Sunday, December 4, 2011


Remember George Carlin? His take on "Stuff" always cracked me up? (yes, I know that dates me!) Well, somedays I swear that my "stuff" has taken over my universe. Okay, my own little micro-cosm! But, seriously, "Barb's World" is reflecting the state of chaos that my emotions have been in. I can't seem to find anything. So today, I spent most of the afternoon "tidying" up my sewing studio. I can now see carpet! Thats progress! Somedays I want to completely 'Zen' my life and get rid of all of my extra stuff. But when it comes to the sewing room...I think I need all of this stuff to give me ideas and allow me to create things. So I have bins of grommets, purse feet, cord ends, cord stops, O-rings, D-rings, magnetic snaps, plastic hardware, metal hardware, zippers, buttons, feathers, piping, cording, swivel snap hooks, woven labels, thread, cotton webbing, poly webbing, O-split rings, heart shaped split rings, rivets, chicago screws, gate rings, comfort pads, pellon in several varieties, and oh yes...FABRIC! The burlap lives in the garage!
Sometimes, like today, I just get to the point when I cannot possibly get one more thing done if it means working in a mess. Especially with the new year approaching, I really needed to get a grip on my stuff. It somehow helped to make me feel a little bit in control of my life. Things have been tough adjusting to being home. Thankfully my loyal customers have been wonderfully patient with me as I continue to "do only what I can" while coping with the other curves life has thrown. There have been a couple of days that iPad Mahjong seems to be all that I care to give my attention to. Perhaps I have taken the "be gentle to yourself" instructions my mom gave me a little too seriously! ???
However, yesterday I washed windows in the living room and dusted! I even got out my new Kirby that MM bought for me. MM was looking so bewildered as I scurried around. I impatiently pointed to his little realm around his recliner and told him that whatever he wanted to keep, he had better put away because that room was getting cleaned! He quickly "hid" his jewelry making supplies, his cigar catalogs, and his iPad. I must have had that look in my eyes which let him know I was slightly crazed. I can only hope it is a look that he has come to know and love. :o)
Maybe if I just take a room at a time, I can tackle the "stuff" and come out on top. I don't know though, I have been home for 3 weeks and haven't even unpacked my "Aunty Tutu" yet! So much for those wonderful lessons my dad's journey taught me about not procrastinating! Is it that? or is it that I am "already packed" for the next time I have to rush to someplace? I guess I will just have to admit that I am a work in progress. Just a girl trying to take control of her stuff!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Where in the World is Barb Sasaki?

So, I guess you could say I have been missing in action for a few weeks. The last week of September, I received word that my dad may not have long to live so I flew out to be with him and to help my mom. We really had a pretty good couple of weeks, that I will treasure always, before he passed away. I was so lucky to have been in a position to drop everything and go!

My dad passed away on October 17, 2011 following a 16 month battle with esophageal cancer. I will forever miss him but am so thankful that he isn't suffering. Thank you Hospice of North Idaho for keeping him comfortable until the very end and for helping us be as prepared as possible for his passing.

Following his death, I was stunned to find out that my "job" wasn't done! I had no idea how much work there is to do in the next few days. With all of the preparation Hospice gave us, I guess I must not have "read that pamphlet"! Perhaps in my "spare time", I should tackle writing my own!

Five days after my dad's memorial service, MM and I headed back to Kona. It felt so good to be home again and I just dove headfirst into my work. I cut out 80 kimono keys, cut out 14 bags, went to a movie and dinner and gave my kitties lovin's. That was all in one day! The next night I got a call that mom had undergone an emergency appendectomy and developed complications. Long story shorter, after being gone for 5 weeks and only home for 30 hours, I headed back to Idaho to care for a very sick mama. She spent the next 10 days in the hospital. Looking back, those days seem like a blur! Is it really November?

