Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Bella Bag Belly Up at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta

Luxury handbag and accessory consignment retailer Bella Bag has closed its boutique along Peachtree Road at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta.  The store, referred to as the company's "flagship," opened in the troubled mixed-use development in late 2014, having previously been located on Miami Circle.  Bella Bag founder Cassandra Connors started the business in 2005 before opening the Miami Circle showroom in 2012.
Cassandra Connors with a Chanel Handbag - Photo courtesy of CatMax Photography 

According to public records, Connors filed for chapter 11bankruptcy this past May citing assets between $0 and $50,000 and liabilities between $1,000,001 and $10 million.

In an interview with Simply Buckhead shortly after opening in Buckhead Atlanta, Connors said of her business's beginning "I was basically a college student whose shopping habit incurred quite a bit of debt."
It seems now that perhaps her old way returned [or never left] and she owes a lot of people a lot of money.

Among Bella Bags largest creditors are Connors' estranged husband Jay Froehling who was owed $1,000,000 related to what the filing refers to as "Inventory."  Connors herself, is also listed personally as a creditor, owed $287,000 in what the filing refers to as "trade debt."

Capital One was owed $67,000 in "trade debt" while Morgan Stanley was owed $265,000 in "inventory."  Online retailer Rue La La was also listed as a creditor, owed  $23,000 in "trade debt."  

$66,000 was owed in "unpaid rent" to CPT/Forum AEW aka The Forum on Peachtree Parkway, where Bella Bag opened April of 2017, and according to local sources, was in business for less than a year.  

Surprisingly, a creditor owed one of the least amounts of money was OMB Buckhead Lender, LLC (then owner of The Shops Buckhead Atlanta), owed $2,500 in "rent."  


There is also that interesting distinction noted of "rent" owed at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta and "unpaid rent" owed at The Forum on Peachtree.  

One would think Peachtree Road facing storefronts in the project would have been expensive, but Bella Bag, like others in the complex, was likely on percentage rent (rent as a percent of sales) and it was therefore affordable.  The store was also robbed at least once, mid-day, and perhaps as a result, Connors was able to negotiate even better lease terms.  


Sac de Lux, a business similar to Bella Bag, now occupies Bella Bag's former space at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta.  Owners Nikki Hightower and Shanice Gaither have reportedly been in business since 2014, originally on Miami Circle, and assumed the former Bella Bag space last month. 


Sac de Lux, unlike Bella Bag, offers more than just bags and wallets, with shoes, too, for both men and women, as well as a sprinkling of jewelry and accessories.  

There is surely still room in the market for brick & mortar luxury consignment stores, but online re-sellers such as The RealReal and StockX, among others, have made buying gently used luxury goods easier than ever from the comfort of your own home.   

Did you ever shop Bella Bag?  Are you surprised that Bella Bag had liquidity issues?  If you buy used, where do you prefer to shop for luxury goods?

Please share your thoughts below.  

25 comments:

Amy said...

she did not close, she sold the business to Sac Deluxe who is the same concept for the most part.

Anonymous said...

that explains:

Surprisingly, a creditor owed one of the least amounts of money was OMB Buckhead Lender, LLC (then owner of The Shops Buckhead Atlanta), owed $2,500 in "rent."

Imandy said...

If she sold the assets of the business after claiming in bankruptcy there were no assets she will be going to prison soon

Anonymous said...

Actually, she is going around town bragging that she owns half of Sac Deluxe in her assistant's name that lives in Hawaii to hide from her husband. The article forgot to include the 13 people and counting that she hasn't paid for thier consigned bags.

Anonymous said...

I'm one of the consigners trying to get my bag back! Any one know how?

Unknown said...

I'm also a consignor trying to get my bag back. If anyone knows how, please let me know!

Anonymous said...

I'm also a current consignor trying to get my money back. If anyone has any info on how to get it back, please let me know!

Cathy said...

Im the writer of the comment two above you and I’m trying to get my bag or $
Send me an email
ctbarrows@gmail.com

Cathy said...

Im the writer of the comment above you and I’m trying to get my bag or $
Send me an email
ctbarrows@gmail.com

Cathy said...

I'm a consigner trying to get my bag back email me ctbarrows@gmail.com lets compare notes!

Chrisie Hamilton said...

Hi Cathy! I just sent you an email about this. We’re you able to get a resolution on this? I have a YSL bag at Bella Bag. That’s 2500 bucks.

Chrisie Hamilton said...

Hi Cathy and others trying to get resolution on your bags. Did anything come of this? I also had a bag with Bella. Thank you!

JelinBel said...

I am also trying to get my bag back. Can you tell us how? I have reached out with no response...

Anonymous said...

Wow, I worked for her some time ago and she is a nasty person and an unethical pig. I hope I dont see her anywhere in public. She is despicable.

Anonymous said...

The owner of Bella Bag called me bottom heavy. She judged the woman I was, and then stole from my Papi. I hate to see anyone owe money, but this lady is a pompous Trainwreck.

Anonymous said...

Just another person to this list that cannot get their bag back. What happened to the inventory that she had ?? Did she sell it to the new owner, and if so, this is illegal, as she didn't own the inventory-- So why can't we get it back ????

Unknown said...

I did not realize they closed. I would LOVE to know if I can somehow get money back for $700 gift card. IF anyone has any information-please reply! THANK YOU!

Anonymous said...

Here's her latest 'business venture.' Those of you trying to get your bags back may be able to contact her this way. https://www.rosegardenjewelry.com/ or try reaching out to her instagram @cssndracnnrs

Chrisie Hamilton said...

In April I posted a negative comment regarding my consignment with Bella Bag. At the time I did not have any background information, and I was reacting to comments on the blog etc. Since that time, I worked with Cassandra Connors who went above and beyond to remediate the situation despite the fact that the unfortunate circumstances of BB’s closing were outside of her control. She’s an outstanding professional, amazing at what she does and I will certainly continue to do business with her! Thank you for everything Cassandra! Thank you again!

Cathy said...

I’d appreciate any help with my situation

Unknown said...

So wait, you all sent your bags in? Sounds like you all are asking for your bags back? How does she have your bags? I’m just confused? Can someone clear this up for me?

CMR said...

I am posting as a satisfied customer and have nothing but good things to say for Cassandra. This is an unfortunate situation for most of you but be sure you know all the facts before pushing “send”. My Louis Vuitton hard suitcase was sold at a very fair price for both the buyer, seller and shop owner. This is not always easy to do. I was paid promptly and Cassandra even negotiated an extra small amount in my favor upon request. She always communicated with me which I appreciated especially since I am a distance away in Savannah. I have nothing but good things to say about her personally and professionally. Remember that sometimes things don’t always go as planned in life and it takes a lot of savvy to open a business like this at an early time in your career. Let’s give her the benefit of doubt as there are always two sides to every story. I do realize this is easy for me to write since I have not experienced a problem but trust me, I have had my share of loss in the past that was not able to be recovered and I had to move on. Everybody should be given the opportunity to make things right if it is within their power but should not be defamed.
Christine Rives

Anonymous said...

She recreated the same company under a different name. This woman is not to be trusted. I still do not have my bag.

tifp said...

She reopened the business under The Rose Garden www.rsgrdn.com and @thersgrdn on IG and her personal account is @cssndracnnrs and is still scamming people.

Anonymous said...

Cassandra Connors is a LIAR and SCAMMER. Do not do business with this horrible person.

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