Tête-à-tête with Ingrid of The Bag Hag Diaries

Monday 6 February 2012

I've been following Ingrid's blog, The BagHag Diaries  for 4.5 years now. How time flies. In fact, hers was one of the first I discovered when I was introduced to this strange internet phenomenon called "blogging". She has been a very busy lady ever since she was invited to Luisa Via Roma's Bloggers event in 2010 which culminated in a flurry of requests to attend major fashion shows in Milan and Paris. Years ago, I asked if she could recommend a few restaurants and shopping places for an upcoming trip to Hong Kong. Thanks to her, I had some of my best meals there. Boy, I still have major drool issue whenever I think of that amazing roast goose. Ingrid has a killer model like figure despite being a major foodie (NOT fair!) as well as being incredibly down to earth and gracious. 

You're a blogger, mom, wife, business owner and journalist. How do you juggle all these different aspects of your life?
It's really not easy to be all that, to be honest. And I don't think I can juggle all those aspects well! At the end of the day it's all about being a good mother to my kids and being able to spend time with family as well as have a sustainable form of income to ensure the future of my kids-- and to afford our occasional vacations!

Ingrid's "Blue" Collection

What did you use to do before becoming a blogger? 

I was actually a managing editor for the #1 weddings magazine in the Philippines! 

Attending 2012  S/S Dolce & Gabbana Show

You opened a store not too long ago. Can you tell me more about it? What gave you the idea to start your own business? 

I was actually inspired by Natalie Massenet. She put up net-a-porter and couture lab, and I got inspired to put up a site called Accessory Lab which featured accessories made by local artisans.
In the process of putting that site together, we were offered a nice spot in one of the best malls in the Philippines, and we decided to make Accessory Lab a real boutique instead.

You've been blogging since 2006 before the massive explosion of blogs everywhere. You've been going from strength to strength. What got you started? What are the memorable highlights? 

Haha thanks for thinking that I've been going “from strength to strength” – that's a big boost of confidence right there :) At that time I began blogging, I just gave birth to my 2nd child. I had ceased to be managing editor of the weddings magazine but continued to freelance for magazines within the publishing company I wrote for. It was an adjustment to become a full time mom although I was loving being around both my children at all times. 

During the times my children were asleep, I would go online-- surf shopping! One day I found a bag I fell in love with-- it was the LV Denim Speedy with Crocodile handles. I balked at the price but realized this was the one time I should reward myself-- a birthing gift if you will. I couldn't decide. I also needed a couch for our house at that time. So it was between a couch and the bag. I went online, decided to put up a blog to ask for help with my decision. The bag won in the end! And no I still don't have a couch to this day :) 

Memorable highlights include being invited to the Luisa Via Roma 10th anniversary party in Florence, getting invited to shows during Paris and Milan Fashion Week and subsequently meeting designers and the industry heavyweights themselves-- it was all just a dream back then for me to even see these people in the flesh, and now it has all happened!

Dress Me Up at Dolce & Gabbana with Bryanboy, Anna Della Russo, Denni (ChicMuse) and Kristin (The Clothes Whisperer)

What challenges did you face as a blogger? Have there been any discouraging moments? 

Everything had been pretty rosy up until the latter part of 2010, shortly after I attended shows during Paris Fashion Week. While I ended up meeting new and very interesting people abroad (away from my home country), I also earned some detractors in my own home country. At the end of the day, it's all about how much you value the opinion of others. As in everything in life, you can't win them all. I realized that as long as I am conscious of my actions and words and do not step on other people's toes, I am fine. As long as I don't speak ill of others, I am good. And as long as my family and loved ones think I am grounded and am on the right track, then I am happy and will continue doing what I do :) 

Attending 2011 S/S Hermes Fashion Show

Has blogging changed much since you started? 

On my end, it hasn't changed as much although I now have more content to write about! It's not just about the personal stories (my embarrassing moments) I share anymore. 


I'm sure these questions are on every blogger's lips. The road to success must've been a steep climb. What helped you along the way? Any advice for bloggers? What are the pitfalls to look out for?

I think being true to myself helped me a lot. Being positive also helped me a lot. The worst thing that a blogger can do is to fabricate stories and spin lies on the blog to get readership. That's really not the way to go to get credibility. Advice? Always stay passionate! Pitfalls: once you express your opinion out there, don't expect everyone to agree :)

Meeting Karl Lagerfeld

Describe a day in the life Ingrid.....

I start my day pretty late because I end my day early (in the morning)! I wake up quickly to say goodbye to my kids before they go off to school and wake up at 10am. So my day officially begins at 10am. I do my household “chores”, get changed, and leave by noon for lunch meetings. Otherwise I do a lot of my work from the home. Afternoons are spent in our boutique where I meet up with my very hardworking business partner. Of late though I have blog- related meetings in the afternoon, but still make sure to pop over our boutique. I spend most of my dinners and after- dinners with the children until about 9p. 