Thankfully, my mom is recovering and I am looking forward to being back in the islands very soon. While I have been away, MM has been cutting fabric and making linings for bags to keep the cogs turning in the studio. I do not know how I would have handled all of this without him in the wings. Throughout my dad's illness, I have learned to not procrastinate. Things in life can change so fast that I've had to take every advantage of time that exists to get things accomplished. Of the many "gifts" that my dad gave me over the course of my life, my most treasured are the intangible ones. The life lessons I guess. He taught me by his example how to work hard and to never give up. He preached that "Life is like a battery" to remind me that without both a positive and a negative, life wouldn't have that "spark". He gave me his blue eyes and his crooked smile full of big teeth. So although he is "gone", my dad will always be very close to me. Even when no one else has a clue where in the world I am!

a hui hou

Monday, August 1, 2011

Purse Hooks

Yesterday, while cutting out my kimono keys, I had an idea! (insert lightbulb) Why not create a purse hook medallion out of my vintage kimono textiles? Now, as many of you know, I get LOTS of ideas. Not all of them are great ideas, granted! But when you have such a plethora of thoughts, from time to time, I do come up with some pretty darn good ones. *shamelessly patting myself on the back*.

I have more of the hooks on order as well as "key key-purse", clever gadgets that slip over the top of your purse that you attach your keys to so that they don't fall down into that bottomless pit we gals call our "purse".

They will be "kimono-ized" as well.

All these and more will be available at the show I am prepping for at the Keauhou Shopping Center on August 20, 2011. Hope you can make it!

a hui hou

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Catching up with Sasaki Bags!

Okay...This new "Hawi" bag has taken over Sasaki Bags! It is all I want to make these days! I make 'em out of leather, cotton, polyester, and am thinking of maps and vinyl! Sometimes you just have to do what brings you joy. These days, I go looking for JOY! I have a lot going on in my life right now. My dad's cancer is back and hospice is now part of our team.
Although I am here making bags, my focus still wants to be with my family. So that is why I am making bags that are fun and proving to be a distraction to me.

All the while that all the above is going on, I am also working on a new, exciting project. I am hoping to release some very exclusive bags before the holiday season....and more news will be forthcoming. For now, what I can tell you is that I am working with an amazing artist and hope to have some of her work transferred on to fabric for me to make some wonderful bags out of. This is an exclusive licensing agreement and I am so excited! Her work is now available in Wyland Galleries! We are both anxious to see where this collaboration will lead us! Stay tuned!

While I was in Idaho on this last visit, Dad and I went garage saling. I scored some pretty doilies that I have envisioned as the delicate flap on a spring bag. We also stopped in at all his favorite haunts....St. Vinny's, Goodwill, Boys and Girls Ranch and a couple of other thrift stores. I purchased some beautiful vintage brooches that I am now attaching to some of my evening bags.

a hui hou

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hawi Collection

A few weeks ago I designed a new bag. I have been making them like crazy and am starting to add different embellishments and use different textiles. MM said to me yesterday, "You must really like this bag, it's all you are making!".

I really do! I actually love this bag because it is a nice size and it is stylish. It could fit inside a larger tote or get tucked under your arm. It can be casual or it can be dressy. The fabric completely changes the bag! So here are a few of them that I made this week.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Teaching an old dog new tricks - zippers!

My vacation was fun and stimulating. We visited San Francisco and took a day trip over to Sonoma and Napa Valleys. We took the ferry to Sausalito one day too. I LOVE that town. I came home refreshed and wanting to try new things. One of the obstacles I face daily is having enough time. What? You too? (high five!)

What is a girl to do? Well, I have decided that sometimes, you just have to take a deep breath and follow your inner voice. Take a humble pill and acknowledge that "I just can't do it all!"

For months, now, I have been wanting to learn a new zipper technique. Something a little more complicated than the way I have been installing zips for the past couple of years. I have looked up tutorials online and purchased patterns hoping that by having them in the house, somehow, perhaps through osmosis, the knowledge would seep into my pores and become part of me and "Voila!" I would just instantly know how to do it. But...that wasn't so successful. So, this week I actually took two days to myself and was determined to teach myself a new trick. (Don't laugh at me just cause I just had a 'big ole birthday! )

I spent half of one day just reading, re-reading, kicking myself and then reading again. Some of the tutorials out there just wouldn't work with burlap. It is an unravely, creature to work with. By about 4pm Saturday, I was at the point where I was ready to start trying out my newly learned technique.

