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In the world of vintage, you never know what you’re gonna get.

We spend a lot of time trolling the internet looking for “new” vintage bags to try in the shop. In fact, very few things are more exciting to us than finding a new supplier or a stockpile of what appear to be awesome bags perfect for a new Meatbagz design or two. The problem is, in the world of vintage bag shopping you also have to have a sense of adventure.

The description may sometimes be somewhat…lacking.

Dimensions? Maybe. If you’re really lucky.

The photo true to color? Probably. Hopefully. If it’s not too blurry to figure out what you’re even looking at.

Everything else?

Cross your fingers.

For example, we just got a batch of new bags we wanted to try out. They look so unassuming, don’t they? Well, that’s because we had to wash the blue ones, unissued Italian Air Force bags, approximately three times before they weren’t as stiff as a board. The cotton was coated in wax, you see. Would have been nice to know.

When they came out of the package? Sadness.

Now? Love.

They’re not all happy endings. When we ordered this bag we were picturing a cute little hip pouch type of thing. The reality is much, much larger. It could transport a number of small dogs. At once. The interior pockets also make it nearly impossible to screen print, which is  a slight problem. Our printing surface just got significantly smaller, now that we’re confined to the flap. Will we find a way to make it Meatbagz? Yes. But not with the designs we were planning, that’s all. In fact, we’ll probably have to come up with a new design just for this bag. Which is not quite what we were hoping for, to be honest.

Now this vintage French bag? Pretty cool. Love the hardware. Love the straps. Love the canvas.

Oh, and the interior is completely lined with leather, which was completely unexpected. Sturdy, yes, but we had no idea that’s what we were getting.

The inside of the flap is also stamped with tons of very cool vintagey numbers. Totally awesometown. Had no idea that would be there, but we’ll take it.

Oh, and did we mention that the entire thing REEKS of mothballs?

Because it does. And we’ve spent the last 3 weeks washing it, airing it out, and it is now sealed in a plastic bag with a metric ton of lavender (according to our internet sources that helps get rid of the smell) and our fingers crossed that that will take care of the problem.

The unexpected surprises come in all shapes and forms. We’ve gotten bags that were pretty much the exact opposite of what we thought we were ordering. We’ve gotten bags covered in mold and mildew. We’ve gotten bags with little tins, rags, and various military implements still inside the pockets (our favorite was the extra gas mask lenses in some of the old gas mask bags). And we’ve gotten bags that are so much more awesome than we ever could have expected we have to remind ourselves that they are meant for the shop, not for our own closets.

Working with vintage may not be as quick and easy as buying brand new, but come on now. The Meatbagz chicks are nothing if not up for a little adventure.

(But please-no more mothballs.)

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About meatbagz totes

Mackenzie is an award winning pie maker, a fast driver, and a screen printing mastermind. Kate is a designer, occasional neat freak, and tea drinking madwoman. They both believe in the power of good karma, air banding as a valid form of exercise, and that getting your hands dirty is a good way to keep your soul clean. Together they make up Team Meatbagz.

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