Friday, April 30, 2010

Sasaki Bags May Give-away

Tomorrow is May 1st. That may mean many things to many people. It is May Day. As a kid I recall something about may baskets and flowers. In Hawaii, May Day is Lei Day. Everyone wears a lei and there are extraordinary leis entered into contests. The school children hold Lei Day celebrations with a Royal Court, hula dancing and all sorts of festivities.
But for me, May 1st is the beginning of my birthday month! My bday is the last day of May. I thoroughly enjoy having birthdays! It means I am still alive! For me, my birthday is like New Years Day for other people. I love to take the day and reflect on the past year and think about ways I can improve as a person in the coming year. One year, my sister bought me 31 presents and I got to open one every day of the month. It was so much fun!

So this year, I want to make some other lucky girls' day by giving away a Sasaki Bag on my birthday. I have not made the bag that will be given away. I am not sure which one it will be yet. I am hoping you all inspire me to create something that all the girls will envy. To qualify here is what you can do:

1. Each time you comment on my Sasaki Bags Facebook or Twitter pages I will write your name on a slip of paper and put it in a bag.

2. If you comment on my blog, you will also be entered into the drawing.

3. If you go to my Discussions page on Sasaki Bags Facebook and leave a comment or start a new discussion, you will be entered again and again!
Then at the end of the month...did I mention that is my BIRTHDAY?, I will draw a slip of paper out of the bag and announce the lucky girl!

I am doing it in this fashion so that a girl who REALLY wants a Sasaki Bag can increase her chances of getting one by leaving comments. In the past, I randomly chose a name from my list of fans. What I really hope to accomplish is to get to know my customers and friends a little better. Tell me what you like, what you don't like. Give me your ideas! Lets just have fun connecting this month!

a hui hou


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Mommy and Mini-Me

Sometimes I just have to take a day and sew something new. I have so many ideas floating around in my head but so little time to try them all out! Today I wanted to make a special bag with Mother's Day in mind. For a long time I have been thinking of making a bag with a matching bag for a young daughter. The first bag I finished within 2 hours. The matching "mini-me" bag took me about 5 hours!

I only had to throw one away. But had to rip this one apart twice. It is a tricky thing to get the proportions similar to the Mommy bag and yet making it small enough for a little girl....a daughter young enough to still think it is neat to look and dress like her mommy! I also had to use similar but smaller bamboo handles which my own "mommy" was kind enough to scout around and find for me. Often, living on an island, I can't find things at affordable prices so I send my mom on a scavenger hunt on the mainland to see what she can find for me! But in the end, when I finished them both....I have to say that I am so pleased with the outcome. At this moment, I can't remember anything that I have ever made that was SO cute!

I would like to start making these "mother/daughter sets" if there are enough women who would like them. But I need to make a few, first, to get my time down that it takes to make them. This set has to be given as a gift. If I charged by the hour today, you would think that the handles were gold plated!

a hui hou

Monday, April 5, 2010

Kona Cloud Coffee Estates

I am having so much fun working with the bags from the Kona Cloud Coffee Estates! I have to play around with the bag to see what design best carries the logo etc. So since Thursday, whats that? Four days ago? I have made two Kona style bags, two market totes, two Holualoa style "bucket bags", and 4 deluxe omiyage tote bags. I have several orders going out to stores and galleries in Hawaii and will be using these latest creations to help fill those orders. Friday I was up at Pacific Islands Gallery in Holualoa to drop off her order and sold two bags before I even left the store! Infact, they hadn't even been tagged yet! One of them was a Kona Cloud coffee bag and the other was from the Kona Pacific Farmers Co-op.

I am wondering which lining will do best in Arkansas in the tote bags. I sent Jim Ameika 3 samples. One had a bright, bold, fun aloha print, another had a earthy greens and browns aloha print with tropical leaves, and the third was a cotton print of coffee beans. I know that the wide variety of customers I have in Hawaii have quite varied tastes. They will buy a bag even if it has dog bones printed inside!

If anyone out there from Arkansas reads this post, please tell me your preferences. At this point I think that about 12 of the bags I am sending out will have the coffee beans and the other bags will be a variety of aloha prints. I will try to compliment the coffee bag, as always.

Earl is off work tonight so I am off to spend some time with him and shut the sewing studio down for the night.

a hui hou!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

First Quarter

Today we turned the page on another month. So it was time for me to see how I am doing on my goals. As far as balance goes....well, I am trying. I have been taking time away from the sewing room and doing "other" things ....a little bit. I still need to work on balance when I am at home. A little yard work would be good for the soul...and the waistline!

And how am I doing on my numbers? You know my goal for bags made for the year is 2010 bags in 2010! To accomplish that I have to make 167 bags per month. In March I exceeded that. 192 Sasaki Bags were made last month! But for January and February I was low. I am about 100 bags behind as I go into the second quarter. So I just need to readjust my "sails" and tack into the head wind! I do think it was a rather ambitious goal...but I still think it is possible. (Where are my cheerleaders??? "na-na-na-no-body messes with my sewing machine!")

Tomorrow I am shipping off some sample bags to Arkansas. I usually enter into new business relationships with a bit of trepidation these days. I have been burned a couple of times and have grown cautious. But for some reason, I am very excited about this prospect of selling to this client. Once I am sure that they want my bags, (and I can't imagine why they wouldn't!) I will share more details...just in case you are ever in Jonesboro, Arkansas and needing a Sasaki Bag! I will be shipping them 25 bags this month and am working on 35 bags for a different corporate order that is due in June. I also have the new store opening in Waikiki this summer so I have about 50 bags already made and sitting in my living room awaiting their grand opening. Sorry menehune man! Right now I have bags in all four corners of my living room! They are separated by location so I don't send the wrong bags to the wrong location! Yikes...even just hearing myself say that puts fear in my bones! *shudder*

It feels so good to be able to plan ahead and not feel so rushed and panicky! Lots of irons in the fire but it is a controlled burn!

Oh, and let me just share my opinion on the economy.....It's picking up! I started my little biz smack dab in the middle of the downturn. Yet I have seen continual growth. But recently, atleast three of my accounts are calling me weekly to place additional orders. That means people are buying more, and if they are buying my bags...they are most likely spending money on other things as well. Yeah!

Tonight I had so much to sew. By about 8pm I was pooped so I had to do little things to entertain myself to keep the sewing interesting. So, I made a watermelon bag...those always crack me up! And then I decided to play on the "Beverly Hills 90210" and create a "Honaunau, Hawaii 96726" bag. It made me smile. Most people probably will wonder..."why are those numbers on the bag?"...well, the coffee bag I used was from the Gold Mountain farm in I just decided to have some fun with it!

a hui hou!