The first bag I made was pretty simple once that light bulb went off and I "got it". In fact, it sold within 2 hours after I had placed the final stitch into it. But I know myself. I have to do something a few times before I can trust myself to remember it.

The next day, I made 3 more bags using the new technique and am actually starting to enjoy it. Now I am feeling more confident and am looking forward to seeing what applications I can use this technique on. I have 200 metres of zipper on order so you can expect to see many more Sasaki Bags with zips in the coming months.

I do believe that life is full of lessons and one that I continually have to remind myself of is to take the time to stop and smell the plumeria. Sometimes to take a step forward, you really do need to just take a break!

Thanks for joining me on my journey.

a hui hou

Monday, May 16, 2011

Catching up with Sasaki Bags

It's been awhile! Lets catch up!

As you may have noticed, I haven't been posting very regularly this year. It seems so much quicker to leave a short sentence or two on Facebook instead of having to take the time to actually formulate my thoughts. But I have missed this intimate spot to share my thoughts and creations.

I have been super busy since December! By May first, I completed over 1000 bags for corporate orders and am now trying to play "catch up" to attempt to get all my accounts fully stocked again. Not an easy task! Not only have I not been able to keep my stores full, but I haven't had any time to create. I find that the creation process is like water, air (and an occasional pizza) to me. I have to have it in order to keep going. It is kind of funny how it affects me. I become "little Barbie Turner" all over again when I make something new! (when it turns out!) Last night MM got home from work and I MADE him admire my new bag and made special note of how perfectly I matched the pattern on the "Pineapple" bag. My mom would be so proud! I remember her sewing plaid shirts for my dad and matching up all the lines on the pockets etc. MM wasn't as impressed as I would have liked...but I still insisted that he pat me on the back!

So what have I been working on? Well, I have a new iPad/Kindle DX bag that I can make with or without a coffee bag. They are padded with a special foam padding and fleece and sport 2 zip pockets and a long strap so you can wear it across body. While I was at it, I decided to try my hand at using some of that luscious leather that I bought. I made an iPad bag with a navy blue goatskin on the back and corners to compliment a Heavenly Hawaiian coffee bag.

I also have discovered that my Kaloko bag fits a Kindle 3G perfectly. It also fits a Nook, iRex, and Sony Reader Touch and Sony Reader Pocket Edition. So I have been making some of those with an extra pocket for all the cords and extras that come with these electronic.

I ordered in a few yards of some Tommy Bahama fabric to use for the new eReaders. Last year the CEO of Tommy Bahama, Mr. Terry Pillow, happened in Palm Palm boutique on Kauai and was checking out my bags. He asked for my contact info but I never did hear from him. A few days later he was staying at the hotel that I worked at in Kona. I was SO wanting to bump into him, but knew that I wouldn't be allowed to acknowledge that I knew who he was. After that, I contacted the headquarters of Tommy Bahama and got permission to use their fabric in the production of my bags. They have some wonderful "island" prints. I used two of them last night and made a couple of hobo bags. One of the bags is a black and cream large pineapple print. In Hawaii, pineapples symbolize hospitality and friendship. I love love love how this bag turned out! I was able to position the fabric so that the flap on the bag fits the top of the pineapple perfectly! The other bag has palm trees and cute sayings like "Cape Relax", "Tropic of Couch Potato", "Island of Catch a Lot"...etc.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, I was invited to participate in the "Peace Festival" that will be in Kona this summer. It is a celebration of the 5th year anniversary of Kona and Hiroshima, Japan becoming sister cities. They are expecting about 750 at the craft show the day that I will be there so I want to create things to appeal to both locals and the Japanese who will be attending. I have found some nice fabric that keeps with the theme of "Peace".

