My favorite thing about this business is how I have cultivated this audience of you wonderful people to support me, even when I pivot. I have pivoted a lot recently, if we are being honest. Maybe a little too much.
I think you’ll hear me loud and clear when I say that the internet is an easy place to compare yourself to others. There is so much noise, so many ideas, so much success broadcast right in your face. It’s a scary place to be.
Depending on how you want to look at it though, it can be a really special place full of inspiration + blissfully like-minded folks who all want to work towards their own creative visions. I love it on that side of the internet world.
I find myself looking at all these other brilliant minds and thinking to myself, if its working so well for them, maybe it will work for me too! As a business owner, this is a dangerous thought. As a business that was built off of words + emotion, I have to remind myself that it is so important to stick to my own heart, that’s what folks come to Word Strings for.
So as I have spent time wondering why certain products I have launched in a rush are still sitting on my shelves, I have to wonder if it is because it isn’t exactly who I am and what I am inspired by.
Here’s where I am going to get to my point, I promise.
One product I can’t seem to keep on the shelves though, is my tote bags. I think the reason I love these tote bags so much is because they are a directly reflection of my roots as a business.
Sustainable. Intentional. Unique. Handmade. Local.
If you’re new around here, word strings started as a business where I thrifted sweatshirts + hand stitched folks custom phrases onto them. It was honest, time-consuming work.
When I first shared the tote bag that I made for myself on my instagram story, the amount of you who were ecstatic right along with me + begged for your own made me realize that I needed to go back to the things that I love.
When I thought about it though, I didn’t want to sell something I wasn’t sure of the quality long-term. I sought out a solution + came across a micro manufacturer in Dayton, Ohio per the recommendation of a friend. I was living a few hours away at the time, but called to explain my idea and by the next week I was in their office working on product specs!
I knew it was going to be a great fit when I showed some of the fabric I had thrifted + they told me that they had hundreds of yards of secondhand, vintage + donated fabric in the back of their warehouse space that I could buy from them.
They were not lying. I spent a few long afternoons piecing through boxes and boxes and shelves and bins of fabric trying to find the perfect patterns for the first collection. I settled upon about a dozen fabrics + set aside about a dozen more that I wanted for the next drop. Then we started on samples.
To see these bags come to life from the wonky tote bag that I made for myself was such an awesome experience. I was able to add the extended straps, the pocket, the size, everything down to the little tags that was important to me.
I hope you see their charm. Each one was made with thrifted or vintage secondhand fabric. Each one was made by a woman in Dayton, Ohio, out of a non-profit that provides factory sewing certifications for those who need them. Each pattern was named after a woman who I think would embody the personality of the bag. Each bag was made from scratch and with tons of love.
Collection 003 | Coming 02.27.23