But that all changed one random, ordinary day...
As I walked through those enormous double doors with a singular vision - "Get earrings, look at nothing else"- my perception of Charming Charlie began to shift. What I once considered just a store for cheap, trendy jewelry, I suddenly realized could be my vegan fashion salvation.
The whole premise of the store is to provide "cost effective" wears and that includes their extensive line of handbags. Translation, no leather or suede - no animals harmed! Woo hoo - purse heaven!!!
What was a mind blowing epiphany to me probably wouldn't impress the average consumer. Even the clerk wasn't sure how to take my excitement. But for someone who doesn't want to bear the burden of killing an animal in the name of fashion, Charming Charlie instantly became my candy store!
While I had spent about three months searching for a suitable vegan purse online, I snatched up two that I adored within five minutes!
I had been so busy hunting down vegan companies, that I overlooked the fact that cheap, typically means fake - fake suede and leather that is. The trick is to look for "man made" materials. This is an industry term for synthetic materials. And just as I suspected, every purse I picked up had the "man made" label!
Now don't think that cheap and/or fake has to look cheap and/or fake. We've come a long way and just like faux fur, it's nearly impossible to spot faux leather or suede when done right. So you can be fashionable and compassionate at the same time, so why not be?
I used to love leather - used to view it as a status symbol. But yet thought wearing fur was unacceptable. Then I watched the trailer for Earthlings. Those 2.5 minutes have been burned into my soul and have changed my life forever.
But, back to Charming Charlie, if you're looking for vegan handbags or shoes, check this place out. Just like everything in life, don't make assumptions. Always check your labels and when in doubt ask.
Check it out!