So, that about sums up my last few months. If you want to share what you have been up to, feel free. I love hearing from you all.

a hui hou

May is my bday month and this year is what many people consider to be a "big one". I am turning 50! I love where I am at in my life and am grateful to have had 49 birthdays so far! I look forward to each year with eager anticipation. Yes, every year has both good and bad in it, but I am loving the journey and try to accept whatever the future holds.

For my bday this year, I wanted to do something I had never done before. This is the girl who has been to Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, Canada, Mexico...but one place I have never been to is San Francisco or to California wine country. So in the near future, I will be able to cross that off my list!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Facebook helps to make it a small world after all!

Today I had an opportunity to meet with one of my facebook friends. Takeshi Sumita brought his family to Hawaii from Japan. He brought me a beautiful gift of a silk kimono that had belonged to his grandmother. We exchanged gifts and as I was trying to give directions to him to the local coffee farms, I suddenly decided that there was nothing on my "to-do" list that could be more important than to help show this young family our beautiful island. I knew that the Hula Daddy coffee farm would be closing within an hour so I called ahead and told Debbie, one of the employees at the visitor's center, that we were on our way. Even though the owners were away on vacation, their employees did them proud by showing aloha and island hospitality to my guests. They showed the Sumita family the coffee trees, the roaster and even the resident Jackson chameleon who is residing in one of the coffee trees.

While they were purchasing coffee, I called ahead to the Heavenly Hawaiian farm and Trudy Bateman, the owner, was such a doll, as usual. She assured me that we could drive up there and I could show them around the coffee drying floor and the beautiful view. While we were there, Trudy put together a bag of fresh avocado, papaya, apple bananas, and a bag of freshly roasted Heavenly Hawaiian coffee. What a treat! Just to add to the experience, a couple of wild turkeys made their way towards us and the Sumita's young son got to pet the elderly dogs.

I bid my new friends a warm aloha and look forward to seeing them again. In the meantime, we will see each other on facebook!

Monday, April 4, 2011

New Hardware Spurs Creativity!

I have been keeping SO very busy working on my corporate orders since December, that I really miss being creative! My big order was for 800+ bags but I had 3 other corporate orders besides that one totaling over 1000+ bags. So, I recently ordered some new hardware gizmos to try out and somehow snuck in some time to work for fun instead of $$$ over the past weekend.

My first bag was this clutch with an exterior twist lock. The oval gate rings are attached to grommets on either side. There are some changes that will appear on my next attempt but it was so much fun just "playing". IMHO it needs a larger flap and an adjustable strap. I also would like to make this design out of my kimono and obi silks! Yum!

While I was at it, I decided to update my design on my backpack. I have added a 5" gusset which gave it a better shape. I am happy with the results of this one! Evidently, my customers do too because I already sold 2 of them yesterday!

Then, just because I got SO carried away, I have been toying with my old Kealakekua design. Some gals like to cram so much girlie stuff into their bag that I found the magnetic snap closure may not be sufficient so I am experimenting with a twist lock closure on this bag as well. You can't see it in this photo because I am showing off her backside. Love that hula graphic!

I know I've said this before, but I really see a need to schedule time for designing and just being creative. Sometimes I get orders for something before I have had time to perfect it so I just keep making it 'that' way. Most often, my first attempt at a new design is not the way I want it! It can be so easy to spend a whole day on a bag that is rather....ordinary! Now that isn't the way I like to roll! But with my work load...somehow I am sure that in a few months I will be back to working my fingers off and longing to be creating again...*sigh*.

a hui hou

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy Spring!

Ah...spring is in the air! Depending on where you live, that can have a big impact on your frame of mind. For me? Well, as you know, I live in Kona, Hawaii, so the change of the seasons is much more subtle around here. The one thing that I look forward to as a designer is seeing the new colors and prints of fabric! I love seeing when girls get a new purse for spring/summer. Do you dare to get a white one? Do you love nautical looks? Or are you all about color?

I ordered some new fabric last night in small amounts to play with. The designs are a bit whimsical with chubby elephants and lanky giraffes in lime green and white and black and white. I also ordered more polka dots just because that is pretty much a staple in many of my designs. I am excited to see what I am inspired to make.

