If you ordered between July - August 28, 2022:
11/17 UPDATE: The bags have been en route for a couple weeks now and unfortunately I can't track them while they are on their way so it's just a waiting game now. The shipping estimate is still on track for the bags to be arriving at my fulfillment center in late December, with your orders being shipped out to you in January. Thank you for your patience!
10/27 UPDATE: Production is complete, and yesterday I paid the balance on the manufacturing invoice so they are ready to ship to my fulfillment company! My manufacturer just sent me this photo of the bags all boxed up and ready to go:
The next part is just a lot of waiting without any updates, constantly refreshing tracking to see if they've arrived at the port in NJ! I will let you know as soon as they're here and in my fulfillment company's warehouse! I asked if they can also send me some pictures of the process so hopefully I can show you when they are being packed up and shipped out to you! Thanks so much for your patience!
10/15 UPDATE: My manufacturer just sent me a bunch of videos of the bags being produced and (!!) packed up! YOU CAN VIEW IT HERE. The only thing that we're changing since I sent in the order is that the hangtag and keychain are going to be packaged inside of the bag instead of dangling from the side to a) protect the tag from being bent or damaged and b) make sure the keychain doesn't leave any dents on the bag itself. Neither of those were things I would have thought of myself, clearly, so I'm glad they did! But I wanted to make sure I gave you all a heads up that it'll be packaged that way, so when you open the bag at first and don't see a keychain FEAR NOT, it will be inside of the bag :)
It seems like just yesterday that I launched this kickstarter so it was crazy to get this message from my manufacturer letting me know they're in the home stretch. We're still a while away from shipping since they have to get all packed up and it'll take a long time in transit but I'll let you know as soon as they are starting their voyage!
Also, my mom, Judy (you might already know her if you've ever sent in a customer service request!) is officially taking over the customer service emails for my Kickstarter email account so please be super kind if you have any inquiries. She is better at communicating with other human beings than I am but bruises just as easily, so kindness would be very much appreciated! :)
And before I wrap this update up, I just want to address one question that I've already received a lot to maybe intercept some messages for my mom -- if you already placed a pre-order you cannot change the color or style of bag after production has started. My entire production line is based on pre-orders so your bag is custom made *just for you* once you pre-order it. I only order about 5-10 extras of each color in case of defects and lost packages so I don't have a lot of wiggle room for anyone to change their choice later. I'm very sorry if I come out with any new colors or designs that you prefer, but I desperately hope you understand how the orders are kind of locked in once I pay my manufacturer to make them.
I'll be back with another update when the bags are on the ship!! ahh!
9/20 UPDATE: My manufacturer made one sample of each bag and sent me photos to confirm that everything was correct (it was!) and now production is majorly underway-- just look at all these sheets of fabric that are about to become Bela bags!! It's so exciting to see the pieces that end up coming together to make bags! I hope you enjoy these behind the scenes peeks.
9/2 UPDATE: After 3 frustrating days of bank appointments and coming back home to get more information for them, the down payment for the bags is officially on its way to my manufacturer and bag production can begin! For my spring sale I had tried paying by debit card and BoA wouldn't let me send that huge amount of money. I ended up calling them and having somebody monitoring my account while I made the purchase and it STILL got declined. So this time I went with a wire transfer. It was still complicated and frustrating (I'm guessing whenever you are a normal person moving huge amounts of money it's going to be frustrating) but it's done and I don't have to go through this again until I make my final payment after the bags are ready to ship and they can include the final shipping cost in the total. Phew!
Now the fun part starts! I asked my manufacturer to try to send me as many photos as possible, and I will pass all of those on to you! There should be a week or two of fabric sourcing before they start assembling but the minute I get my first picture I will post it here.
8/30 UPDATE: Here are the final color totals!! Bela blew every other color out of the water with 1593 bags!!!! My other black bag followed up in second, with lilac not too far behind. And then caramel, crystal, and dusty rose were the other big sellers. My personal favorites in this batch were the candy red and marshmallow (I wear my marshmallow sample constantly when I'm running errands!) Which was your favorite? Are you one of the many Belas or did you snag a (very limited edition, LOL!) champagne?
I submitted my manufacturing order last night and she confirmed my estimated timeline for production. Today I had a phone call with my fulfillment company to square away some details about their warehouse shipping address and how to export the orders to them for fulfillment either later this year (fingers crossed) or January. I also asked my manufacturer to send me photos during the production process so I can share some behind the scenes peeks with you!!
8/29 UPDATE: I'll be placing my manufacturing order TONIGHT! I sent out one last e-mail reminder to the 5% of backers who didn't fill out their forms yet to give them one last chance to choose a color, but I really can't wait any longer. So I'm getting the ball rolling tonight around 8pm EST. Woo!!
