The trouble has always been that, as beautiful as Mulberry’s bags are, their prices are less appealing to the average student. On countless occasions I’ve gone to their outlet shop at Bicester Shopping Village with high hopes of finding The One (not that I had any particular One in mind) at an affordable price, but each and every time I left disappointed and empty-handed. They never had any particularly amazing bags on offer, and the reductions were equally uninspiring most of the time. On numerous occasions I considered buying one of their teeny bags as a way of having just a little piece of such a beautiful brand (as that’s all I could afford) but I never did, as what I really wanted was an It bag. A statement bag. Something that I would use again and again but would last me a lifetime.
Mum and I had known about the Mulberry factory store in Somerset(Shepton Mallet, to be precise) for some time, but had never actually been until yesterday. And sweet Jesus am I glad we made the trip. The name “factory shop” is somewhat deceiving. I was picturing a little room on the edge of an actual factory, but in reality, the “factory shop” is so much more. In a beautiful old building on the edge of Kilver Court outlet village, the store is huge: it has its own café and loos, not to mention several rooms full to the brim with beautiful, gorgeous Mulberry.
Naturally, I went head first for the bags on entering, and was very impressed. There was a great selection of bags on offer, with a range of reductions. I think the best I saw was a red Oversized Alexa reduced from £2553 to £638, which is bloody incredible if you ask me. I went into the shop thinking, “Maybe I’ll get a keyring or something.” Anyone who’s been following my tweets or Instagram over the past couple of days will know that I bought a lot more than a keyring. Yes, I am the extremely proud owner of this beauty – an Oversized Pink Champagne Mulberry Alexa Satchel:
And I love it with all my heart. Not only was it at a fantastic reduction already, I also got a 10% student discount because I have an NUS card – how awesome is that!? 10% makes a big difference on Mulberry prices, I tell ya. I just knew when I saw it. Beautiful, classic shape; great size; more unusual colour (come on… everyone has it in tan) that will still go with everything. IT’S PERFECT. I AM SO HAPPY. MY LIFE IS COMPLETE. OK, maybe that was a bit far, but you get my drift.
Having worked hard at two part-time jobs around my degree and saved up all year, I had the money in the bank, so just thought “Why not?” Usually I fritter away my money on a £20 pair of trousers here or £9 necklace there (which, being from somewhere like Primark, obviously don’t last), but I think it’s actually much better to make a one off, special, more expensive purchase. And I am so glad I did. I don’t have one smidge of shopping guilt. Honestly!
Anyhoo, back to the Mulberry store. It’s a delightfully pleasant shopping environment, all the staff were ridiculously helpful and friendly, and they have a great selection on offer: I’m talking bags, jewellery, shoes, clothes, keyrings… you name it! If I hadn’t been so smitten with my bag (or if I was richer) I may very well have purchased more – a cute little skirt reduced from £250 to just £50, perhaps. The shop assistant also bagged up my bag in a beautiful dust bag and then another, erm, bag, for me to carry round all day. Yes, you know those women you see walking round the streets with Mulberry shopping bags, and you think “Ooh, she’s just bought something from Mulberry”? Well, I was one of them. And it felt gooood.