Long-time Columbia Heights resident Marge Glynn has two passions: purses and shopping. A thrifty shopper with an eye for a good deal, she has accumulated an amazing collection of gently-used (or in some cases, likely not used at all) dressy purses from thrift stores.
Her criterion? “They have to open from the top, usually with a snap top,” she said. Most of them are small and fancy, something a woman might carry for a formal occasion or night on the town; many are decorated with rhinestones, beads or spangles. Some have tapestry or needlepoint exteriors.
“She has so many that we started putting them into groups,” said her daughter, Cindy Glynn. “There is the Las Vegas collection, the Pretty in Pink collection, the Polka Dot collection.” In addition to the groupings on display on Glynn’s garage walls, she added, there are many more. “We’ve got boxes of them. There must be a couple hundred.”
She said her mother has always been interested in fashion, and has a knack for finding mint condition merchandise. Marge, who has lived in her house for 57 years, also favors unique designs on her purses.
She has one that–as it turns out–houses a paper doll family. Others include a photograph of New York City, a picture of a monkey and an umbrella, and the stitched outline of a cat. She also has Christmas purses and many miniatures, featuring stars from movies and cartoons: Marilyn Monroe, Cinderella.
Marge is quick to point out that she doesn’t acquire them with the intention to sell them or, in some cases, even use them.
“I just enjoy collecting purses,” she said.