We are 5!
Yes, that's right. The Handmaker's Bag is 5. It was 5 years ago today I opened up that little Etsy shop not having any idea where it would go. Two years after that I opened my Shopify site and a year after that I took this little side gig full time and never looked back. And I have to say it's been a journey of ups and downs. But mostly ups and I've loved every minute of it. Ok, well...maybe not EVERY minute. Like the time I had a kajillion orders for Outlander kits and my machine broke down. Or the time I had a deadline and my zippers came at the very last possible moment making me panic. And then there was the pandemic. But I admit, those are rare occurrences and thing usually go pretty well.
I had no idea where this little bag business would go 5 years ago or what it would become. It literally began because I saw a need that wasn't being filled. At least, not for myself and I would venture to say not for others too. I was in search of a project bag and just couldn't find one I liked. There were plenty out there but they just didn't have the features I was looking for. So I said to myself, "hey, you sew. Why don't you just make one?" And so, I did. I had no idea at the time that little bag would take me on this journey.
The bag I made then is not the same bag I make now. There have been many changes and improvements over the years. Even new styles. But two things I have always stuck to and the two things I think set my bags apart from everyone else. I originally set out to create a semi-structured bag that would stand up on its own. One that wasn't floppy or "sack like" but wasn't too hard either. That involved testing out different interfacings and layering materials until I found the right ones. And I have always designed and used my own patterns. With each new bag idea I sit down with pencil and graph paper and draw out what the bag will look like. I figure out what size I need to cut each piece of fabric, interfacing, etc. What interfacings will work best and what fabrics will work best. Is this a bag that will work with wovens or is it better for canvas? What hardware do I need. And then I graph out how to best incorporate the design with my other designs to get the best use of my fabric. There's a lot involved in the process of bringing you a new bag. But it's one of my favorite parts.
This little bag business has grown to include more than just bags. Over the last 5 years I've added handmade products that encompass and create the feeling of a comforting and cozy atmosphere and knitting experience. We have so much going on in our lives and so little time to spend on the things we enjoy, like knitting or crochet.
My goal for The Handmaker's Bag has always been to create products that are not only useful but beautiful and enjoyable. These last 5 years have been amazing and I feel so blessed to have taken this little business to where it is now. And I couldn't have done it without you.
Stay tuned because to celebrate I have something very special planned for you next week. Something I rarely do and it's only for my email subscribers. So if you're not subscribed to my email now would be the perfect time. You can find the sign up link on my home page in the banner bar at the top or scroll down to the bottom and enter your email where indicated.
Here's hoping for another 5 years. I'll see you in your inbox.