Once upon a time, oh say about 8 years ago, I decided I wanted to make handbags and tote bags.Long story short I then began to search out fabrics everywhere I went and found a place on line where I could order various hardware and various types of handles (bamboo, funky plastic etc). I also found another place on line to buy real leather shoulder straps in sets of 2 that the site had dyed in various colors so of course I got all the colors. I had no website and no Etsy. I sold by word of mouth I did pretty well but didn't get rich from them either. I'd bead some of the fabric on the front on some of the hand bags and lined many in silk dupioni. I know I've mentioned those on my blog before. Well I finally realized it wasn't filling my creative wellspring as I thought it might. So after about 2 years I decided to just stop. The last handbag I had I gave to my Mom who was very proud to tell people when asked "my daughter made this". I have 2 totes left, one I made for myself to use for travel (pink striped) and the other was left over (black and tan). During the time I had the business I took several custom orders and you know how that goes... someone wants a certain this or that or color or theme and whatnot, another wants a pocket here and not there and another may want even a theme....it just got tiresome and really overwhelming.. Looking back I should have done things a bit differently and definitely should have done some ARTED UP totes as well...but you know what they say about hindsight. I don't regret doing them though, it was a good learning experience. I applaud all those who continually, and all alone, create and make beautiful bags by the 100s - it's a huge job.
Here are those totes:
The shoulder handles are leather. This side has 2 pockets, the one with the button has a magnetic snap.
The other side has two pockets, the larger one sized for magazines. There are also pockets on either end of the tote that fit a bottle of water or an umbrella or whatever.
Inside the tote it is lined and over that there is a clear vinyl on two sides. There are two large interior pockets and a smaller one on the other side along with a pocket that is quite unusual. The clear vinyl pocket you see with the zipper is actually a package where pillow cases came in. It is very sturdy and the zipper keeps things from falling out. There is a pocket behind that pocket as well.
As you can see the exterior pocket will hold 2, maybe even 3 magazines... or a favorite book and a magazine.
Here that secondary pocket fits an art journal perfectly.
I originally designed this tote for travel but I forget one key component when it was completely finished. IF you carry this on a plane it has to go underneath the seat in front of you it has to lay on its side.........WELL as you can see there is no zipper across the bag to close off the contents or even a large flap over the top. This means you have to sit it just right and put your feet in front of it until you're up in the air and can take it out and stand it up. Thus that was a real design flaw. ALTHOUGH I am working on a remedy by possibly making and adding a flap over the middle now.
But aside from that I think I am going to ART this one up a bit..........the fabric is for outdoors, the kind you'd use on cushions so it wipes up easy. I am not exactly sure how I'm going to do this yet....maybe gesso over all the exterior pockets and paint right on the surface OR maybe just printing some original art on to fabric and sewing it on the pockets. I could spray it afterward with a a sealer either way.
This tote opens up wide and it can handle lots of art supplies and various other items I may want to take on a long or short trip. I just think it needs a bit of WOW. Don't you?
What do you see on the outside of this bag when you think "arted up"?
You see folks, this is one of those "things" that pops up when I am doing other things......I get driven to distraction. After that purge I did in my closet I've been mulling around ideas.
The black and tan tote below is the other tote I had left over, this one is like some of those I sold. Of those I sold one was done for someone in black and leopard print, another in lighter colors and one was ordered as a diaper bag in purples so I added more interior pockets and changing pad to that one. All had the leather shoulder handles. I did use this one to carry my laptop once.
Front side has a pocket with flap and magnetic snap plus an additional pocket.
There are no pockets on the ends like the other tote.
The shoulder handles are leather.
Second side has the magazine size pocket and a smaller one that will fit a water bottle.
The interior is good quality vinyl with a large pocket (fits the laptop) and a side pocket for extra cords etc plus an end pocket (trimmed in red) for a cell phone.
So there you have it..........my once upon a time handbag venture.
Did you ever start something that in the end just didn't stimulate you as you thought it would?
Here's another question for you:
If money was no object and you could have a brick and mortar store of your own what would it look like and what would you sell? Would it be all your own art? A group of artists? A fabric store? A shoe store? Accessories? Bookstore? A combination of things? What location would be your ideal?
I will show photos after I revamp the pink striped tote.....knowing me while I NEED to be getting things done for an update to my sad little shop.....I'll stop and do the unnecessary. Why do we roll like that I wonder!? :) :(
Have a wonderful weekend darling bloggers