Hello! Thanks for stopping by and taking a peek into my life and what inspires me.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

My Mystery Filofax!!!

So. Yesterday I had the genius idea to go on a treasure hunt. Mostly in thanks to Kent From Oz's newest YouTube video about Filofax finds at thrift or second hand shops. I thought hey!  It's a beautiful day for a nice walk and some treasure hunting. I didn't have too high of hopes but hey, you never know!  And really we could use the exercise right?!

So my little one and I started off on our trek. Right away at our first stop we had a find!!!  We happened across a used but well loved Franklin Covey 365 in red. It had some wear. But not so much that I didn't think the right person would love to give it a second life.

Then we found two amazingly chic unbranded  black binders that are straight out of the 80's!  Giant cell phone pockets and all. Huge wallet sections at the back.  They are BEASTS!  Both seem to have never been used and had their inserts.

We then went to another shop and nothing. Then a third. And that's where this beauty was!!!

I knew I had to grab it. What was it even doing here in this thrift store bin of miscellania???  It was gorgeous and purple. Purple!  Instantly I knew it was leather, soft and supple.  It smelled wonderful, rich. I quickly popped the clasp to behind gold hardware and gold rings.

Sigh. I snatched it up quick looking about me for fear that someone would recognize it for the treasure it was and steal it away from my tight grasp!!!  I clutched it to me and made way for the cashier, keeping an eye out for possible thieves and half expecting the cashier to tell me it was there by mistake and wrench it away!

When we made it home safe without anyone running and shouting after me I sat down and really looked at it. The leather is comparable to a Finsbury I would say. Squishy with a slight pebbled grain. The color is a sort of bluish royal purple. It smelled divine which is especially amazing because when I popped that clasp again I realized that the diary inserts were from 1997! This 17 year old binder looked as new as it did it's first day and still smelled of lovely leather. How is that even possible?!  Had it been resting in a time capsule all these years, untouched?  Or perhaps in a basement somewhere resting in it's box?  Or maybe even in a vault?

So I sat down to start my research. And then here is where the mystery really begins. This binder doesn't exist. There isn't a whisper or a picture of it anywhere online as far as I can tell. I spent a good six? hours pouring through photos and articles. I started with the company who made it. Minobossi. In Italy.

 They only now make very expensive leather handbags. I couldn't find any information regarding the company at one time making planners.  Then I noticed that the binder had a gold embossed logo that said The Desert Inn. So I researched it and found out that the Desert Inn was a Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The plot thickens. It opened in April of 1950 and in its hay day was a very popular spot for Hollywood royalty. The likes of Liberace. Frank Sinatra. Dean Martin. Cher. Tina Turner and Barry Manilow all performed there. At one point in the late sixties Howard Hughes lived in and owned it!!!

At the time of the date in the binder. 1997. The hotel had just gone through a 200 million dollar renovation. Now the guess work begins. I can only figure out that this binder must have been some sort of custom order by the Desert Inn through Minobossi. Judging from the material and craftsmanship I can only surmise that perhaps it was made in a very small run for either VIP's of the Casino or High Rollers or possibly the CEO's? Who knows!  For all I know a mob boss was running the joint and it was a gift to one of his many girlfriends!!!  Also the hotel had been featured in quite a few movies but none lined up specifically with the time frame and I patiently searched through screen shots and came up empty handed.  I thought perhaps it could maybe have been a movie prop!  But alas it seems it was not.

For now my search for more info on this amazing and mystery binder is at a stand still. I have emailed the company who made it but no response yet. And i'm not entirely sure if they would even have any info on this enigma 17 years later. But my fingers are crossed!!!

P.S.!!!  The wonderful Janet over at This Bug's Life has joined the hunt with me!  So check out her blog for more photos and info!

I hope this looooong post didn't bore you to tears!!!  I love a good mystery. And I love research. I think this binder and I are meant to be. So stay tuned!!!  Hopefully this isn't the end if the line for my mystery binder!!! 



  1. Maybe a Christmas 1996 gift from the hotel?

  2. Ooooo perhaps? I am just flummoxed by the fact that I can't find s single mention or picture of this!

  3. That was a great read - the beauty of planners is that they are still very usable and even look better second-hand. Thanks.KfO

    1. Thanks so much Kent! If not for you none of this tale would have happened sooo... Thanks for the adventure!

  4. You are so A-W-E-SOME, Sara Jean!

    The Desert Inn must have liked Minobossi. I found a different specialty that they had created for them as well.

    Not as nice as your treasure, but pretty cool.

    See below.... ;-) Randy



    1. Thanks Randy!!! I happened across this one too and it also seems to be some what of an enigma! I mean 1997 wasn't thaaaaaat long ago you'd think someone would have posted SOMETHING on the internet about it! Sheesh, LOL

  5. awesome post sara jean, what fantastic finds!! you've inspired me to scour our local thrift stores…fun, fun,fun!!! :-)