Does Your Pricing Pass The Birkin Test?

I love luxury.

Sometimes I fantasize I live inside a Gucci store. Except it’s not a store, it’s my house, where even the mousetraps are by Gucci.

Le Sigh.

That being said, there are luxury items so over the top, they seem out of control.

Which is why I never understood the Birkin bag from Hermes – which starts out at $6000 and goes up to $120,000+.

I mean, I KNOW the story behind why it was created – and it’s a cool story.

Here’s the rundown. 1970s model, singer, and icon Jane Birkin had a signature bag. Not from Hermes.

Nope, she carried a basket. Like a picnic basket.

In the early 1980s, Jane was on a flight from London to Paris, and her basket tumbled from the overhead luggage compartment, scattering her belongings all over the place.

The gallant gentleman sitting next to her helped her gather everything up, and asked her why she didn’t carry a handbag. She replied that none of the fashionable bags had an interior pocket, so she might as well be carrying a straw basket.

It turns out that the gallant gentleman was none other than Hermes designer Jean-Louis Dumas, who then created the bag with Jane in mind – interior zip pocket and everything.

Okay, great story. But it’s going to take a lot more than a story and a 1970s icon to make me throw down $6000 (at the low end!) for a bag.

So what’s the REAL deal with the Birkin?

After a little digging around, my research team discovered some things about the Birkin that make the high-end pricing seem like a BARGAIN!

>>> Having high-prices seem like a bargain is the REAL secret to luxury pricing.

NOT slapping on an over-inflated price and hope you get it because you think you’re worth it. You can’t think it. You have to know it. You have to embody your premium pricing.

For example…

If you want to be on the Hermes bag fabrication team, you must go through a 3 year apprenticeship.

3 YEARS before you can help craft a single bag.

And the Birkin bag has master craftspeople for every stage in creating the bag.

There are:

  • Master tanners to achieve the perfect buttery soft leather.
  • Master dyers to give the leathers an incredible range of rainbow colors.
  • Master cutters, stitchers, and riveters to build the bags from the ground up.

All the rivets, zippers, and hardware are cast by hand, coated with gold or palladium (no peeling away to reveal brass underneath), then buffed, polished, and installed by a craftsperson.

Now, I have a background in apparel design, and I know how to design and sew a fanny pack and a software luggage bag.

If you’re doing it right, it’s time consuming and finicky – this is no bikini you’re whipping up.

So to make a profit on a bag requires nimble manufacturing – which is why so many brands resort to sweatshop labor.

But not the Birkin. There is NO assembly line manufacturing this baby.

Each bag takes about 50 hours to create. More than a WEEK for each bag.

The artisans take so much pride in their work, they instituted a ‘bag spa’.

For as long as you own your bag, you can send it back to the workshop, where they will recondition it, for FREE!

Hermes also encourages its artisans to create freely – and in small batches.

No two Birkins are truly alike. And there are no repeat productions.

So if you see a red leather Birkin with palladium hardware and a unique stitching pattern, you will never see another one exactly like it. Ever.

Hermes considers each bag a work of art, so the master craftspeople and artisans are not held to a production schedule.

The delivery of bags to the boutiques is unpredictable – even the employees have no idea when bags might arrive.

At one point there was a waiting list of up to 6 years of people dying to get their hands on a Birkin.

No other bag has EVER evoked that kind of lust.

The resale price of a Birkin at auction is typically 3 to 5 times over the original purchase price.


: Have you set the standards?

: And are you holding to them?

: Even if Lady Gaga (or her assistant) called you and wanted to get in on what you have to offer, do you have enough pride and confidence in your product or service to actually charge her?

Have you put in the time, energy, creativity, and work that justifies a hefty price tag? Even if no one ever knows about all that work but you?

Just like the Birkin.

Which I now find TOTALLY worth it. And I TOTALLY want one now.

If I ever create a vision board, the Birkin is going on it.


Say NO To Business Crushes

Ever idolize another business? Fangirl over another woman who’s achieved the level of success you desire?

Here’s my sharp viewpoint…

Admire their attributes.

Be inspired by their work.

Get ideas from them when they’re brilliant and aligned with you.

BUT, don’t worship them.

When you crush on someone else, you give away your power. And …

Weaken your imagination

Diminish your confidence

Kill your drive

You may know that I admire Tory Burch. Like a lot! I even worked my contacts so she got a copy of Think Like A Stripper in her hot little hands.

She created a fashion empire without a background in business or design…

And started it from her kitchen table while on maternity leave making cold calls while her three sons were napping.

She’s thoughtful, methodical, and patient. All attributes I adore.

But, as much as I look up to Tory Burch, if I saw her in a restaurant, I wouldn’t pass out from excitement.

I’ve got my own thing going on. 

And so do you!

Instead of crushing on someone else … how would your life change if you were obsessed with your own business?

It’s a lot more fun to exclusively reserve that level of excitement for your own work! 

Don’t you agree? Come on over to IG and join in on this hot topic. (Plus check out my living room dance.)


Why Isn’t Anyone Buying From Me?

I once did a rough calculation of how many times I asked for the ‘business’ when I was a stripper.

The answer?

316,000 ASKS!

Do you want a dance?

Do you want a dance?

Do you want a dance?

Over and over. Night after night. Year after year. For 9 years.

When it came to ‘asking for the dance’ my confidence was unshakable.

Then after I quit stripping in 2001, I went on to co-create a multi-million dollar commercial real estate investment company with my dad.

And part of the reason it became so successful was my total ex-stripper confidence.

I was pretty fearless when it came to selling & negotiating deals with mostly men because I’d already been wrangling money out of their pockets for almost a decade.

When I started my coaching business in 2005, though, it seemed like my confidence was missing in action.

I remember my husband asking me, “How can you be sooooo confident – even arrogant perhaps – in your commercial real estate business? And yet, in your coaching business feel terrified, insecure, and totally unsure of yourself?”

He had a good point. 

I promised myself I was going to figure out my confidence problem. And I realized something very important:

When I was a stripper, I knew exactly what I was supposed to do. Get on stage. Put on a good show. Get off the stage. Ask the customers if they wanted a lap dance. And since the club did all the marketing to get customers into the club, I didn’t have to worry about that. I knew exactly what my marching orders were and exactly what my product was: lap dances. 

When I worked in commercial real estate for 10 years, I was responsible for all the sales and leasing. I knew exactly what I was selling. I never took it personally if a potential tenant chose to lease from another building owner, or if a tenant moved out. My product was clear. My marching orders were clear.

It’s a very different raw, vulnerable story when you are selling your own creation.

I see it all the time in smart, creative women. Self-doubt. Second-guessing. Crushed confidence. Lots of crying over their laptop, wrecking their DIOR mascara.

These women do not need more “self-confidence.” 

What they need in spades is PRODUCT CONFIDENCE: the unmistakable knowledge that what you do matters and has a huge impact on people’s lives. 

So how do you get product confidence? Watch my Woman UnZipped Interview with LeahRose Farber to find out.