RSS Feed

Category Archives: the way we work

Here’s To Our (Little) Homies

Image

Even though this has always been a two broad operation, Meatbagz has never been just the two of us. The days in the kitchen (which morphed into the days at the workshop) may have been filled with tunes and laughter, but they were also filled with three of our littlest fans: our (littlest) kids.

As impossible as it is to believe, those little ones are headed to kindergarten in a week, and we’ll be left to our own devices in the Meatbagz workshop. No more peanut butter sandwich lunch breaks, no more Hot Wheels racing around Barbies, and no more battle royales over who’s turn it is to draw on the chalkboard. Instead, their days will be filled with real-life school and ours will be a lot calmer and a lot quieter (aside from the tunes and the laughter, that is).

So here’s to our little homies. While we’ll probably be a lot more productive while you’re off learning all there is to know, we will definitely be a little lonely without you. We’re sure we’ll get used to it, but know that your mamas will miss you. After all, you’ve been a part of the Meatbagz crew from the beginning, and who knows where we would have ended up without your sage advice? (Our favorite: “Don’t do more cows. Cows are dumb today.”)

We love you, kiddos. Now go out there, rock that kindergarten class, and we’ll have some peanut butter sandwiches ready to go for your October break!

Advertisements

PREPARING

We are busy, busy, busy getting ready for the Newport Folk Festival, folks! We’re printing, preparing, and making plans. We’ve got some new designs in the works, new bagz being put together, and darn it, we’re excited. We’re going to take a blogging break until after the festival (we’ll be back the 31st) but no worries-we’ll be updating the Meatbagz facebook page with pics, news, and our general exclamations of excitement, so be sure to check in regularly! See you in Newport, peeps-wish us luck!!!

The Good and The Bad

You know, it seems like now that we live in this virtual world of ours we should spend our days in constant amazement. We have the ability to meet new people, learn anything imaginable, and experience-even if it’s just virtually-the world as others see it. It can be-and, ideally, should be-an absolutely amazing thing.

And, for the most part, it is.

Through Meatbagz we’ve gotten to be far more socially outgoing than we would be/are in real life. Instead of a couple of broads in a small, upstate New York town (where everybody knows us-or at least thinks they do-already), we’ve gotten to be the gals from Meatbagz. We’re purveyors of cool bagz, designers of awesome accessories, and, even better, we get to get to know-again, even if it’s just virtually-some really amazing people. And honestly, that’s what makes our day even more than making a little money.

Over the last month or so we’ve heard from a few separate customers and folks we’ve featured on our Shout Outs who have been so absolutely lovely it’s made our day. One artist thanked us for featuring her work on the Shout Out by forwarding us a free printable product. Do you know how great that made us feel? Not just because of the freebie, because we never would have looked for or expected that, but because of the genuine and wonderful sentiment behind it. It made us grin from ear to ear that we could give this lovely woman a little of well deserved recognition, and it was so great to have a chance to get to know her a bit in our e-mail exchanges.

We had another woman who thanked us for featuring her and expressed gratitude because lately she had been feeling like Etsy, and the world of the handmade craft, had been becoming a negative influence in her life. For whatever reason, she fell into our view (and our Shout Out) at the exact right time, and she wanted to let us know how much she appreciated being appreciated. And we were so, so happy that we could fill that role for her.

We’ve met tons of other amazing people, too. Some of whom we’ve come to count as friends, even though we’ve never met in person. (Trust us, for a couple of gals from the country, that seems like a weird thing to say even if kids these days would think we’re nuts for even making a note of the difference.)

But with all of the positivity, we’ve also been exposed to some of the negatives as well. We had a potential customer contact us last week about purchasing a bag. They had been burned by a bad purchase with another seller, and things did not end well. Obviously we weren’t a part of the interaction and we wouldn’t want to call anyone out or take sides without knowing the full story, but in any case, the customer purchased a vintage bag from someone and ended up being extremely unhappy with the sale but was stuck with it. Despite our best efforts to communicate with them about the vintage bag of ours that they were interested in, in the end they decided that they had been burned too badly in the past, assured us it was nothing personal, but said that they lacked confidence in buying anything from Etsy again.

