Artists and thinkers coming together to promote fine crafts, innovation, and honest sustainability.

The best and brightest artists and thinkers coming together to promote fine crafts, original thought, and honest sustainability.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Zip & Ruth does Leather! (Giveaway too!)

This is a super special post, as it is the first little chunk of a brand new undertaking. As some of you know, I have been working on a line of upcycled leather handbags. Though these are not ready to ship yet, I am giving my lovely readers a sneak peak.... with a bonus....

I am still in the fine-tuning stage, and there will be a small group of other styles on the way as well, but I need your help. I am looking for your input (since obviously you have the best taste out there). So, take a peek at the photos. Leave a comment with one of the following:
- Constructive suggestion for improvement
- Why you love them
- or, What feature(s) is a must-have on any bag you buy

***BONUS: Follow my blog and/or become a Facebook follower as well and I'll add an extra entry for you.

Don't forget to leave your contact info. Next Thursday, I will pick my favorite answer answer(s) and the winner(s) will win their choice of anything from my Etsy jewelry shop. Yes all those (s)'s mean that I may pick more than one. And no, you can't pick one of the bags as your prize, sorry:(. Feel free to enter as many times as you like.

The Basic Pouch 4" x 6"(ish)



The Everyday Bag 10"wide x 8"tall (ish)

Grey with navy and burgundy zippers

Black with red zippers

Forest green with lime and orange zippers

Mocha brown with navy and purple zippers

Thanks for your input everyone!


SNSpencer said...

OK, so I don't carry a purse... but as a man who has to constantly rifle through his wife's "bottomless pit for depositing everything that passes through her hands" I have a few suggestions. (I go through her purse upon her request to retreive stuff)

First, too many pockets are a pain. I get the attempt to organize but that only works if things are "placed" in a purse and not just dumped.

Second, in complete conflict with my first point. Have at least one small pocket for the cell phone on the inside. This is one piece of equipment that should be easily found when her friends are calling. I hate digging in her purse just knowing that the phone won't be found in time to answer the call... but I still try.

Third, as "unfashionable" as it may be. Is it possible to sew on a carabineer of some sort to the strap where it meets the main bag? This is for attachment of the car/house keys. Otherwise they inevitably end up somewhere in the abyss, taunting me with their jingle as I dig unsuccessfully in a hopeless treasure hunt.

Lastly, install some sort of contraption that irrupts into controlled flame to reduce the 6 months of wrinked receipts, gum wrappers, shopping lists, those stupid coffee cup sleeves and other worthless paper goods to ash. Of course leaving everything else unscathed... that would be great and would help me out alot.

Note: Please enter me to win a wonderful purse for my wife, she loves them. Disclaimer: Although the above text reflects negativly on my wife's purse maintenance practices, I love her endlessly for who she is. It would be wonderful to be lost searching inside a nice handmade portable depository for wifly things for a change.

Jef Spencer
SNSpencer at Yahoo dot com

Jenn said...

Any bag of any kind that is larger than a change purse must must must have compartments. At least one big enough for bills and coins (unlike the amazing Mrs. Refined Pallet, I keep my phone in my pocket, not my purse), and preferably a few others of varying sizes to keep things organized in a bigger bag. The receipt incinerator is optional, of course, but it is a good idea if you can fit it in without making the bag too unwieldy.

They look great!

Jenn who can be found at wildoates56 at medotcom

EDIT: When I went to post this via Google, being in Norway and on my son's computer, Google came up in Norwegian. I laughed!

mruna said...

OMG! I love the little pouches ..they are real cool like dyr inside out or something like that..:D
And the black one with the red zipper ... it seems to be smiling at me! love it!!!

mrunamistry at gmail dot com

Melissa said...

Oh wow, I really love the stitching on these purses, and the fact that they are from upcycled leather. The stitching makes them look "edgy" (literally because the zigzags have edges, and figuratively in the "cool, sorta badass" way too). And who doesn't love some eco-friendly products?

What I look for in a purse is pretty simple: it must have a full zip closure (I live in a city and refuse to get pickpocketed again, so I try to make it an uber-challenge for criminals to get inside my bag) and I prefer a strap length that allows for the bag to be comfortable under your armpit or longer.


Anonymous said...

A bag has to fit my Blackberry. I have this red clutch that I LOVE, but it won't close if my BB is inside. That makes me sad. Purses must hold phones!

Jessica said...

I love the rugged and simple designs, and I think they have a really hard edge to them. I would love to see a ribbon in a contrasting color, something bold like bright green or red. This would give a surprise and a softness to them!
ms.johnsonmahs at gmail dot com

Jodi Faye said...

My favorite feature in a purse is pockets! And it must have a place for me to access my phone quickly, hate when it gets lost in the bottom of the bag!

Jodi Faye said...

I love the structure of the bags with the scraps of leather! The colored zippers add the perfect touch of color and the stitching detail adds the perfect finishing touch, especially the unique zig zag that the everyday bag has near the zipper!

very married said...


I love the zig zags and the end of each zipper - it's a great little trademark that's uniquely you and adds to the charm of it being upcycled. I think though, it'd be even better if the zig zags were uniform to make it more obvious that they were intended and make it a more recognizable trademark.

very married said...


oh! also, i was thinking that it'd be cool if the pouches also came with an option to add a strap. they'd make a great wristlet!

Mer said...

I love the exposed stitching! thanks for the opportunity! Meredith dot Targarona at Gmail dot com

Amber said...

I really like the vintage, deconstructed look. For any wallet, I absolutely must have placed to put credit cards.

I like the earthy tones you are using so far.

As for bags, I hate across the body bags and I love bags that have a little more shape to them. Right now, yours are kind of flat and rectangular - which is cute, but not my favorite style. If you tried doing a hobo style, that would be really neat!

Thank you for the giveaway :)

Celeste said...

I really love the jagged/imperfect stitching! Adds so much character ... little things like that: I love. (:

arteriole said...

when I shop for a new bag, I use my fingers! I can't resist a bag with a "baby-bottom soft" feel to my fingertips. so luxurious!

CraftyGiveaways said...

my must have features for a bag are pockets (inside or outside) and a strap

Tessa said...

These are beautiful! I love bags that have outside pockets where I can slip my cell phone and keys so I never lose them!

Katie said...

my favorite feature is a cute lining, and hidden pockets.

AmbreRose said...

What cute purses, I love the edgy look to them and the colors that are together. I would have to say that I am a fan of pockets. And at least one of the pockets inside the purse should have a zipper. There are somethings that I don't need people to see when I open my purse:) ambrerose(!at)aol(dot)com

Michelle said...

The thing that makes a bag for me is lots of pockets of diff sizes. I need everything to have its own place.

mandm_2002 at hotmail dot com

Jenny Bolech said...

These are really really cool! I love the forest green one. I love your choice of colors - esp. the contrasting zippers! They are so hip!

jenny.maurer84 at gmail dot com

Jenny Bolech said...

Also - I'm a blog follower and a facebook fan as Jenny Bolech :)

jenny.maurer84 at gmail dot com