Gigi Hill is a company run by two moms, Gabrielle DeSantis-Cummings and Monica Hillman, who met on the sidelines of their daughters’ soccer game, became friends, and decided to launch their own handbag line. Their handbag line now includes purses, totes, accessories, travel products and more.

I was invited to a local event in which I heard Gabrielle and Monica share their own inspirational stories and provide personal tips for success and work-life balance.

I also listened to women who have begun their own home-based businesses as Gigi Hill sales and style consultants. The women I heard speak were inspiring. They have founded their own businesses which have brought them personal fulfillment, self-confidence and a community of friends, as well as profit.

I was struck by the similarities between how they feel about their Gigi Hill businesses and my own feelings about finding a part-time career as a blogger. Heck, their retreat this coming year will even be held at the same resort hotel in Las Vegas where I attended the Blogalicious conference, where I bonded with the new friends I have made in the blogging world, and where I learned how to ramp up my career goals.

So I am happy to support the Gigi Hill business model by shopping the Gigi Hill handbag store online. I love how the site has a good deal of cool, out-of-the-ordinary but useful gifts in the under $50 price point for the women in my family (and men — they have guys’ products, too!). I have purchased some great holiday gifts that I know my girls will love.

The founders’ PR team also sent me an Elizabeth Weekender bag to review. After happily tossing out my beat up, broken zipper Vera Bradley duffel, I used the Elizabeth bag during a quick overnight trip to Old Town Alexandria, my air travel to the Blogalicious conference, and while traveling solo with a toddler on a plane to my family home in Southern California. The Elizabeth is sturdy and versatile. It worked equally well as an overnighter, a business travel laptop/briefcase carryon, and as a traveling-with-baby-solo Mary Poppins/diaperbag/catchall.

The bag is constructed as well as a Kate Spade bag (the real kind, not the kind on a blanket in Washington Square). The inner linings, hardware, straps and exterior materials are truly of the highest quality. I have owned A LOT of bags over the years, most of them very cheap, but in recent years after being burned by cheapo bags (and since the launch of discount sites like Gilt and ideeli), I have been investing in more expensive and well-constructed bags. I really love how Gigi Hill’s prices are accessible but the construction is top-notch.

Here is me in all my un-makeuped airport glory with my Elizabeth in the Athena black style. Although I do not look my best (and if you do when you are traveling by air, well, then we probably wouldn’t be drinking buddies), I am smiling because I am carrying one very useful (and beautiful) bag.

My favorite aspects of the Gigi Hill Elizabeth Weekender:

  • The premium quality hardware and inner pockets and construction. I am so sick of busted zippers and bad linings! This bag has the best. It even comes with a special, gorgeous key ring for you to snap on your keys after you park your car in the daily lot so that when you return home at 2 a.m. a week later WHAM there are your keys. Brilliant.
  • The structured body — I can never find anything in a slouchy tote, and this made for a well-protected bag for my precious laptop.
  • A roomy interior — I carry a lot of stuff and it all fit, every time.
  • It has both pretty handles as well as detachable extra-wide shoulder strap, so you can go from Grace Kelly to Schleppy Susie, depending on your needs.

If you are shopping for a new bag for yourself or as a holiday gift, check out Gigi Hill!

Disclosure: I received an Elizabeth Weekender bag from Gigi Hill for review. All other purchases were happily made by me. No compensation was received. All opinions expressed are my own.