A one time customer and amazing photographer who we’ve worked with posted on facebook the other day about how her photographs, as well as the artwork of others, were being stolen by an Etsy seller and printed onto cheap iphone cases. The seller apparently has had other shops shut down in the past but he or she just keeps opening up a new shop after new shop and continues this completely disgusting practice. We can only imagine how infuriating and frustrating this must be for the artists whose work is being stolen from them, and it saddens us to think of people’s work being stolen and sold without their permission.

Our point is this: There’s good and bad that comes with Etsy, the internet, or hey, just interacting with people in any form. It makes us sad to think of the people we’ve come across who have had a hard time, even if that hard time is not of our making. And it makes us so incredibly happy and grateful to have a positive impact in people’s lives just by a Shout Out feature, getting them a bag that makes them feel great, or even just letting them know that we care what they have to say. So as you head out into that real or virtual world today, do us a favor, peeps: try to make it a good day for everyone you meet. You better believe that we’ll be trying to do the same.

Be nice to people. BitsoTruth. $12.

 

 

FBF-Our Favorite Bagz Forever!

After Kate’s review of our Weekender the other day, we realized something: we know our bagz better than anybody, so why not write up reviews of a few of our favorites? So for the next few weeks that’s exactly what we’re going to do. We know. It’s a pretty brilliant and earth shatteringly original plan. This is precisely why we’re such savvy businesswomen.

In any case, we thought we’d start with the very first vintage bag we ever printed: our love, our sweet, our Vintage Swiss military bread bag.

We actually have two versions of this bag, one without leather and one with. Those leather straps were originally belt loops, but we’ve taken them, added some sweet brass buttons, and turned them into an extra layer of security to hold pouch of the bag shut aside from the hook and eye closure. The Meatbagz camp is divided-Kate loves the leather straps, both for function and for looks (because, come on-vintage leather. YUM.) whereas Mack uses a bag without the straps and swears by it, saying it makes it super easy to get in and out of her bag on the go. So apparently you’ll just have to come up with your own opinion about that.

We get a lot of questions from customers about this bag-not just because it’s super cool, unique, and the worn in brown canvas is to die for, but there’s understandable concern about the fact the top is open and doesn’t secure closed. What we tell them is this: Mack and I have both carried this style bag every day for years, and thanks to whatever act of magic concocted by the bag designers of the Swiss government, we have never had anything fall out of them. Like, ever. Which is pretty amazing considering how roughly we treat our bagz. (Call it quality control.) We toss them into the car, on the ground under our seats at the coffee shop, we let the kids carry them…and everything that started out in there ends up in there every time.

Another thing we like about the Swiss bags is the ridiculous amount of stuff you can cram in there. The bag looks fairly straightforward, but once you start packing in your wallet, phone, oh, and this action figure, the grocery list, the mail that needs to be dropped off, a water bottle, tissues, and that bag of pretzels that you’re hoping to sneak without the kids noticing…you’ll be amazed at how easily it can turn into your carry all. And the best part? It’s totally a dude bag OR a bag for a rockin’ broad!

Of course function is great and all, but let’s face it-it looks freaking cool too. The brown canvas comes in various shades of worn in awesome, and we’ve never seen two alike. The back of the leather strap is stamped-on every bag-with the year it was made as well as either the soldier it was issued to or the town it was made in. We’ve heard varying reports via the internetz and aren’t sure, but we do know we’ve never seen two alike (and it seems kind of odd to think of hundreds of different towns in Switzerland all busy on

the production of bread bags).

And then there’s of course the occasional mementos from the soldiers themselves…names, dates, or even just numbers written on the backs of bags by the guys who used them. That, friends, you can’t fake.

