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Get to Know: Yumi, TheBagSnag

The verdict is in - the Almost Fabulous Me community loves my new series, “Get to Know.” My first edition featuring Personal Stylist, Nicole Hamburger got over 70 views! As I mentioned in that blog post, I have a genuine passion not only for celebrating entrepreneurs and businesspeople alike but for sharing them with my community. Where would any of us be without support from our family and friends?! I know I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today (wherever the heck that is LOL) without guidance from family, friends and mentors in my own circle so I’d like to continue the trend by paying it forward.

After my first “Get to Know” post went live, I immediately started brainstorming other people I wanted to feature. As I’m sure you can imagine, there are dozens of individuals in my own immediate circle and beyond whom I think would make great spotlights on the Almost Fabulous Me blog. I guess that’s a good problem to have - there are simply too many people whom I think you would enjoy reading about! Which brings me to my next guest…

Yumi is the creator of The Bag Snag, a personal shopping service dedicated to ”snagging you the best designer deals one bag at a time.” My mom was the one who introduced me to The Bag Snag after a friend of hers shared her profile on Instagram. Of course my mom knows my love for all things designer and thus knew she would be an immediate hit for me. Well, she certainly wasn’t wrong. Yumi has an incredible eye and a genuine passion for finding the best designer deals for her clientele. While she’s still fairly new to the “snagging” business, she has already established herself as a trusted expert in the space. I recently purchased my first Gucci wallet from her and the process was absolutely seamless from start to finish.

Whether you‘re familiar with The Bag Snag, or perhaps you’re learning about her for the first time, I hope you enjoy this behind the scenes look with Yumi, creator of The Bag Snag.

This is designer personal shopper extraordinaire and founder of The Bag Snag, Yumi Sakakibara.

1. Yumi, thank you so much for agreeing to be my next ”Get to Know” feature on Almost Fabulous Me. I am so excited to introduce you to my audience (for those who don’t already know you) and selfishly I’m excited to get a behind the scenes peek into The Bag Snag herself. For those who are "meeting" you for the first time, can you share a quick blurb about who you are and what The Bag Snag is?

The Bag Snag is a personal shopping service that brings you highly discounted designer goods, as well as highly sought after/hard to find designer items. I’m here to help my customers realize they can afford designer items that otherwise may seem unattainable plus I do the hard part by finding those items that may seem impossible to get their hands on.

Photo Credit: Callao Photography

2. It’s the “impossible to get their hands on” items for me. I swear it seems like you have entry to this secret vault of designer goods that only a select few can access. Speaking of your designer access, The Bag Snag - I love the name btw - how did you choose that as the name of your personal shopping business?

I was looking for something catchy that people would remember, and originally I wanted The Bag Drop, but the Instagram handle was taken. I knew I liked the simplicity of that name, so I took to Google and looked up words that rhyme with “bag” and found snag, and it just clicked!

3. I’m sure the second you saw “snag” it was that “aha!” moment you were looking for. It is absolute perfection and I couldn’t imagine any other name for your business. This love for designer bags, have you always had it or is it something that developed over time? I know you’ve recently expanded The Bag Snag’s offering to include designer accessories as well so I’m venturing to guess that you’ve had a love for designer items for a while now?

I have. I worked at a buy, sell, trade store called Crossroads Trading Co. when I was in high school and into my early college days. It was there that I learned all the hot brand names, how to set prices competitively, and what I liked. I was immediately drawn to designer bags although at the time, I couldn’t afford what I really wanted aka the Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, etc. It wasn’t until around 2017 I was financially able to splurge on my first brand new Gucci purse, and it was all downhill from there LOL.

Photo Credit: Callao Photography

4. Downhill in the best possible way. I’m sure all my female followers reading this can totally relate. What made you decide to officially start “The Bag Snag?“

My first Gucci purse that started it all was my first and only designer item I’ve purchased at mainland US retail price. After that, I soon found out I could purchase designer cheaper in Europe, and even in Hawaii. So I saved all my personal boutique purchases for those trips

(travel is another passion of mine), and then I got into the outlets. I had been to the outlets several times and snagged such great deals, my friends and family became curious as to how I could afford all the designer I was starting to collect. This sparked their interest enough to start asking for help finding designer deals as well.

In December 2021, I went with a friend to the outlets and she saw me in my element shopping for myself and others (I literally get a high off getting designer deals lol), and she said, “you’re already shopping for others, you might as well make a business of it.” I was nervous about it, but I realized it’s something that really is fun for me, so January 1st came and I said "why not!"

5. Sometimes that’s all it takes is another person recognizing the value in one of your talents, one that, like you said, perhaps you didn’t think of as a “gift” because it’s just genuinely fun! I bet you’re grateful to her for giving you that gentle nudge. You just alluded to it but I would love to hear more about your own designer collection - what are your favorite designer pieces in your closet and why? Do you have favorite designers or brands? The ones that you go to time and time again?

