To Heaven in a handbag

Dress for Success Board of Trustees member Ams Hoyle displays some of the handbags up for auction on Saturday. Photo: John Borren.

An annual auction that attracts donated new and pre-loved handbags is happening in Tauranga this month.  

Dress for Success president Michelle Pleydell says they have had some “lovely bags” over the years.

“Last year we had a beautiful Chanel bag donated that fetched $2000." 

Dress for Success Bay of Plenty has been running its signature Handbag Auction since 2013.

The new and pre-loved handbags will be sold this year through live and silent auction at a lunch time event on Saturday, November 21, at the new Dress for Success store, Classic Couture, on Devonport Road.

Michelle says some of the items are far more modestly priced than the Chanel one and it is such a fun event.

“Guests find bags that are quirky or fit an event that they have coming up. Some people buy four or five bags because they are all so unique and they make great gifts."

Some of the bags up for auction are already displayed in the new shop, which was set up four months ago to help with the region’s fundraising efforts.

All the proceeds of the Handbag Charity Auction will go towards running resilience and redundancy courses for clients in Tauranga.

“There are many women who are having to make huge adjustments in their lives as we all face changes in our personal and employment situations. Resilience is what gets us through.”

Dress for Success Bay of Plenty assists disadvantaged women into employment through its wraparound support, including confidence, resilience and redundancy programmes. Other services include CV writing and job searching to enable women to thrive.

The Sisters Wines has been a long time sponsor of the Handbag Auction, with its philosophy of spending, enjoying and celebrating time together, and is once again providing wine this time.

If you have an item you would like to donate please email Michelle at: or take it into the store: Classic Couture, 63 Devonport Road, Tauranga ; open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 2pm.

The auction is at the same address on Saturday, from 12.15pm to 2.30pm. Tickets $25 and include wine and nibbles. Buy in store or online at:

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