REI, bags, and your opinions

>> Thursday, June 25, 2009

REI made it onto my "before I leave" to-do list. I *love* this store (see "Pacific Northwest outdoorsy" below; I rather like my Sherpani Milli bag, but I digress). REI rocks not only for what it sells, but for its excellent customer service and return policy. I bought a skirt there 2 years ago that I wear irregularly. This spring I pulled it out and wore it once, and the side seam ripped. I know that REI is generous with returns, but even so I wasn't sure about this one. No worries. I went into the store (with the receipt...I'm that compulsive...I have all my receipts filed away for moments like this one) and apologetically asked if there was anything I could do. I blabbered a little too much before the kind woman behind the register said, "It's not a problem, we'll take it back." It's hard to find such amazing customer-oriented policies these days (I'm looking at you, bookstores).

Also right before I left for the East coast, there was a delightful surprise in a square box on my doorstep. The lovely package came from Tiffany, and included 3 fat quarters, 2 fabric flowers, and 1 awesome black & white bag. I'm hoping the bag counts as "more chic, less Pacific Northwest outdoorsy" for my friends worried about my fashionability in NY. I'm also thinking of using 2 of the 3 FQs to make a buttercup bag. Thanks again Tiffany!

Speaking of my bag "needs," I'm open to suggestions for a handbag I should acquire -- a more fashionable, large enough to hold a book but small enough not to feel like a book/messenger bag, ideally handmade with kickin' fabrics, works with black, brown, red, and blue (the main colors I wear), and is all-around awesome. I'm overwhelmed by the bag options on etsy as well as on the blogs and websites I follow. What are your favorites? If you make and sell bags, this is your time to brag since I'm scouring my options to figure out something that is "me" -- practical and crafty-cool.


~Michelle~ June 25, 2009 at 12:06 PM  

I love REI too :)

For a bag - are you wanting to make something? I think the big version of the Buttercup would probably be good...or I like to make the Huntington Hobo from Pink Sand Beach Designs. And I've heard AMH's Multi-tasker tote is a great pattern. For fabric - how about Amy Butler's Lotus "morning glory" in linen?

Anonymous June 25, 2009 at 12:13 PM  

You're right - REI is awesome. I don't have the Sherpani Milli bag but I have 4 of their others - so great for everyday and traveling. I had to chuckle about your comment on going to New York, I'm not Pacific Northwest Granola but not New York Chic either! There is such a difference. Glad you liked the package and have a great trip!

Anonymous June 25, 2009 at 7:13 PM  

Check out this blog

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Hope this is helpful.

Micki June 26, 2009 at 3:49 AM  

This is going to be an awesome bag!

Danielle June 26, 2009 at 9:30 PM  

i love the amy butler birdie sling pattern. i made one, and get compliments all of the time on it, wasn't too hard to put together either. can't wait to see what you choose!

Liba June 28, 2009 at 3:31 PM  

Queen bee bags. I have the Truckette. It is amazingly well made and the perfect size.

two hippos June 28, 2009 at 8:55 PM  

Thanks for all your suggestions; I'll be checking them out. And I've long admires Queen Bee bags, so maybe I can justify a Truckette?

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