Q & A – What’s IN Renee’s handbag?

Several months ago Rural Living delved into the handbag of Kylie Bosanac from Nick Bosanac Builders.

At the time, she mentioned her sister was a true ‘bagaholic’ and we should be talking to her.

Well, this month we did and discovered that Renee Fraser-Smith could easily have become Christian Dior’s best friend!

Born and bred in Franklin, Renee and husband Clayton live in Pukekohe, in a 1930’s ‘do-up’ which they share with two cats and multiple fish.

“I’ve been a town planner for nearly 10 years and have a regular 40-hour plus job with CivilPlan Consultants,” Renee says. “But my other “job”, is accounts lady for Pit Stop Pukekohe which my husband and I own, and which he manages full time.

“I don’t have a lot of spare time as I’m either at work, at the gym or out running.  But, I do love to shop, catch up with friends and family, and I love pamper time – what would I do without those lovely Franklin ladies who keep the grey from my hair, make my nails beautiful and ensure my skin is the best it can be!”

Renee says she tends to remain close to home at weekends but, when out and about, her handbag is always nearby.

And with that comment we had to ask:

What’s in your handbag – Renee?
Anytime someone asks me that I get a little feeling of dread…what is actually in my handbag? Half the time I have no idea! It’s like the bag from Mary Poppins, an endless supply of stuff. But I swear I need, like, 99.9% of it, so here goes:

Essentials – wallet (oversized and most times it barely shuts), keys, makeup bag, deodorant, lip balm, work swipe card, emergency nut/protein bar, headphones/armband, sunnies, cold & flu remedies, business cards (mine, and husband’s), giant highlighter, nail file, and more.

Non Essentials – random paperwork such as handouts from meetings, countless stray receipts, extra jewellery and multiple pens uplifted from the bank. You will note my phone is not on this list. That is because 95% of the time, it’s either charging on my desk/in my car, in my hand or I’m using it.

Do you have a favourite style/brand?
I have a few handbags in a variety of colours and styles, but because I like my handbag to match my outfit, I prefer something black, with a bit of bling. My ideal would be to have a bag liner containing all my stuff so it could easily transfer to another bag when switching to match outfits.

Do you prefer a small or large bag?
My preferred handbag size is medium to large. But the trick to bag size is: when buying a new one, to make sure my other handbag will fit inside. Then, when I arrive home my husband won’t realise I’ve bought yet another bag – coming home with two handbags is a dead giveaway!

What items are likely to be found in your bag at any one time?
All of the above. Items that come in and out depend on meetings and can include, scale ruler, post it notes, mini stapler, GST/other account documents (for my ‘other job’ as an accounts lady), water bottle, and, even a pair of flat shoes.

What can’t you leave home without having in your bag?
Having to fight traffic every day to get to work makes me really picky about what’s worth ‘going back’ for. The only things I will go back for is my wallet and phone. Everything else can be replaced easily if I need it throughout the day.

What’s in there you don’t really need? 
Ideally I need everything.

What’s the most embarrassing/funny thing to fall out of your bag? 
Don’t most women have the same embarrassing story here? Classic is reaching in and mistaking the shape of my lip balm for something else….

An afterthought!
I have been called the Bag Lady, and Clayton frequently asks me if I’m going on a trip. Not only do I bring my handbag to work, but also my tablet bag, AND a separate bag for extra shoes (flats or heels).

The bag situation gets worse on gym days. Today, my car boot has 2x gym bags. So, yes, technically I left the house this morning with five bags!