Yes, it's Upcycled!
Finding inspiration in every coffee sack
"I repurpose coffee bean sacks and blend them with beautiful printed fabrics, breathing new life into the burlap sacks to create gorgeous, eco-friendly, one-of-a-kind tote bags."
The first bag I made was a simple midsize tote, with no liner.
I wanted a Frida bag, but couldn't find any bags that were just the way I wanted.
I had a few coffee sacks I had picked up at our local coffee roaster and some leftover Frida fabric from an upholstery project so I decided to try and make my own.
I cut Frida's outline off of it, fused and sewed it onto the burlap sack. And ...voila! I had just made my own appliqué!
Surprisingly, friends and family loved the idea.
With every exchange, feedback on my bags was warm and encouraging.
People kept asking to see more of what I had to offer and were curious about what new designs I had. They loved knowing I was upcycling coffee sacks destined for the landfill into something beautiful.
So I started thinking - What else can I do with this fabric?
From that moment on, I never stopped coming up with new ideas.
I made myself a cool set of placemats, that we now use on a daily basis, a nice variety of throw pillows, and even a couple of frame-wrapped wall art and I have sold most of it all, with the exception of a few pieces I kept for myself.
“I paint flowers so they will not die.”
– Frida Kahlo
Many people ask me this question: Why did you choose to use images of Frida and her paintings in your bags?
I am deeply inspired by Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and her work.
As a woman and an artist, she broke a lot of barriers and embraced what made her different, even when people thought it was odd. She was very proud of her Mexican heritage and was always true to herself.
To me, Frida is a symbol of strength in the face of adversity, she transcended her painful life experiences and turned them into art that is prized for its uniqueness and creativity.
Something I have always taken from Kahlo’s work is that we need to be passionate in order to create something that stands out.
She was a woman decades ahead of her time.
Hand Block Printed Fabric
A 500 years old tradition
This is my option of fabric for the lining of my bags.
I love the uniqueness of the fabric and the slight human irregularities — inevitable in handwork — that create the artistic effect of block prints, which perfectly complements the character of the coffee sacks.
In hand block printing, each color pattern is stamped individually onto the cotton fabric. It takes skill and time, as the pattern must be hand stamped repeatedly across the fabric, color by color.