I also have some new hardware on the way. I have intentions to add more grommets and metal hooks this season. Can't wait to try out my ideas in that department too!

I am still plugging away at my BIG order (806 bags). There is an end in sight now and I am hoping to finish it all up in about 3 more weeks. What a relief that will be!

But for is a beautiful Sunday morning. The birds are chirping, my kitten is taking his bath and I just heard MM wake up! So pardon me while we head out the door for our ritual Sunday coffee and crossword puzzle kind of morning!

a hui hou

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tsunami and being a good neighbor

The world can change so fast! Last Thursday MM and I had just enjoyed a nice dinner in Kona. When we arrived home we heard of the earthquake that had hit Japan. I did what many social network junkies do, and went on Facebook to see how my friends in Japan were doing. Most of the people that I know there, live near Tokyo and responded that they were fine. Then I saw that Hawaii was under a tsunami watch. Within an hour it was elevated to the highest threat, "tsunami warning". The local news told us that we had about 5 hours before it would hit our beautiful state...but that "it is coming, be prepared!". MM dealt with it the same way he deals with everything in life....calmly. He went to bed. (love that man!) I dealt with it like I do....stayed up, watched the news, listened to the tsunami sirens, wondering what it would bring and how life may be different the next day for many. I knew we were safe because of our high elevation but I still couldn't sleep. I watched the news to see how big the wave was as it passed over Midway island and as it crossed paths with the buoys that are positioned to give wave information. It was ominous.

As you all know, Japan suffered unspeakable traumatic loss. That beautiful country that I adore, will be healing for a very long time. My heart goes out to everyone there.

What many do not know is of the damage and loss that many of my own neighbors on my own island have suffered. One man who is in the hospital undergoing chemotherapy, lost his home. It is a twisted mess. Another house was swept out into Kealakekua bay and later sunk. Last night I saw photos of a tangled mass of metal....with dishes ....wait! It was their dishwasher and the dishes were still enclosed in the racks!

Many businesses downtown in Kona suffered incredible loss. One business in the King Kamehameha Hotel had their security footage shown on TV last night showing the first wave crash through the window and wipe out all of their inventory.

One of the stores that I sell my tote bags to was across the street. I called the owner the next day to see if she needed help shoveling sand or cleaning up. She sounded in shock and told me that she "didn't have a store anymore". A wall that Da Kona Coffee Store shared with the Cindy Coats Art Gallery, collapsed. The water came in with such force that it destroyed everything in both stores.

There have been many relief funds set up to help out our Pacific Island Nation neighbor of Japan. And the Red Cross has made it so easy to donate funds. If you can help, I'm sure you already have. I have a personal philosophy that I will share with you. You may not agree with me and that is fine. I am FIRST a supporter of helping locally before I help globally. I am not one to send funds to victims in Africa or Thailand or elsewhere in the world when there are hungry children down the street. My children and I have (many years ago) been grateful recipients of food from both the Salvation Army and the local food bank. So my emotions are to act first locally.

For the rest of this month of March, I am donating all of my profits in my Etsy store to benefit my friend who is working to reopen Da Kona Coffee Store. I don't have mounds of money and my donation will not change the world. But I do know this person. I have done business with her and my heart goes out to her. If everyone first helped people that they know and then their neighbors who they may not know, there will be fewer people who need the help of the larger organizations. Granted, you don't get a big ole tax deduction for helping out a friend, but if that is your motivation...then you have really missed the bigger picture.

There will be a fund raiser on Saturday March 26th from 9-1:30pm for the man with cancer who lost his home. Here is the info that someone sent to me:

Gordon Leslie Family
Kona Adult Day Center
81-989 Haleki'i Street (across the Kealakekua Post Office)
Kealakekua, HI

In Hawaii there is a saying: "If Can Can, If No Can, No Can". To me this means that when you can help or do something, DO IT! If you can't, maybe you are the one needing help....then don't! But know that when you will!".