Last but not least, our Meatbagz prints. We love the relationship between these beat up brown bags and the simplicity of our images with these bags. As soon as we got them we realized they have so much darn personality on their own, we wanted our prints to accentuate the awesomeness, not overpower it. And that’s exactly what we managed to pull off. When we’re wearing these bags we always feel like we have a solid mix of individuality, convenience, and kick-ass style.  We get stopped on the street and asked about them (by, we have to point out, the coolest people ever, and not just because they’re interested in Meatbagz!) and that’s quite  a lot to get out of a bit of leather and canvas.

So, if you have any thoughts about YOUR Swiss bag, and questions we didn’t answer, or heck, any bagz you want our reviews on,  leave ’em in the comments! We’ll be back next week!

Newport Folk Fest, Here We Come!

Big news, peeps-we’re crazy excited to announce that ye olde Meatbagz Booth will be at the Newport Folk Festival this summer! We’ve been looking for a larger show to add to our summer repertoire (preferably one with sweet tunes) and Newport seems like a perfect fit. Two days of folk, fun, and Meatbagz by the sea…if you’re going to be there be sure to swing by and see us!

Have Weekender, Will Travel

We’ve always known that the Meatbagz Weekender was a super sweet bag and that it’d be perfect for a weekend away (thus the name), but this was the first time we’ve really been able to test it out in the real world for ourselves. That is if you consider Times Square the “real” world, of course.Yep, that’s right: this weekend Kate left the quiet life of upstate NY and headed straight into the hustle and bustle of NYC, husband and kids in tow. And let it be known, if a bag packed with clothes, stuffed animals, and enough stuff to keep two kids distracted for a three and a half hour car ride can be hauled comfortably around while keeping a four year old at your side through Times Square, we consider that a serious WIN.

So, here’s the official run down:

  • I was super appreciative of the heavy duty strap. I was wearing it crosswise over my body, and while I held the handles to take some of the weight off my shoulders, I could easily just wear it-very useful when I needed two hands to keep my son from tripping on curbs, since he was too busy looking up at the skyscrapers to pay attention to where he was walking.
  • The two outer pockets were CRAZY handy….and secure enough with the heavy duty velcro and snap closures so I had no concerns about losing anything out of them, either in the car or while pushing through the crowds.
  • Can you say roomy? I not only packed all of my clothes and toiletries, I also had the kids’ pajamas, stuffed animals (and let the record show that they do not pack light in the stuffed animal department), giant water bottle, and an extra set of shoes in there. And I could have crammed more in there if I had needed to. BAM!
  • My husband was dragging our rolling suitcase behind him while he held our daughter’s hand, and he kept looking back at me wistfully. Being able to carry the bag as opposed to pulling it over crowded sidewalks was a huge plus. Maneuvering was a snap comparatively.
  • As a country bumpkin, I am always well aware of my complete lack of “city” style. I don’t wear leggings or high heels, my hair is not done, and make up? Oh, fine. I’ll put on some mascara. But I have to admit, even though I was obviously a tourist in my beat up sneaks and not-so-skin-tight jeans, I felt downright fashionable with my Meatbagz. The weekender was cool and unique (and way better than all those Louis Vuitton bags everyone else was sporting), and let’s face it-you KNOW all those city chicks were staring at my golden dragonfly with total envy.
  • I’ve always loved the heavy duty zipper just for aesthetic purposes, but it turns out the darn thing functions too! By the time we were ready to leave, the bag had souvenirs up the wazoo, and while I had my doubts about getting the darn thing closed, that zipper held everything safe and sound. My husband, upon seeing me finish packing up, shook his head and said “I have to admit, this is a pretty awesome weekend bag.” So there you have it, folks, high praise indeed!

 

 

Blogging BREAK!

Kate had another kind of break last week-a break in her water pipes, all nicely buried under ground, resulting in no running water in her house. CRAPSTIC! Thankfully the water has been fixed, but her yard is…well, not so yard-like right now. So instead of sitting in front of the computer blogging, she’ll be spending the week raking, filling, and landscaping. Cross your fingers for nice weather, peeps! (And thanks for understanding.)