“Where did you get your amazing fabric?” Although I can’t answer that question (trade secret, you know), I am always delighted by the fact that others love these fabrics as much as I do. When I began crafting my handbags I followed the advice of a sculptor friend of mine. He said: “Let the fabric tell you what it wants to be.”
I began with samples, using only my very favorite high-end woven jacquard fabrics. Yes, the kind used in interior design. Often people call them upholstery fabrics, but oh, they are so much more. Rich in flavor, they are designed to hold up to a lot of use and abuse and their woven patterns are works of art. I was smitten, over the top in love with the look and feel of these beautiful fabrics.
However, if I wanted to spend my time creating with them, I needed to make a business out of my creations. And that is where my journey began. After inheriting my Mom’s sewing machine and armed with this innate passion for fabric, I began handcrafting my bags. I sculpted them into shoulder bags, handbags and zipper pouches.
Inspired by a story in the book by Janet Luhrs, “The Simple Living Guide”, which described a commercial fisherman turned full-time photographer who had success selling his photos of fish at art shows across the country, I headed for Pike Place Market. That was 11 years ago. Since then, my craft has continued to evolve as has my business. I have never stopped listening to the fabric about what it wants to be and it has never let me down.
My customer also tells me what my satchels want to be. They decide how they will use these satchels and love hearing them tell me their many uses for them. Here is one customer who uses her satchel to hold her knitting so that she can knit on the go.
Last holiday season as I flew to New York to join my family for the holidays, my heart was warmed thinking of all the people who would be opening one of my Sandra’s Satchels. I feel so grateful that they too are a part of the fabric of my life.
Sandra Kevin, Sandra’s Satchels