Tote is always up for an adventure or exploration, doesn’t mind roughing it, and takes it in stride when the wind whips up to 30 knots.

Saturday Night Clutch
Similar to the travel buddy is the “Wingman” or / Saturday night clutch. She is ETERNALLY up for fun! This woman is easy on the eyes and all the men flock to her. She is the life of the party and immediately lures the guys with her charm.

Before you know it, you are at the Club surrounded by cute dudes buying you drinks and making plans to move to Bali. Also known as Hot Friend, she’s got the 411 on where the party is happening and is confident in herself to bring other ladies along because she knows that the more the merrier, she’ll get the pick of the litter, and what’s left over (for the tagalongs) ain’t so bad___it’s a win-win.The Saturday Clutch is beautiful and only comes out for special occas

Many Flavors of Friends
There are new, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram friends.

I’ve got best family friends (read about Mom here!) and consider my Dad wise counsel who gives good advice. My older brother was a dear to me during college and I did his laundry like a dutiful sister should. He has the ability to make me laugh when I feel like crying.

I’ve got work friends who I adore and revere many of whom I’ve known for years and are like family, too. All derivations of timeless bonds and the FINEST of “bag ladies”___lucky me!

Indeed on the one hand, (pun intended,) you can’t have too many friends or handbags, but on the other, a really extraordinary one is rare and to be cherished!

Caki Diehl is a creative marketer, writer, and photographer based in Charleston. In addition to her daily inspirational Instagram posts, she writes personal essays on life.  A marathoner and avid sailor, she enjoys spending time with family and friends. Caki recently published a quote book called “Gifts from the Lowcountry” and her work can be found on her website,