Sunday, October 24, 2010

49 years and counting...

My life has been interesting to say the least. Some of you who know me now, may not know that I first married at age 17 (nope, wasn't even pregnant!) and had two children before I could even buy a beer (at age 21)! I am no longer married to my children's father, but he will always remain a part of my history, since we were together for 18 years.

I am now 49 years old and proud to say it! I don't understand people who are ashamed of their age. Gosh, you have earned the right to say the "number"! When I was 29, a dear friend of mine passed away and I vowed to never regret growing older! That was 20 years ago. In this next year, I will be 50. Now, how on earth did that ever happen? Where did the years go?

But honestly, I feel as if I am on the cusp of a new beginning! A life yet undiscovered! Much of my life I have had the opportunity to work in luxury resorts and have met people that you only read about. One of the most surreal moments has to be when I was working a concert/dinner and Archbishop Desmond Tutu was "chair dancing" to Brian Wilson singing "I wish they all could be California girls...". As I ventured across the floor to deliver his apple juice, I was stunned when he "fist bumped" me in appreciation! Did Archbishop Desmond Tutu really just "fist bump" me? That same evening I was priveleged to serve champagne to the first woman president of an African nation, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf , of Liberia! There were secret service agents all around inspecting my tray each time I entered the room! I was aware of the importance of her attendance.

I have seen and met may movie stars and movie producers through the years. The one thing it taught me is that we are all the same...we just do different things to make a living! There are nice people and there are jerks in every walk of life! Many years ago, I was a manager at a restaurant in Silverwood Theme Park in Idaho. The placemats were our printed menus and when people would come in to take a look at the menu, I used to ask if they would like me to autograph it for them. (it cracked me up) Often, people would ask me, "well, who are you?" I would reply, "it isn't who I AM, it's who I may be someday!" Today, I am a bag maker!

Three years ago, when I began designing Sasaki Bags, I did so with an intention of making it become my livelyhood within 3-4 years. Well, that was 3 years ago and I recently committed myself to having Sasaki Bags be my sole provider of income. It is a scarey and yet exciting step forward for me, but one I take on with bravado! I feel that the time has come and it seems to be the natural "next step" for me in my business venture.

This next year is already filling up with amazing business opportunities. I stand in awe and full of excitement in anticipation of what lies ahead for me. I hope that you stop by and share in my journey that lies ahead. Life is nothing, if not for the journey!

a hui hou



Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sasaki Bags looking ahead

Here at Sasaki Bags, I am having such a great time finishing up some big orders, taking new orders for the holidays and looking ahead to even more exciting things to come. I have already booked a few corporate orders for the incentive group season in 2011 and with eight stores now carrying Sasaki Bags, I stay busy enough to keep out of trouble!

At the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, on November 13, at the Old Airport in Kona, I will be releasing my "Aunty Tutu" bag. I have now made a few of them, tweaked some things here and there and am ready to unleash my new gal. It is a large bag. I used mine as a carry-on while traveling to Idaho recently, which allowed me to see what worked and what needed to be tweaked. It fits perfectly underneath the airplane seats when laid flat. The only thing missing on this bag is WHEELS! ha! While rushing through San Francisco airport, that idea did cross my mind!

I am also ordering some leather that I will be working with. My vision is to add leather bottoms and feet to some of my bags. (Mom, I have a purple lambskin hide that I am eyeing! Hmmm, who would like that? Any ideas?) Having never sewn on leather, it may take me awhile to get proficient at it so that it is "boutique-worthy. Max is sitting here just waiting to be put to work!

And what about next year? Well, I plan to keep on working my buns off, and refine some of the design ideas I have been playing with. It also may be time to look for some more outside help, (keeping in mind my word of the year this year: Balance) even if it is just with cutting out bags and linings. This bag maker just can't do it all and keep up with the demand! And I'm sure that Menehune Man would appreciate me not cracking the whip on his days off from his other job!

So, there you have it! Right now, I am just taking a deep breath and hoping to survive the holidays. I believe I surpassed my 2010 goal this week, but haven't done an actual tally. I will let you know.

a hui hou

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Chicago Screws

While I was in Idaho I stopped into a Farm and Garden store and found some Tandy leather supplies. I bought some Chicago Screws in different sizes and designs to try out. I know I can order them elsewhere in bulk but always wanted to give them a try without purchasing 500 of them!
Today I made one of my Big Kahuna bags and used the Chicago Screws to enhance the strap. They add both strength and style (IMHO). Okay, they are a little more work...but sometimes to make a better product, it is worth it! Here is a photo of the bag I made today with the new addition. What do you think?
For those of you who may not be familiar with Chicago Screws, they look pretty much like a rivet but instead of schmushing (go ahead, look it up!) the two pieces together, you poke a hole, in this case, in the webbing, slide the shank of one end into the webbing and then screw the other side into that shank. It is a neat look and adds more hardware, which appeals to many of my customers. This bag was a custom order that included the 1 1/2" O-rings attached to the straps.
a hui hou