An interview about Zoe's Bag Boutique

I'm pleased to share with you an interview by Bambi Weavil. She interviewed me about Zoe's Bag Boutique, for the arts section at Outimpact.com

Thanks Bambi!


A reversible Honeysuckle featuring owls

Another wonderful bag for one of my repeat customers. If you are a regular visitor to my blog you will recognize the theme of owls. My owl collecting customer, in Germany, who I am proud to also call a friend, requested this bag. We began the design with a Honeysuckle Tote. Added a different owl print on each side, a zippered pocket on the back, a Zoe Pocket Set inside and an adjustable shoulder strap.
The result was pretty special. Britta reports even the man at the customs office in Berlin was impressed! Can't beat that!

Names changes from Large Zelda to Panther

As I work on setting up my shop I am making a few changes. I have long thought that there are just too many Zeldas! So the large Zelda and large Zelda Deluxe have disappeared. In their place, the same bags but now called the Panther and Panther Deluxe. I hope this makes it easier to distinguish between the styles.


Yes I'm Still Here!

And hard at work.
However, many of the bags I make at this time of year are for gifts. The last thing I want is to have the giftee stumble upon pictures of their gift. Highly unlikely, I know, but I don't want to take the chance. :-)

I am also working hard on my new on line store! Yes it's true, hopefully, in January , when you click on the shop link on my blog, and my home page, it will take you to a real store.
I'm very excited, since it will allow me to offer gift certificates, a gift registry and coupon codes among other things.

I will use my newsletter to inform customers of new products, and discounts etc. So if you aren't signed up yet, I invite you to do so. There's a box on the right side of this blog, as well as my home page.

Speaking of my home page, it has a great new look, I had some professional photographs taken by Desiree Hayes and they look great! Her work is gorgeous.

I also have a gallery section that I can use to create albums of photographs. This is where I will be featuring pictures of you and/or your bags! So please, continue to send those along. I love to see you with your bags!

One of the galleries is called "Your Pets" Many of my regular customers are animal lovers. During the process of working on custom orders they will often mention their animals and send me pictures. I will be including them in this section.

I'll announce the grand opening of the store right here on the blog, so stay tuned!

Thanks everyone and Happy Holidays!


Linda, Nicole and their bags!

I'm happy to share this photograph of two of my regular customers! Nicole, on the left has a medium Honeysuckle tote with an adjustable shoulder strap. Linda is carrying a Zelda Deluxe.
Both bags are made with Asian prints, their favorite motifs.


Wow, this customer reports she owns 28 Zoe Designs Bags!

Yep, it's true, she tells me she did some straightening in her "purse closet" and took a count of bags she has bought from me. Most of them custom order, they totaled 28. Amazing! Both of us were shocked! ha ha

Here's four from her last order. All fabrics provided by the customer! She has such a great eye for quirky prints.
She sends them to me and we figure out which bags will display them best. Then I work on them as time permits, sending pictures as each one is complete. I often get surprise packages in the mail, sent from my regular customers. It's fun to open them and guess who sent them. If they are quirky, this customer is at the top of the list!


Morphin Zelda Messenger Bag with Removable Flaps-Custom Order

The Morphin line continues to be popular. Hard to resist the option of picking three bags in one! This customer ordered a great selection of flaps.


Another happy customer

I'm pleased to share this photograph of a Zoe Designs customer and her custom order Bebe.
Please feel free to send pics of you and/or your bags!


New Messenger Bag -The Shark

Since messenger bags are used by men and women, I want to make sure I have bags that work for them both.

I'm introducing a new bag today. The Shark. It joins The Falcon as part of this new line of uni-sex bags. A large bag, designed to appeal to guys, but great for women too. Built to take the abuse of daily use. Great for school or work. Not loaded down with features, just a functional bag with cool prints on the flap and side pocket.

18" wide
12" tall
7" deep

The flap and the inside seams are taped with a sturdy binding tape. A full panel zippered pocket on the back. An open slip pocket on one side. A padded section on the shoulder strap. The strap is adjustable on both ends.
Lined in a more durable fabric than my usual taffeta.
The first owner of this style was kind enough to send some pics of himself, with the bag, for me to include here.
Looks great!
Oh one more thing, I'm inviting all my customers to send pics of themselves, or just their bags, in locations of their choosing. I'm going to build a gallery of Zoe Bags around the world. So send me pics of you and/or your bag in your backyard or some exotic locale! thanks! Traveling some place? Send me pics! Visiting some local attraction in your home town, send me pics!


Walker Totes can be useful and beautiful at the same time

I worked with a customer to design this product. Her mom is using a walker and she wanted a walker tote to provide not only places to carry a water bottle, magazines and a few other items, but to be appealing to the eye as well.
We worked out the sizing and she decided to go with this amazing Japanese theme print.

I didn't have access to a walker so I used a chair as a stand in!

I wanted the tote to have a place inside for a bottle of water, easy to grab when a sip is needed. I added a set of pockets next to the bottle holder.

The three straps at the top are designed to wrap around a bar, with a fair amount of adjustment included.
At the bottom, I added another set of adjustable straps. They are designed to loop around the lower bars, at any angle, in order to keep the bag stable.

The lining is a nice light bone color, easy to see what's inside, made with a stain resistant, water repellent pack cloth.

The result was beautiful. I am very pleased with the entire design. Just because a person is using a walker doesn't mean they can't have an attractive bag to carry their essentials!

This customer also ordered a matching wallet on a string so her mom could carry her keys, and a few other items, right over her shoulder.


Startlingly Beautiful Koi Pond Britta Tote

Sometimes I order fabric and don't know what to expect. In this case, it far exceeded my hopes. This purple print of koi in a pond is outstanding. Perfect to use on a Britta Tote.
Solid black on the back and lavender straps, truly gorgeous.
It will be for sale in one of my shops, haven't decided which one yet. You are always welcome to send me an e-mail to claim it as your own.