You could say that my word of the year, "Awareness", also includes being aware of what you can do to be a good neighbor. I am working to be more aware.

a hui hou

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sasaki Bags 1st Quarter

Is it possible that we are in March and my first quarter is nearly over with? There has been so much going on here at Sasaki Bags that I haven't had much time to do anything but sew! I finished up two of my corporate orders and will be delivering one of them next week. Ahhh, fewer boxes to line my walls! I am starting to rethink my decorating style as "early industrial"! There are currently 19 large boxes full of Sasaki Bags surrounding my living room. I apologized to MM for this unsightly display and being the man he is he said, "I just see $$$". ***sigh***

I am right on track for finishing up my huge corporate order that is due in May. That is a feat that I am quite proud of considering I found time to go see my parents and deal with two bouts of the flu! I am thankful to my seamstress who kept things rolling along.

I have been working on a couple of things "in my spare time". I designed some fabric and had a few yards printed up to see how I like it. It is quite fun playing with design! The first design was developed by just photographing my label and having it printed in a 1/2 brick pattern. The second pattern is the Sasaki family Mon repeated. I changed the colors to a nice purple to match my labels. If you have ever thought about making your own fabric, is the place to try it out. You can also sell your fabric there if you are really good!

I have also been working on a some new techniques that I was encouraged to try by reading Lisa Lams new book. She has such a great website . Lisa has an easy style and I enjoy her blog as well as her tutorials. So the technique I am playing with is adding darts to add volume to a bag. I am just fiddling around with how big to make the darts and placement for best results. Here are a couple of my new bags:

The purple corduroy bag has a black lambskin gusset and flap that don't show up well in the photo. The other bag was made with a fabric in Amy Butler's Love line. I believe it is called Soul Blossoms. I lined it with my new "Sasaki" fabric.
Lots more items in the works.

a hui hou

Monday, January 31, 2011

How I schedule my time

This month is all but over! I have definately attacked the year with passion. I am pleased to announce that I seem to be more productive so far this year as well. Here is what I have been doing that I think is key:

Each weekend, I look at my order book and set about prioritizing. I am currently working on an order of over 800 bags but I know I can't do them all at once so I set myself a schedule. 800 bags in itself is daunting enough but I am also struggling to fill orders from my website and the stores that I sell to. That is where it gets a bit tricky.

I know that I have to make 25 bags a week for a specific amount of time to complete the 800 bags. So that, with my other orders, means that I have to complete about 100 bags a week. I break that down into what I will give to my seamstress and what I need to do myself. It usually takes me a couple of days of cutting and prepping for my seamstress which leaves me 4-5 days to sew. I have been trying to take one day a week off or atleast a partial day off.

I have some bags that take me most of the day to complete like my divas or my Aunty Tutu. So many details! But then there are other bags like totes that go together quick as a bunny and I can finish 15 or so in a day. When I make my schedule I have to also consider the time factor. I have bills just like all of you do so I can't waste time on things that don't bring in an income.

The past couple of weeks I have spent a little extra time on some bags that were promotional. They will be seen on a couple of upcoming segments on a morning TV show and the publicity should be well worth the time I spent on the bags. In fact the host of the show has been awesome about promoting me over on Oahu! There are some wonderful opportunities waiting in the wings right now that I have to prepare for.

I had intended to be posting weekly with tips and tutorials, but I guess I forgot to schedule that into my weekly "to -do" list. *sigh* so much to do....and only 24 hrs in a day!

I just looked at my schedule and it reminded me that it is time to go to bed!

a hui hou

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Things I have learned - #1 Find your Passion

I have been making bags for about 4 years and selling them since October of 2007. One of the things that inspired me to make this my profession was being encouraged to read books about finding and following your passion. At the time, I set a goal of being able to quit my day job in 3-4 years. As many of you know, I am quite goal oriented so after setting that goal, I had to make mini goals to keep my dream alive. I recently felt it was time to take the plunge and "practice without a net", the net of another income! So here I am in a new year, with renewed passion and determination.