I also wanted to record a quick (maybe not so quick? It's like 6 minutes.) video for you guys a) to thank you for your support and b) to fill you in on what's been going on this weekend if you didn't see me post about it on social media. A Chinese manufacturer was selling a very cheap looking knock-off of my (patent pending!!! 63/153,700 ) bags on Alibaba, and they had already been picked up by a retailer in The Philippines and an affiliate on tiktok. I spent all day yesterday trying to get them taken down (and succeeded!) but if my experience with my lapel pin designs being stolen is any indication, this was just the first of many instances of design theft coming my way. I spent a long time yesterday discussing my options with my parents and we ended up deciding to do ongoing pre-orders on a monthly basis. I explain in more detail in the video, but basically this way my purses will always be available to purchase. Otherwise I'm faced with a scenario where the *only* version of my bag available online throughout most of the year is a dirt-cheap, low-quality knock off.
I just wanted to make sure you guys know that your bags will be manufactured first - my manufacturer will not begin production on the next pre-sale until YOURS are complete. And a bunch of the colors offered in my Kickstarter sale will not be available again to anyone else, at least not anytime soon. I feel so bad if anyone supported this sale because of the scarcity of my pre-sale calendar. I always assumed my bags would get ripped off at some point, but I really thought I had more time to establish my brand and fly under the radar before it happened. I never thought it would be so soon, and I really can't just let people get away with it and steal my entire market out from under me. I hope so badly that you understand and support this decision to have more pre-sales while your bags are being produced. 💕
I'll be back here tomorrow to post the final color counts -- still hoping a few more of my backers get those color forms in before I send in the final count tonight 🤞🏻
8/26 UPDATE: Yesterday me and my mom sent manual e-mails out to everyone who has not filled out a form yet. The email came from kategabriellepurses [at] gmail.com. If you received one of those emails please complete your form and pay for shipping before tomorrow night. I will be placing the order with my manufacturer on MONDAY and I need to know how many of each color to order.
If you have not filled out your form by then, you will be getting black (Noir) as a default. Additionally, I cannot send the bag to you until you have submitted your shipping address and paid for postage through your BackerKit form. I don't want you to have paid for a purse and either a) get it in a color you didn't really want or b) not get it at all! So please, please, please fill out those forms and submit them. A handful of people filled out the form but never paid for postage -- your form does not count until you've actually submitted it. So if that's you, please go back and finish up your form! :)
Please note: This ONLY applies to people who supported my Kickstarter July 29 - August 12 and have not filled out & submitted the form that I sent to them.
I'm SO excited to get the ball rolling on production! I will let you know what the final counts are for all of the colors (you know Bela has got this thing locked down already lol!) once the window closes for color selections tomorrow night. Yay!!
8/20 UPDATE: Go check your inbox, there should be a form waiting there for you! Yay!!
Here are some things to keep in mind when you fill out your form --
1. Your choices will lock as soon as you submit the form so once you choose your color(s) and submit, you can't change which color(s) you want later on.
2. If you might move between now and when the purses ship (estimated for January) you can still enter your current address today and then just drop us a line with your updated address before shipping. I will send out an update before shipping begins to make sure anyone who has changed addresses in the interim remembers to let us know.
3. This is your chance to add an extra bag onto your order. Maybe a friend wanted one and missed the sale, or you can't decide between a couple colors, etc. You will have the option to add on to your original order when you get your form.
4. Kickstarter charged you for the bag ($55 USD per bag) and BackerKit is where you will be charged separately for shipping. They will collect your shipping address and then update the shipping fee based on your location (In case you missed it, I have a shipping estimates chart on my Kickstarter page.)
5. Please fill out the form ASAP. The sooner everyone gets their forms back to me, the sooner I can start production! The deadline to fill out the forms is Saturday, August 27th (but please, please don't wait until the last minute!)
I think that's everything, but please feel free to leave a comment here or drop me an email at email@example.com if you have any questions or concerns and I will be happy to help! I will be away from my computer from about 5:30-9:30pm EST but will try to answer as quickly as possible for the rest of the night and I'll be checking in constantly throughout the week to make sure any questions are answered in a super timely manner! :)
I can't wait to see your color choices! I'll pop in with an update a few days from now to let you know what everyone is choosing. I'm sure you're just as curious and excited to find out as I am!! 💕
8/13 UPDATE: I've had a few people ask me when the forms for color selection will be going out, so I wanted to send everyone an update on this.
I'll be working with a company called BackerKit to collect color selections, shipping fees, and shipping addresses. They have to look over my form and make sure I set it up correctly. Once they approve it I will post here on Kickstarter (which should also be emailed to you!) letting you know that the form is ready. I'll also post updates on my social media channels just in case you miss the emails or the post here. I'll try my very best to keep you updated every step of the way!
I've received a couple questions asking if I will run out of any colors. The bags are being made to order, so you will be able to select whichever color you want from the 12 options offered. You do not have to worry that anything will "sell out" because your bag is being made especially for YOU! :)
I've also received a couple questions asking how to choose the BELA Halloween purse. The Bela will be one of the color selections offered. Just choose "Bela" as your color when you receive the form.
And finally, if you wanted to add another purse onto your order you WILL be able to do that through the BackerKit form. So if you pledged for 1 purse and actually want 2, or if you pledged for 2 and actually want 4, etc. you will be able to add purses onto your order at that point.
I hope this answers all of your questions-- but if not feel free to email me or leave a comment here on Kickstarter and I will reply ASAP! I will let you know as soon as BackerKit has approved the form and it's on its way to you - hopefully within the next few days!