Lina and Vi: November 2017

Monday, November 27, 2017

Announcing Lina and Vi + Made Metro Collective

I've been busy these past few weeks working on large burlap pillow order for a brand new pop-up shop in downtown Dearborn, Michigan - Made Metro Collective! This new holiday shop has a variety of gifts made by local makers and businesses, just in time for the holiday season! I'm thrilled to have Lina and Vi burlap pillows included in this new shop, and I am excited for this endeavor to be located in the downtown Dearborn area. I grew up in Dearborn Heights and spent time downtown Dearborn, so I am even more thankful to be supporting this area. It is all about small business supporting small business, and in my mind, that is what makes a downtown community thrive. If you are local to the southeast Michigan area, please stop on by Made Metro Collective to see what they have in store! They will be open until the end of January. Visit their website here for more details on location and hours.

With the Thanksgiving holiday over, I am now in full swing working through holiday Etsy orders. Small business Saturday was a success, and I hope that you were able to support a local shop or handmade business while you were picking out gifts for your loved ones this year. I am trying to be more conscious of what and where I am purchasing my gifts. While I am still "shopping big" (if you will), I have selected a few gifts from handmade and small business shops this year. Even if it's one or two gifts or even a gift to supplement something larger, it is worth it to me to support this community.

I announced on our Facebook page today that our burlap tote bags are on clearance! Prices are reduced plus there is a holiday sale on everything in our Etsy shop now through December 1st! Some of my most cherished burlap tote bag designs are ready to ship, and the prices are fantastic. If you were considering a coffee burlap sack purse or tote bag for you or someone you know, grab it this week while you can combine the clearance prices with the holiday sale. I'm hoping to start the new year focusing the Lina and Vi Etsy shop solely on our burlap pillows and pouches.

Lastly, I am focused on spending this last week at home with my baby before I head back to my full time job next week. Time is flying, she is growing, and we will be adjusting to changes ahead. I'm looking forward to sharing more with you in the coming weeks, but for now, stay tuned to our Facebook page for more frequent updates.

Enjoy your week and happy holidays!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Burlap Coffee Sack Bag Collection Round Up

Happy Monday! If you read our last post, you will know now that I am discontinuing our burlap bags for the time being to focus only on creating burlap pouches and pillows. Since this will be the final collection of burlap bags, I wanted to share a round up of the designs we have available today for purchase in our Etsy shop. These bags are some of the best designs I made in the Grounds collection, and I am proud to say that I handmade these during the last year. So let's jump into these five unique burlap coffee bags!

1. Gold and Navy Blue Branch Burlap Zipper Clutch

This medium-sized clutch is amazing. I know I am bias since I made it, but I wanted it to be practical. I use clutches sparingly and it's mostly because I often find that they are impractical. They are too small or don't stay closed. I wanted to solve these problems with the design of this clutch by making it large enough to fit the essentials with room to expand if needed, which is what the flap top allows. The zipper keeps everything secured inside the bag, and the magnetic snap keeps the flap top down as needed. The patterned blue and gold cotton fabric is one of the most beautiful fabric designs I have worked with yet.

2. Swiss Water Burlap Yoga Mat Bag

This yoga mat bag is simple yet interesting. First of all, using an upcycled coffee burlap sack to tote your yoga mat is pretty unique. To add to it, the Swiss Water blue imprint is a clean and modern logo that is the focus of the entire bag. It's a fresh take on a casual, utilitarian bag.

3. Blue Sound Crossbody Burlap Bag

This crossbody bag is one of my favorites because of the warm color palette and the handmade wooden button. I'm loving crossbody bags right now because it's one less thing to carry in my hands with all of the baby gear. This medium-sized crossbody bag has a colorful herringbone watercolor print flap top that secures shut. Your items are always within reach while on the go.

4. Oakland Burlap Tote Bag

This rectangular shoulder bag is all about the industrial text. With bold black text and a thick woven green stripe, this bag is designed to catch the eye. I chose a solid cream fabric on the interior with a slight pop of yellow at the bottom of the interior lining. This shape of bag is my favorite. With thick belting straps, this bag is made to withstand the wear and tear of everyday.

5. Pyramid Burlap Tote Bag

Finally our newest burlap tote bag is one of the most modern designs I have created for the Grounds collection. I selected the off-center simple green pyramid print to be the focus of the burlap on both the front and back of the bag. To keep the focus on that element, I lined the bag's bottom in a light beige faux leather trimmed with cream canvas. I opted for a solid, neutral lining to keep it fresh and clean. At the time when I made this bag, I didn't know that it would be the last burlap bag I would make for the collection. I'm proud that I'm ending with this bag as it really does showcase how far my designs and skills have come since my first burlap bag years ago.

You can find all of these for purchase now in our Etsy shop. I hope that you enjoyed this recap of our remaining handmade coffee sack burlap bags! If you have any questions about them, feel free to comment or leave a message in our Etsy shop.


Friday, November 3, 2017

Hard Decisions

A couple of weeks ago, I read a book that I've been eyeing for some time called Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. The book is a collection of stories about the author's choice to simplify her busy and often overcommitted life. The book continues to follow her journey to identify and reprioritize how she was using her time in order to align it to the things that meant the most to her.

The reason I am sharing this is that reading this book made me think more critically about where my current priorities are in my life and where I am spending my time. No, I am not about to say that I'm done sewing and closing up my Etsy shop.  In the last few months with the birth of my daughter, my personal life has significantly changed, and my priorities have shifted. What was once free time in the evening will now be dedicated to spending time with my daughter after the daily hustle of traffic, child care drop offs, and a day at the office. With my personal time at a much higher price now, I have decided to stop making burlap bags for the time being. This includes shoulder bags, totes, clutches, crossbody bags, and yoga mat bags. I will continue making burlap pouches and pillows.

I have a couple more weeks until I return to my full time job, and this period of my maternity leave has forced me to have a much slower pace in my life - a pace that I have come to appreciate honestly.  A newborn forces you to slow down, pay attention to small things, and change your expectations. I spoke about this in a prior post about how many common tasks, sewing or otherwise, now take me much longer to complete due to the constant stopping and starting and working around baby schedules. Sure, there are times when I miss the excitement of a busy day. While I think that I fought it for a while, I have now realized that I am happier when I commit myself to less and accomplish fewer, but more important tasks.

The burlap tote bags and purses are what started Lina and Vi and what convinced me to start an Etsy shop three years ago. While I love coming up with the burlap tote bag designs and challenging myself to make new styles, I cannot commit the time to it in this season of my life. Burlap tote bags take a lot of time to sketch, plan, cut, and sew, and the reality is that they are my least popular items. Selling products online is difficult, and selling articles of clothing is even more difficult. Pillows and pouches are more likely to be given as gifts than burlap tote bags, which are more personal to one's style. I love working with my partners, but my burlap bags are not easy to replicate and sell wholesale. And at the end of the day, my time is better spent elsewhere, with my daughter and with other sewing projects.

I will continue to sell the remaining burlap bags in the Lina and Vi Etsy shop until they are all sold, so if you are looking to snatch one before they are gone, stop by to shop around. I will continue to have burlap zipper pouches (large and small) and burlap pillows. I love to sew, and I want to be able to use my skill to continue to create these items and share them with others.

I hope that you continue to follow along with Lina and Vi, and I thank you for your continued support of my small handmade shop. As a reminder, I will be at a local pop-up shop on November 11th. If you are local, please email me or Facebook message me for the location in Northville.

Have a great weekend,