Chupi & Friends; In Conversation With Ella De Guzman
Visit Our Store Contact
Chupi & Friends; In Conversation With Ella De Guzman


Chupi & Friends; In Conversation With Ella De Guzman

Thu, May 02, 2024

Tags: Educational Sustainability

Following our insightful Instagram live with Ella de Guzman from SiopaElla, we sat down with Ella to bring further insight into her background. 

1. Firstly, could you tell us how the idea to start SiopaElla came about? 

I have always wanted to have a consignment store and I have been shopping consignment and buying and selling and Vintage since the 1990s. When I moved over here from Canada I noticed there were no consignment stores where you could buy sell and trade high Street to high end hence Siopaella was born.

2. What is the meaning of “SiopaElla” ? 
Siopa means shop in Irish and if you spell “Ella” the Irish way “eile” that means other and the whole concept of consignment is that we sell items on top of other people.

3. What are the environmental benefits of purchasing vintage luxury bags in comparison to new ones? 
By purchasing preloved you are helping to avoid the manufacturing process of the item and environmental consequences associated with that.

4. Do you have any initiatives in place to reduce waste or minimise the environmental impact of your store?
We use very minimal packaging that is recyclable or has been recycled and majority of our inventory sold is preloved. We even recycle and reuse cardboard boxes. Most of our business is within Ireland which also keeps the environmental impact down. Majority of our sellers are within Ireland and we do not source wholesale vintage.

5. What advice would you give to anyone looking to buy a preloved luxury bag? 
Make sure you are buying the business not the item and that the item you were looking at has been authenticated by a professional authenticator or is guaranteed authentic by the seller. When in doubt use a payment facility like PayPal. Look at areas of the bag including the strap, and any wear and it’s always good to ask the seller if the bag has been refurbished if it’s a high end item like Chanel or Louis Vuitton.

6. Similarly, what advice would you give to anyone looking to sell a preloved luxury bag?
Clean your bag before bringing  it into the store and make sure you source all the applicable paperwork dust bags boxes and that should allow for a quicker if not higher resale. 

7. Can you discuss any restoration or preservation techniques you employ for maintaining the condition of your bags? 
Make sure you keep your bags stuffed with tissue paper and have them stored in a nice airy environment and not a damp space and clean any spills or stains promptly instead of letting them fester. If you plan on restoring your bag, it’s always best to bring it to the designer first - for example if you have a Chanel bag that needs to be fixed it’s best to bring it to Chanel first and get all the relevant repairs done by the brand. if the brand is not able to do said repairs, then you can bring it to a reputable repair business like handbag hospital which can be found on Instagram.

8. What criteria do you use to select the bags you sell?
We shop for our customers so we keep an eye out for what our customers are looking for.

9. How do you authenticate and ensure the quality of the bags you sell? 
I look at everything from stitch count to how the bag feels and weighs and how the font and heat stamp look, the date code or serial code, and the weight of the hardware. You have to look at the bag as a whole picture and not one singular item.

10. What trends have you noticed in the vintage luxury bag market over the years? 
It is great to see the huge rise in the vintage luxury bag market and I’m seeing a lot of bags from the early 2000s enjoy a huge splurge in popularity.

11. Are there any specific challenges or opportunities you’ve encountered in promoting sustainability within the vintage luxury bag market? 
There are still people who are apprehensive about purchasing secondhand and of course the cost and price is still very important with our customers decision making.

12. What would your advice be to female founders or anyone looking to start their own business? 
Make sure you are really wanting to do it for all the right reasons and you must really be super passionate about your business. Surround yourself with people who inspire you. 

13. What are the biggest challenges you face in the business? 
Right now there are hundreds of resale businesses starting up every year worldwide and with online shopping being the norm we have to be very competitive with our pricing. We are blessed to have such a supportive community, without them we would not be here. At the end of the day customers choose to shop with us and support us is such a big deal.

14. What has been your proudest moment to date in your career, whether related to SiopaElla or another moment?
Surviving Covid.

15. Do you have any inspiring stories to share about vintage luxury bags you've encountered or sold?
I once sold a vintage speedy bag to a mom who was buying it for her daughter and then we looked at the date of the bag, it actually corresponded to the exact month and year.

Download our app

Download the Chupi app for iOS Download the Chupi app for Android
Phone screen showing the Chupi app