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Mother-daughter duo behind one-of-a-kind purse shop in Merrick

Julien Harris and her mother Lauren Harris work

Julien Harris and her mother Lauren Harris work together to create one-of-a-kind purse styles at Let's Bag It in Merrick. Credit: Let's Bag It

Despite working for years as a handbag buyer for Saks Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, today Lauren Harris is all about selling women’s bags that aren’t sold in department stores.

The Seaford resident owns Let's Bag It — a shop in Merrick for anyone who loves a great bag and then some. Customers can create a personalized look for any occasion by building it from a variety of base styles and a huge assortment of straps that include animal print, boho, stripe, plaid, camouflage, metallic, pearl, butterfly and floral designs.

Vegan bags are among the offerings as well, and if you don’t want to choose an in-stock design, completely original bags can be created. Harris’ daughter, Julien Harris, who is a buyer for Let's Bag It along with her mother, says the duo bagged the idea of carrying things that can be found anywhere because people today are looking for something different.

"People want to customize their own bag because they’re craving individuality right now in the era of fast fashion," the 25-year-old Massapequa resident says. "I find brands that offer something truly authentic in their design or functionality."

Lauren, 56, who was also a designer and merchandise manager for Liz Claiborne before opening Let's Bag It in 2000, notes that her Mother’s Day sales are her biggest. She says customers come in looking to bag two or more looks when shopping for more than one mother, and for different generations. "Our [customer] base is anywhere from 16 to 80."

And a bag someone already has can be transformed into something new.

"Customers can build a bag from scratch but in some cases they bring in their own bag and just buy the straps to put on it," Lauren says. "We also offer painting on bags." She adds, "We built this business not carrying what’s in the department stores. The craziest bag designed was a rock and roll-themed tote — we took a plain denim tote, sewed 50 patches all over it, then spray-painted graffiti on top."

Prices range from $25 for some vegan styles to around $500 for some leather bags. Store hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Let's Bag It is located at 2203 Merrick Road No. 1. For further information call 516-223-1977 or visit letsbagitonline.com to shop online.

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