Zoe's Bags Get a thumbs up from the stylish Aimee Heckel of the Boulder Daily Camera

Click here to read the entire article:


Read Aimee Heckel's fashion blog at www.boulderandthebeautiful.com

Fashion: Style gems that distract from my boyfriend's green hair

Call me Eminem. But I'm going to go all "Eight Mile" freestyle contest on you here and call myself out before you have the chance to.

Insert "zing" here.

I spend a lot of space in this here newspaper blathering on about the fashion idiocies of my own life. Crashing proms, my obsession with twirling, my poodles' fashion sense, my boyfriend's new hair style: dyed lime green with big black stars all over it (thank you Fringe Hair Studio in Louisville). Oh wait, I didn't tell you about that yet? Hmm, well, let's just conveniently skip that one then.

I'd like to think I'm making fun of myself for your amusement -- and hopefully inspiration, sometimes. It's a big sacrifice -- to be this ridiculous, and publicly, nonetheless. But it's a burden I'm willing to shoulder for the sake of fashion and All Things Pretty.

But it's got to be balanced occasionally with something newsworthy.

That's why I present to you a few of my favorite current local fashion fascinations:

For the indecisive -- Zoes Bag Boutique, www.zoesbagboutique.etsy.com and www.zoesbagboutique.blogspot.com.

What: Bags made out of interesting fabrics, including the "Morphin line" of mix-and-match messenger bags. Buy the body of one of the messenger bags ($42) and then add and swap the removable flaps ($12 each) to match your outfit or mood.

And Zoes has all kinds of fabric patterns: derby girls, pin-ups, tiger stripes, bats and spider webs, footballs, guitars, flamenco dancers, flying skulls, ladybugs, sock monkeys -- yeah, I said sock monkeys. Zoes also makes padded cases for Nintendo DS Lite, Blackberries and small digital cameras.

Who: Karen Norback, of Lafayette, a fabric lover with 20-plus years in manufacturing outdoor gear. Zoes has been in business since 1995.

The bonus: Norback makes custom orders. Poodles with lime green hair, anyone?


Diaper bag for an active mom

I worked with a customer who lives in Hawaii, to create this bag. She wanted something large, so we went with the Large Zelda Deluxe. She sent me the fabric she wanted to use, an interesting damask by the same designer that created the Echino line of prints. She added a matching Scooter zip bag and a Sweet Pea mini wallet to the order also.

We put a divider inside so she could have two sections. Kept the laptop sleeve as she sometimes takes her laptop with her when she goes to the beach! Added a full panel zippered pocket to the back, and put the Zoe Pocket set in there instead of inside the bag. This allowed me to add a set of poochy pockets inside. The poochy pockets are great for stuffing with diapers, extra clothes etc. They lay flat, but the pleated fronts allow them to "pooch" out when needed.

Since this customer has an active lifestyle she wanted to be able to carry the bag not only on her shoulder, but on her back when riding her bike.

We added an attachable padded shoulder strap. She can leave it at home if not needed, or wrap it around the strap, where it is held in place with a small strip of velcro, providing padding over her shoulder when the bag is on her back.

I was pleased to hear she was happy with the result and she has given me permission to include her comments here.

In her e-mail, titled, Thank you, thank you, thank you, she says:

" Aloha Karen!

I am sorry I haven't had the time to write you an email earlier. It has been a very busy month and I am so glad that I had the bag to make my life a little easier.
I love it. It looks really great, and everything my daughter and I need for the day fits in it. The shoulder strap is perfect, and the bag stays on my back when I am biking. My husband jokes about getting seasick or lost among all the different pockets, but those really come in handy when you pack clothes, toys, food, blankets, and books.

Thank you"

posted Oct 16/08


A nature themed custom order

A nice assortment of prints for this custom order!

The Falcon Mini Messenger Bag-Geisha Stroll

I've added a new mini messenger bag to my line, The Falcon. Starting with the popular Zeldina model, I made it an inch deeper and added a full panel exterior zippered pocket and two open exterior side pockets. I'll be offering this style in fabrics that will appeal to men as well. Oh, and yes, it is available in the popular Morphin style too! The removable flap option is proving to be quite popular.


The Morphin Zelda Deluxe-Messenger Bag with Removable Flaps

Shortly after launching my Morphin Zeldina Mini Messenger Bag, I received an order for a Zelda Deluxe in the Morphin style.

This was a fun project. The customer has a pet sitter/walker business. She was looking for a bag to carry the various accouterments of the trade, you know leashes, poop bags and the like.

She settled on the Zelda Deluxe, and although I hadn't finished the Morphin version yet, she knew that's what she wanted. She liked the idea of the changeable flaps very much.

She found her own fabrics. She requested a paw print fabric on the side pockets, figuring what ever the flaps featured, they would go with paws. Also, since her business is called Pawcific Northwest Pet Sitting, it was a natural. For the flaps she found two prints that were also perfect for her business. One, a variety of dogs heads, with a pug, to represent some of her own dogs, at the center. The second, to pay homage to Portland Oregon where she resides, a raining cats, dogs and umbrellas print.

So cute!!


Custom Order Zelda Deluxe Messenger Bag Asian Dragon

This fabric continues to make an astoundingly beautiful bag. The same print I have used before, but in another colorway. Note how the dragon's body seems to wrap around the bag. The end of his tail appears on the side pocket. The colors, oh the colors!
A custom order for two bags, the Zelda Deluxe Messenger Bag and a Bebe with a strap that allows it to be used on the shoulder, the arm, or as a wristlet. A darling bag for sure!