Quality time with husband begins after the kids are off to bed. We catch up on tv shows and movies. And at 12 midnight, that's when I begin my writing and research. I also go through at least 50 emails (yikes, I know, it can be a nightmare if I had to answer each one of them haha) daily, so that keeps me pretty tied up too. I usually sleep anywhere between 3am- 4am, depending on the amount of work I have. 

Ok, fess up. How many bags do you own? If you have to absolutely positively choose ONLY 3 bags, what would they be? And why?

LOL I don't answer that question but all I can share with you is this-- I don't have a lot, but I have enough :) The key to my bag collection is constant editing! Once a new bag comes into my collection, I make sure to let another bag I no longer use go. This way I don't neglect the other bags. I think that's not just practical, it's also very economical! Money doesn't grow on trees for this bag hag, so I have to work extra hard to buy a new bag :) 

ONLY THREE??!?!?! Morbid thought! Hahaha but it would be the Hermes Kelly, the Tod's D Bag, and the LV watersnake speedy frame bag. Why? Because they are really the bags that have never given me problems when I use them :)

Making Tod's bags at the Tod's factory, Italy


What's the best advice anyone has ever given you?

It came from my parents: ALWAYS BE HUMBLE!!! :) 


  1. What an inspirational blogger! I love Ingrid's blog. Ingrid always comes across as humble even with all of her success which is so rightly deserved. I love that Ingrid has the balance right with family and her business perspective.

    Great article Marlene. Thanks so much for sharing and giving us an insight into the lovely Ingrid's life of blogging!

    xx Mandi

  2. What a lovely interview! I read TheBagHag daily (as I do this blog) and find it very inspirational to read about women who have made a way for themselves outside traditional careers. Love her bag collection too...that blue pic is TDF. Thanks for posting!

  3. that was a lovely read - she sounds really down to earth! i love her blog too, and i think my heart skipped a beat when i saw her 'blue collection' - omg!

  4. It feels like I hadn't catched up with you and your blog in ages!! Hope you are fully recovered from man-flu by now. This interview was such a fun read and her collection/personality and everything are charming. Thank you for introducing her and doing this interview, I enjoyed it a lot.

  5. Hi Marlene, nice interview with Ingrid. I know her as she was my "enabler" in my passion for bags. She's got such an interesting personality.

    1. Hi Vicky, sorry for my late reply. We all need such enablers :) It's always a little dangerous checking out her beautiful bag collection. It makes me want to rush out and buy the bag!

  6. Love the interview!!
    S in NY

  7. Great interview, thank you. I love being introduced to new blogs. It almost feels like finding a really good book that you have to read cover to cover. Ingrid's blue collection is stunning!

  8. aww what a lovely interview!! she's amazing, love her blog :D

  9. I've got so much admiration for women who have children, keep a home running and work their butts off.

  10. Can I know which restaurant in Hong Kong served that amazing roast goose?

    1. Cecilia, I'm afraid I can't find that email with the list of recommendations. I'll ask Ingrid and will get back to you.

    2. Hello, I think it's Yung Kee in Central

    3. That name rings a bell, Erin. Thank you!

  11. omgosh her blue bag collection is AMAZING!! what i'd do for that blue chanel flap!! i seriously think i need a blue flap now hahaha

  12. What a schedule and I thought that the last few year's of my life had been busy. Good for her!

  13. I just discovered your blog, read through a ton of posts and really, really like it!!

    Your style is great!
    About this entry: I love that blue handbag collection, it`s stunning!!

  14. I started to follow Ingrids blog at about the same time I started reading yours - and you both quickly became two of my favorites :)
    She has an insane schedule, Ingrid - I probably wouldn't have survived even a month :-D
    Thank you for letting us get to know her a little better, Marlene.

  15. Outstanding interview! Ingrid is a class act all the way around. I love her style, her designer bags are gorgeous and so is her personality. I just subscribed, because she is definitely an inspiration. Thanks M for conducting this interview and connecting us all with a wonderful blogger. :)

  16. Oh god !! Such an amazing taste !!

  17. Oh WOW, to be her just for a day would be amazing!!! I can't believe she kept her composure for the photo with Mr. Lagerfeld himself, I would have looked like a spastic nut job! :) Great interview!!

  18. What a great interview!! And what an amazing life (although the up till 3am is crazy)! Love her blue bag collection and hearing her thoughts on blogging. Thanks for sharing!

    xo, sam

  19. I've read Ingrid's blog ever since she started blogging and it's always interesting to read her blogs specially since we come from the same country. I saw her last year in a wedding reception when I went back home, she's really slim! It is NOT FAIR :)

  20. Uh-oh...another blog to add to my reading list...which will, of course, lead to additions in my want list! :) Great interview. She's fabulous.



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