Well, I have been in contact with 3 international map companies with regards to using their maps to make my bags. Rand McNally said that as long as I don't reproduce their maps, I can legally use a purchased map in the manner I am wanting to without charge or copyright infringement.
The President of ITMB answered my email personally. I had read his profile on his website and admired his determination and zest for life. In his email he even seemed to have a sense of humor and I immediately like him. I told him that I would be happy to create a custom map bag for his wife, Lan who happens to be Vietnamese. Today he responded and gave me permission to use his maps for my business and also requested a bag for his wife made with a map that he will send to me of Hanoi, Vietnam. I am so excited! I went online and ordered a Vietnamese silk painting of the Vietnam countryside that I hope works to make the "non-map" portions of the bag. If that turns out to NOT be how I am envisioning, I will order some Vietnamese silk perhaps...I just want it to be special and hope that she likes it.
When I got home from work today, I put out calls to get the names of all the retail purchasing agents from the local hotels. I think I may find a market for my map bags with the tourists.
I should be sewing right now....but I called my dad and chatted for over an hour. He just got home from hunting so I hadn't go to talk to him for awhile. My sewing studio is such a mess that it is blocking my creative flow....So before I sew another thing...I HAVE GOT TO CLEAN THIS PLACE UP AND START FRESH!
Here I go...really...yep...off to find a vacuum cleaner!