Gucci and Balenciaga are my two favorite brands that I tend to always gravitate toward. So naturally, my favorite designer piece I have is my Horsebit Mini purse that was a part of a Gucci x Balenciaga collaboration called The Hacker Project. I waited a couple months after the line dropped because I knew I was going to Hawaii soon, and wanted to try and snag it at the lower Hawaii prices. My Sales Associate at the Gucci in Waikiki looked high and low for me, because by that time the stock was low on that line. After several days, he was able to find one and have it shipped to the store before I came back home. To say I was ecstatic is an understatement!

Photo Credit: Callao Photography

6. No kidding! It’s an amazing piece in your closet with an even better story of how you were able to quite literally “secure the bag.” I bet that’s made you appreciate it that much more. Now that you’re almost a few months into starting your business have you been able to identify the most popular items you’ve featured on The Bag Snag? Are there items that your customers ask for time and time again?

Gucci is definitely the best selling brand, and I believe it is because they appeal to all generations, styles, etc., by having a wide selection of styles not only in bags/purses but in clothing, accessories, etc. So really anything Gucci has been a good seller.

7. I’m a Gucci girl myself so that answer doesn’t surprise me at all. It’s such a classic brand too. It never feels too trendy in my opinion but like the pieces you invest in really will be ones you’ll have in your closet for a lifetime. What has been the biggest surprise for you since starting “The Bag Snag?”

The biggest surprise for me has been the positive feedback and support from not only all my family and friends, but a lot of new people in Sacramento, and even in other states! It’s been so fun getting to know new people that love what I do and share common interests with me.

8. I bet! It’s really opened up this whole new world and network for you. That’s the beauty of the internet and the connection it brings us. That being said, what has been the biggest challenge for you since starting your business?

Learning what other people like. I know exactly what I like, but know that everyone doesn't have the same style and taste. So, I have had to try and bring my old rusty Crossroads Trading Co. mindset back and learn what other people prefer and train my eye to look for things outside of my norm. Although challenging, it has also been rewarding and I get so excited when I am able to fulfill a request for my customers!

9. That has to be one of the most satisfying feelings. Being able to create that feeling of excitement, like what you experienced when you secured your Gucci Horsebit Mini bag, for your customers when you secure their dream bag has to be so fulfilling. Yumi, when we look ahead to future trends in upcoming seasons Spring, Summer, what do you think is going to be the hot ticket item that your customers come to you looking for?

I think we’ll start to see more bright colors, pastels, and florals for Spring/Summer. Green also seems to be the “it” color for this year, so as the colors start coming out I expect to see a lot of green and I can’t wait for that myself!

Photo Credit: Callao Photography

10. That does seem to be one of the best parts of the transition from Winter to Spring - the re-introduction of bright colors and patterns. I am so here for that! Now for the question that I’ve perhaps (quite selfishly) been dying to know the answer to, how do you do it?! Without giving away all your secrets of course, can you share how you’re able to snag these amazing designer deals?!

I mostly shop at the designer outlets. I have two that I frequent in California, and hope to expand to ones in other states once business grows! I encourage everyone to go to the outlets and snag some deals for yourself, they’re truly amazing. However, lines can be very long and it can sometimes be a hit or miss since it’s kind of by luck you find what you’re looking for. It can be a disappointment if you wait for sometimes a couple of hours to get into a store, just to find there’s nothing that really speaks to you. That is where my services come in handy, because I shop frequently and have relationships with some great sales associates that help me out as well.

11. I can imagine that this is a business where relationships make a big difference. It’s good to know that these deals are out there just waiting for us to snag them! But, like you said, it’s not always as easy nor as fruitful as one might expect. So, if you could offer one piece of advice to someone looking to invest in their first designer bag, what would it be?

For your first designer bag, I’d suggest something neutral and classic that can go with any outfit. You can be wearing an outfit that costs $50 head to toe, but you put on that designer bag as the finishing touch, and you will instantly elevate your look! I’m a strong believer in mixing affordable fashion with luxury investment pieces such as purses or shoes. I like to splurge on staple pieces when it comes to clothing, but otherwise most of my clothing is from affordable fashion websites mixed with my designer handbags. I love my designer items, but I also love to save money! So if I can save on both my clothes and designer bags, it’s a win win!

12. Great (and very practical!) advice! You’re so right though, it’s often the accessories that can truly make an outfit look more elevated. Yumi, thank you SO much for taking the time to give my Almost Fabulous Me readers a behind the scenes look at the ins and outs of The Bag Snag. I can’t wait to work together as I continue to expand my own designer collection - hopefully in the not too distant future. LOL. For those who are interested in having you help them "snag" their next designer item - what's the best way for them to get in touch with you?

The best way is through direct messages on Instagram (@thebagsnag). I’m the most active on there. I’ve also recently launched where you can now directly make your purchases and contact me as well!

Photo Credit: Callao Photography

I don’t know about you but suddenly I’m in the mood for some serious retail therapy! Another massive thank you to Yumi for giving us the coveted inside scoop in this episode of “Get to Know.” If you liked this blog post or perhaps you reached out to Yumi to help you track down a designer item you’ve been eyeing, please don’t hesitate to reach out via email at - or on Instagram @almostfabme - I look forward to hearing from you!

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