I feel that finding your passion in life is so important. You don't have to make it your profession. Maybe you love to knit. DO IT. Maybe you love to cook. COOK FOR ME! Maybe you love children. BORROW ONE! Just kidding...but seriously, find something that brings you joy, peace or satisfaction and go for it!

When you are passionate about something, you are moved to find out more about it. For me, I wanted to learn how to make a better bag. I still have a couple of my first attempts that I may dare to share with you one day, but they were NOT good. They were limp and very "homemade" looking. Not a good thing! So my next stop was the Salvation Army. I went to thrift stores and bought bags made out of a variety of materials from leather to canvas that I took apart to see what made them more professional looking than mine. I discovered probably the most important feature in bag after bag. I will go into more detail about this feature in a future "Things I have learned", but let me just say one word, "Stabilizer". I noted where the bags were stabilized and figured out why.

Some gals would have just bought a pattern and learned from that. Well, I tried that as well, but I swear, I don't do well with other people's patterns. The drawings confuse me and I seem to spend more time reading and rereading the instructions than actually sewing! I guess I am one of those who learn best by doing!

When you have a passion that you also want to make into your profession, it isn't good enough to know how to make it. You also have to know who would want to buy it and how to get your product out there. In the early days, I spent hours and hours on the internet reading forums, blogs, and tutorials. I loved to read the stories of how other people built their little empires. Those stories also served to keep my dream alive.
In this new year, I challenge everyone to find and pursue your passion. Who knows where it will lead you?

a hui hou

New Blog Feature

I am looking at ways to "give back" even in small ways. So one of the new features I will be adding to my Sasaki Bags blog is "Things I have Learned". My aim is to help others out there who are just starting out. I hope to keep this about starting a business and making bags, but can not promise to not toss in a personal thing or two about things I have learned. I just remember that when I was considering going into the bag making business, I scoured the internet searching for information about how others had taken the plunge, the pros and cons and highs and lows of having your own business.

I would love to have you add your comments and let me know if there is anything specific you would like me to write about.

a hui hou

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year world!

I always begin my year by reflecting on the past. This year my "Best and Worst" were pretty easy for me to choose. My worst day began in June and just sort of continued on throughout the summer and fall, when I found out that my dad had cancer. All the scary events that followed began with the words, "Its cancer". What a blessing it was to hear that before the year ended, Dad is in total remission and the latest biopsy was benign! Such great news. I am wishing for good health for all my family in 2011.
My best for 2010, oddly may not have happened if not for "the worst". You see, I hadn't seen my son for 9 years and was able to see him and hug him and gaze at him when we were both out in Idaho assisting my parents. I hadn't seen him since his high school graduation and it was so odd to see this 27 year old man sitting before me. So familiar and yet such a stranger. I love him dearly and miss him daily.

I missed getting to see my daughter when she flew out to help mom and dad. We had to stagger visits so as not to all be there at the same time and so we all felt like we were able to help. I hope I get to see her this year. In fact it is one of my goals.

There are a lot of changes ahead of me for the coming year. I will embrace them when the time is right. With this and many other considerations, I have chosen my word of the year. It will be "Awareness". I can see this word touching many aspects of my life. Sometimes, I allow life to manage me and I am working on managing my life! I AM the Boss of Me! I want to be more aware of my environment my needs and the needs of others. My environment consists of any place that I find myself. If I am in my studio, I hope to be more aware of being organized with putting things away. If I am outside, I will be more aware by taking time to smell the plumeria!

I believe that being "Aware" involves living in the moment and savoring it. I am also committed to being aware of others needs. I have been working hard to build my business and it is prospering. But not everyone is. I feel strongly that before you can save the world, you need to start in your own backyard. We have a food bank in Kona that isn't always full and we have homeless with special needs of their own. So this year, I will be giving a portion of my profits to local charities, giving back a little to the community that I love so much. In Hawaii, its just called "Living Aloha". If we all do a little, great things can happen!

Have a wonderful, happy, tranquil, love-filled, inspiring, adventurous, healthy and prosperous 2011.

a hui hou