Some Really Great People We’ve Met This Year, and a Bit About Some Old Years, Too!
February (A New Smart Friend)
An interesting person that I have met this year, is a woman who virtually fell into my life in early February. She bought a few pieces of an item from our Etsy store. The items were buckles, slide buckles. She bought them because she had a very specific problem. She makes gorgeous leather bags. But she could not find slide buckles that worked correctly for a thicker strap. I had known for a very long time that this was a problem for many of our customers. I had known, instinctively, how to fix this dilemma. I’d known for ages. Well, I had known at least as long as I had been making bags myself. This creative endeavor that we, the artisans who make bags, purses, handbags, etc… well most people just call it sewing. Personally, I think the skill is a little more specific than sewing. Forgive me for saying so, I think this skill-set takes a healthy dose of confidence, technical knowledge, and a dash of engineering genius.
I have not asked this very intuitive woman for her permission to use her special gifts in an exemplary blog post, so I will say this: She has very much inspired me in so many ways. I’ll also say that I “Etsy-met” her. She does not have an Etsy store. She does have a beautiful website. I think that she will allow me to link to aforementioned beautiful site. Because she has, let me put it this way, healthy enough business acumen to allow a flaky-artist-type like me to link to it. But I will do at some point in the next few weeks, when she has offered to give me some help with it.
March (Is all about Anne)
If this wasn’t a way of karma, magical-thinking, or whatever philosophy to which you ascribe, to come full-circle, well let me tell you this: the aforementioned brilliant woman gave me the courage and the references (well, she DID like those darn buckles) to put yet another terrific person directly in my path. I guarantee that Anne Verberkmoes is an incredibly talented woman. She is a pattern designer, a VERY talented pattern designer. As you might imagine, she’s also an exceptional sew-er (check out her web site, take a look at her Etsy store.) You can bet that I did. She is braver than I will ever be. She has done all of this …created it…from whole cloth, so to speak. She took a chance on us, Bagmaker Supply to be a supplier for her new hardware kits.
Anne Does Some Very Brave Videos (WOW, it isn’t always easy to put yourself out there.)
I know many of our customers are novices. Basically I am too. It isn’t easy to put yourself “out there.” Anne does this with a grace and ease that belies the fact that English is not her first language. Anne has done some of the neatest things, which make me know that next week we need to include an in-depth interview. You will not believe her cool adventures.
Kaleidoscope Bag, Anne’s Great New Release
She has the greatest new bags, which use the weirdest , (and in my opinion) the neatest piece of non-hardware in her latest release. If you cannot guess what that is, you’ll have to look no further than the materials list for her beautiful new release. Anne came into my life in March. My heritage is Irish-American, so you can imagine my delight that the stars aligned to send me Anne at the perfect time. It was a perfect piece of luck that sent me Anne. Unfortunate incidents precluded me from being there 100% for her (I had until Easter to gather all magical pieces and beautiful handbag parts for the gorgeous new release). I blew my deadline. In her gracious way, Anne forgave all. Please allow me to be the last place to showcase Anne’s new pattern(s) It’s the greatest idea, a two-for-one pattern. There is a version for the sewing expert, and there is a novice version that uses lots of hardware in lieu of super-duper sewing skills! It is the amazing Kaleidoscope bag: https://www.craftsy.com/sewing/patterns/kaleidoscope/491400
A Very Small (Incomplete Photo,) of Some VERY Beautiful Hardware
Please know, my dear customers, THIS IS NOT QUITE THE KIT FOR THE KALEIDOSCOPE BAG…
Our hardware kit (the novice version) Anne calls this version “Bring on the Hardware.” She knows a great deal about hardware. That made me laugh. And as a seller of hardware it made me happy! The quality of this hardware is excellent. We know good hardware. Anne most certainly does! That is why we (Bagmaker Supply) is honored to be Anne’s choice. We are great choice, we always try to provide the best. We believe in Anne even more than she believes in herself. ALL OF OUR HARDWARE IS EXCELLENT! But we knew this needed to be a little bit nicer. The picture only shows a portion of the goodies in the beginner version. It is a teaser. It’s professional quality and shiny and beautiful. This picture will be replaced soon with a lovely close-up picture.
You needn’t look far to find Anne. She is all over the place. Of course she also has an Etsy presence. This is her Etsy logo, (which I love:) Underneath the logo you will find all of the places that you will find Anne :
Website : http://www.serialbagmakers.com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/serialbagmakers
April (Enter, the Calendar Girl)
This month has ALWAYS been a favorite of mine. Although I met this person in a November long ago. It was so long ago that it was six days before my 31st birthday. A couple of years later…specifically, in April of 1997 we decided to “collaborate” permanently. The whole day, that April I was having but one thought: “I AM SO OLD!” An aside, my son is older than I was in that April, in 1994. Yikes, time flies. So do I. I am always running around Chicago with this man. My exceptional and crazy-smart husband is George. He is a tech-whiz. I am not. He is a linear thinker, oh boy do I wish I had that gift. The funniest thing about our meet-cute (well, it kind of was!) is that I was running around in Chicago’s hippest hipster enclave, Wicker Park. It was an almost-cold November night, I ran into a copy shop that was absolutely open 24 hours (only in Chicago, probably only in the mid-90s) I was a big-idea girl. I have a few gifts, I paint, sew, and mostly I always have some goofy scheme. My scheme-du-jour, of late ’94 was a great idea for a calendar. I have always had a passing interest in technology. Mostly my interest was in how some genius skill, that I couldn’t quite get the hang of, might improve some kooky art project. The art project involved at least 12 original drawings. I’d heard that a cool new “something” called “Windows ’95” could provide a tabula rasa. In other words, there was some neat application where I could basically print out a calendar, one with no pictures. I was so excited about my “Denise calendar.” If I had any feeble brains in my addled head, they certainly weren’t figuring out that silly Windows ’95. I looked around at the edgy staff…the spiky rainbow hair, tats, etc. Nothing was screaming out to me “I can help a stubborn artsy girl who is unable to master this uniquely helpful technology.” Then I saw him. I almost missed him. The neatly trimmed beard initially sent the wrong message to messy-artsy-girl. But luckily, I saw his really bad watch, black plastic, LED. It was a very 1994-watch. It was nerdy in a way that explained to me at a glace, “This man can sort out my calendar and so much more!” He has sorted every calendar year for me since. He is my forever-partner in our business, in my life, and in my heart. This past week was our 20th anniversary.
This is a very cool comic-book-ized drawing of us. It has such great meaning to George and me. The original, is a “selfie.” It’s the two of us, possibly dazed by bureaucracy, having spent the entire morning in Chicago’s Loop. We were at city hall getting a business license. We took the photo in a beautiful park outside the Art Institute. The name of our business? Bucktown Studio DBA Bagmaker Supply. It’s been working out a lot better than that calendar-thing.
Oh, and if you were wondering about January, well, it was really just January in Chicago. I will say this: It wasn’t as cold as you might expect. Hey, for Chicago, that is a most excellent start for the year . And in if you were were also wondering about this, I have just about got that Windows ’95 stuff down cold. Nah, who am I kidding?