59° Good Morning
59° Good Morning

‘Billion Dollar Buyer’ makes a deal with LI handbag firm

Marcellino New York owners Joe and Jean Marcellino,

Marcellino New York owners Joe and Jean Marcellino, of Halesite, with Tilman J. Fertitta, star of the CNBC show "Billion Dollar Buyer" Credit: CNBC

A Long Island business that started by selling handmade leather bags online has landed a major deal, thanks to the new CNBC show “Billion Dollar Buyer.”

Joe and Jean Marcellino, husband and wife and co-owners of Halesite-based Marcellino New York, signed the deal with billionaire Tilman J. Fertitta, host of the show, in an episode that aired last week .

Fertitta is the owner and chief executive of Landry’s Inc., which oversees more than 500 properties including Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Morton’s The Steakhouse, McCormick & Schmick’s, and five Golden Nugget hotels. On the show, he spends time with small-business owners, samples their goods, shares his expertise and decides whether to place an order.

As part of the deal, Fertitta will purchase 700 factory-made handbags for $200 each, for a total of $140,000, from Marcellino’s new Aleia handbag collection, plus a few handmade Marcellino New York briefcases. The bags will be available at Style & Trend boutique stores at Golden Nugget hotels in Atlantic City, Las Vegas and Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Joe Marcellino designed the Aleia collection, named for his 10-year-old daughter. The line, which will be produced by a Manhattan manufacturer, retails for $495 to $699 for totes, shoulder bags, cross-body bags and mini briefcases.

“It is amazing because this validates us in the fashion industry,” Jean Marcellino said of the deal. “Not only as an online business, but it takes us to the next level to get us out of the basement, out of the computer, into the stores.”

Joe Marcellino launched a website in 2009 with the help of Jean, a fashion designer, to sell handmade men’s briefcases made with vegetable-tanned leather. Each bag takes one to seven days to produce, and prices range from $1,000 to $15,000.

In an attempt to grow the business, he opened a store in Huntington village in 2013. Customers who walked into the shop couldn’t purchase the samples on display; everything had to be custom-ordered.

“The custom-only store did not work out, so I took it over and revamped the business to focus on finding physical stores and boutiques to sell the new [factory made] handbag collections,” Jean Marcellino said. Joe Marcellino still makes handmade briefcases that he sells online.

As the business continues to grow, the couple intends to hire more people. “We plan on hiring a sales staff so we can get our new handbags into retail locations around the world,” Joe Marcellino said.

More news