Top tech start-up investors, BRW top 200 personalities, property developers and highly regarded venture capitalists are investing in a new luxury – custom design. As consumers continue to spend more on products that express their unique personality, Mon Purse, an Australian based ‘design- your-own’ handbags and leather goods brand, is capitalising on the trend.

In June 2016, Mon Purse secured AUD $3.1 million in a series A capital raise, previously completing an angel round in July 2015, and a small seed round that occurred in mid-2014 to kick- start the business.

The Leibovich brothers, Gabby & Hezi, of Catch of the Day Group join property developer Robert Magid, Jonathan Lui from Tank Stream Ventures/Airtasker (Airtasker has closed one of the biggest Australian start-up fundraising rounds of the year, securing $22 million in a round led by Seven West Media), Rolf Krecklenberg of oo.com and Macdoch Ventures as investors.

Working with in-house developers, Mon Purse created the 3D Bag Builder, a proprietary built front-end (HTML/JavaScript) implementing a vision of an intuitive way for customers to design their very own handbag. The bag builder uses 3D modelling software to render each bag in its fully customised form whilst the consumers select from a range of design options that include leather colour, texture, interior lining, premium hardware and monogramming finishes.

“From the customer side, the drive to be your own brand and an individual is propelling the customisation trend” comments Lana Hopkins, Founder and CEO of Mon Purse. “Increasingly, consumers are utilising social media channels to showcase the world their persona and brand. Mon Purse taps into that market. From a retailer perspective, custom design presents an ingenuous way to rectify the problem of holding inventory, making educated guesses, and getting caught up in the markdown and promotion cycle. We are no longer guessing what customers want, instead we allow them to tell us what it is they actually need. It’s a customer centric mentality.”

Mon Purse is the first handbag retailer in Australia to take the ‘design-your-own’ concept online and then in-store. Roaming iPads and design booths allow the customer to take the same online journey, but is powerfully combined with the ability to touch, feel and smell the quality of the European leather in-store, delivering an astounding conversion rate attributed to customer confidence in the Mon Purse product. The design tools are fully mobile responsive meaning that customers are able to design-their-own handbag in the palm of their hand.