They all have a story…
Researching, sampling and testing are all large parts of my job alongside the actual crafting of a product. Finding the right materials for each design is like a full time job all in its self. I am a one women business so every part of keeping this business alive is done by me, done with time and done with love. I live in an isolated place making the Internet my only source for fabrics, hardware, tools and all the other items a small hand-crafting business might need. I put a lot of attention and care from where my materials are sourced and strive to find the best quality. I have made mistakes in the past like when I ordered 30 yards of a fabric which I thought would be perfect for a bag only realizing it was not once it arrived and was not returnable. But over the years I have fine tuned my researching skills and made that mistake less and less. So with all this research and sampling a story unfolds for each of my products and the whereabouts from where each ingredient came from. Some more exciting then others.
Ex. My zippers are sourced from Switzerland and it took me about 2 years to finally figure out how to actually place an order with this particular company. I spent years trying to nail down how a small business could order from such a large high quality company and after many failed attempts of talking to the wrong sales rep. who would say I was not a big enough business I succeed. I talked to the right person and now my bags are made with them. I guess the lesson learned on that was never give up!
As for this particular bag pictured about the bright floral fabric used on the flap was purchased many moons ago while I staying in New York City for a month with my brother. I took a couple crafting classes at the TAC and immersed myself in the city living. Subway rides, big city farmer's markets, many yummy meals at restaurants who base their food off of countries I had never been too , and explored lots and lots of neighborhoods. It was a great experience and totally inspired me to take the risk and quit my day job way back then and go full time with Barnacle Bags. While on that trip I found Purl Soho (the all time best fabric shop I have been to yet) and purchased that soft and fluttery floral fabric used on the waxed canvas pouch. Yes, I could have found this fabric online but for me touching the fabric, looking at the real color was so special and something I rarely get to do. This fabric still reminds me of that memorable time in the big city.
I do not share these stories or tell the woes of finding the right materials very often. But making this pouch made me inspired to share a little bit more of this exciting and time consuming part of my business. I love it all!