I had this bag I had loved and used for while that I couldn’t bring myself to just get rid of …that didn’t feel quite right so decided rather than throw away (or give away for a new owner- my daughter had used for a bit after me) I would try something new and re-purpose a bag that I had loved. I had never done this before. I felt quite chuffed that I had thought of this way to bring new life to something I had used and loved. I know not really a new concept but I can’t recall doing something in this scale before. I had re-purposed furniture but nothing that required me to outsource and that I hadn’t done myself.
Let me tell you my journey of this project…..
I had seen a lady in the shops sit at the table next to me at the cafe and since I do have a bit of a bag fetish I have to admit that I politely drooled over her bag and asked her where she got it from. She thanked me for admiring her bag (& probably thought to herself I was slightly crazy!). From her information this then took me on a 4 hour detour to purchase said bag from a wonderful shop in the small beach side town of Lennox Heads called Talisman. (the shop is on Instagram @talismaneclectic). There were so many wonderful items in the shop but I had a mission and made a bee line for the bags. Unfortunately, when I looked at all the exotic bags available there wasn’t the exact same one like I had seen but I found an equally good one. Bought it and felt so thrilled at my new purchase.
I loved this bag for a few years but then I purchased a new bag and it’s new life was relegated to the wardrobe. Then I had this epiphany and decided that rather than it be at the bottom of my wardrobe I would make (well, not myself as I have not one ounce of creative, sewing ability in my whole being!), I would source someone to take my new vision for this bag and make it into a diary cover.
Now living in the Pilbara means that there is not the same readily accessible option for most things and this includes those talented people who can sew. It actually took me a few weeks of asking (what felt like everyone!) to find a lady who in her ‘spare’ time had a sideline business doing mending and alterations. I reached out and met with her and discussed my vision. She had never done anything like this before but felt she was up for the challenge. I left my beloved bag with her excited at the prospect of making something old new again but also a little apprehensive as I did have a tinge of guilt and ending the use of my, up to my new purchase, favourite bag.
I’d love to say it was a quick turnaround but it wasn’t. I’d like to say that it was a smooth process but it wasn’t. I’d like to say I found the waiting easy but it wasn’t. I found myself contacting to get updates to see if it was ready. I found myself every week loosing a bit more patience. I eventually found myself, which I am not so proud of, having a little tantrum and telling her if she hadn’t started then I would just come and collect. Why? Because this was after 12 loooong weeks of waiting and contacting. This was after her just saying that day (prior to my mini meltdown) she was starting it now! She didn’t reply to my last message about collecting it. I let it be and left it over the weekend without another message and was a little worried about my old bag friend, but thought perhaps it was the push she needed to get it together and do this little project. Well, as it turns out it was. Ta-dah! I got a message the Monday to let me now she had completed and was ready for collection the following day. YIPPEE!
While I had seen the picture of what it had been transformed into I was quite nervous to see it in real life. Do I love it? To be honest, not yet. Do I like it? Yes. Is it what I asked for? Essentially. I really want to absolutely love it but while I really like it I think I will grow to love it more and more as I use it. She shared that it actually was quite a challenge for her and so from that perspective I think she did a great job. I am also thankful that it is what it is as I went in completely blind about what I was asking as well as her quality of work. From that perspective I am thrilled. So I took a $120 bag (well used) and now for the (somewhat pricey) sum of $95 have turned something no longer used into a daily used item. That I do love.
Renae is the founder & CEO of SK who has been working with families for decades. Her educational background in Early Childhood teaching as well as Social Science and Community services has given her a broad base to her approach which focuses on balancing the informative but never at the expense of providing an entertaining read.
From working in the private setting, not for profit, as well as government agencies and at times combining her love of travel and work on a global scale, she is also a mum who has experienced the poo blowouts, the shopping tantrums and the sleepless nights.