by SAMANTHA EDWARDS | photos by Samantha Gleaton Photography

Entrepreneurial Spirit

faces_davis2As a law student in 1999, Sarah Davis and her husband, who was in medical school at the time, had a lot of money going out and not so much money coming in. One day at the mall, Sarah came up with the idea of selling things from their home on eBay as a way to make some extra cash. She realized that luxury branded items – purses, in particular – were selling especially well. In addition to selling her own, Sarah began buying handbags on sale at luxury department stores and reselling them. She developed a good reputation for authentic luxury bags and was soon doing so well that she had paid off her student loans and decided not to pursue a law career, even after passing the bar exam. And her business, which she named Fashionphile, was born.

After several years of running the business on her own, Sarah knew she needed someone to help her take Fashionphile to the next level. “It’s good to recognize your weaknesses and find smart people to fill in your gaps,” she said. So in 2006, she brought on her business partner Ben Hemminger. The pair opened a boutique in Beverly Hills in 2008, followed by another location in San Francisco, and yet another that opened in our very own Carlsbad.

Name: Sarah Davis
Profession: Founder of Fashionphile
Community: Carlsbad

faces_davis3Fashionphile is now the leading and most trusted source in the secondary market for luxury handbags. Fashionphile offers the largest selection of pre-owned vintage, rare, and limited edition handbags from high-end designers including Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Hermès, Versace, and Prada, among many others. “What is fascinating about resale in the luxury handbag market is that there are so many brands that don’t discount at all. Louis Vuitton and Hermès have no sales ever, and there are no outlets,” Sarah shared. “What that does is fuel a really healthy resale market.”

For Sarah and Ben, ensuring authenticity is key. Every item goes through an extensive examination and evaluation by Fashionphile’s in-house authenticators, who are skilled at spotting knock-off bags. “We can’t risk having fakes, so we’re very conservative about what we accept,” Sarah admitted. The company also goes to great lengths to ensure a safe and secure online shopping experience for its customers. It is this dedication to trustworthiness and passion for the product that keeps Fashionphile at the forefront of its industry.