Okay, by now, you guys might have figured out I am quite a "collector" ( nicer word for addict). If I like something, normally I go all the way out and amass as many as I can. I am a bag "collector" too. I think I have over 200 bags! All sorts! Gigantic, huge, large, medium, small, mini, invisible ones too!HAHA! I have totes, overnighters , luggage, pouches, purses, wallets etc etc you get the drift.
Therefore ( clear throat, put on my glasses and look serious), I am quite the expert on bags. I pride myself as able to spot a bag worth it's money in thread count as far as 500 meter away. This is a skill fine tune to highly professional standards thanks to living in a fast pace city where I do not have a lot of time for shopping or patience for entertaining mediocre poorly made bags. I am pleased to tell you guys, there is an excellent bag artist and crafter among us in Etsy.
This post is alll about a wonderful wonderful Etsy seller Sakizome who makes the loveliest bags!!! I had eyed her store for quite awhile because I love the fabric she used. I was not keen to buy at first because I am afraid it might not be as good as what is shown on the pictures ( trust me, I have had bad experiences before) . I caved in last week because I simply love the fabric on this bag so I ask her to custom make it bigger for me. Her response is fast, professional, positive and very very friendly. I was relieved as I am worried she might not be able to make it. In 36 hours, she told me my bag is ready. I was apprehensive. So fast? I thought. Well. Okay then. I mean, it is not an expensive bag and if I don't like it, I can give it away later.
It turns out to be one of the best bag I have bought on Etsy so far ( see the picture above , that is my bag!!) ! I was truly astounded by the beautiful workmanship! To me, it is better to use cheap fabric but good workmanship than to use expensive fabric and but lousy workmanship ( I am aware I used "workmanship" 3 times, I am sorry but I can't think of any other words at this time:p) . The fabric is rich and thick, the lining also superior quality and very very nice prints! The seams, the stitches, the sewing all are so professional done! I felt like I just step out of a Japanese bag store!
The strap and the zip are of boutique quality! I show it to Beautiful Geek and he said he had thought I got it for USD 70!!! I show it off to my friends and got loads of compliments! They are rather envious I must say ( silly to be envious, just go buy one!!) .
I personally feel she priced her bags too low ! The cloth and material she uses are not the usual quality I see in normal stores. The prints and patterns she uses are very unique too! What I like best about her store is that there are a really nice range of bags to choose from! Not just handbags, there are clutch, pouches, wristlets, totes and coin purses too! I felt that she is one artist who is not afraid to try new things and am very up to date with the current styles.
I asked if I can featured her and am so glad she agreed. She is so so nice to talk to too! I am honor that she is willing to use some of her busy time to talk about her craft and let us have a peep in her life.
♥Tell us a bit about yourself name, location, affiliations, personal stuff please.
I live in Singapore although I have variously lived in England, in Malaysia and in California. I am lucky to be surrounded by greenery at home: bamboo and palm trees, fig trees, eucalyptus trees, and many more. Of course I am also surrounded by rooms full of fabric, embroidery threads and buttons!
♥ Apart from creating beautiful things, do you have a full time job too?
I actually have a day job which I love. It is demanding and great fun. It requires me to travel but it has also meant that I have met many fascinating people from all over the world. And of course it helps fund my passion for fabric.
♥ What first made you want to become an artist?
I grew up such a nerd. I loved reading and studying. At university in England I discovered that my boyfriend only wore jumpers that had been handknitted by his mother. I could not be outdone! I decided that I had to learn to knit and soon knitted more than a lifetime supply of complex sweaters. Naturally he wore them all and of course I married him! I treasure all his mother's jumpers and still keep them very carefully. The knitting transitioned into embroidery and the embroidery into sewing, mainly by hand. I love making complex hand appliqued and embroidered quilts.
My husband and 3 sons soon decided that there was nothing I could leave alone: I embroidered all over their clothes, and even the curtains at home had were embroidered. Our home looks like a gallery with with my quilts on every wall, even in the bathrooms. Of course the beds were all covered with my quilts long ago. Indeed, we sometimes say we built our present house so that I could have more space to better display my quilts. They are spectacular, or at least my sweet family think so.
♥ Please describe your creative process how, when, materials, etc.
I can only make something if the fabric, threads, etc speak to me and I can assure you that they call out to me all the time. I usually dream - both day dream and otherwise about what I might do and then I start sketching, making rough notes on dimensions and other pointers to myself along the way. Then I start experimenting till I get the outcome I am looking for. I am fussy about quality, although I like everything I make to look handmade.
♥ What handmade possession do you most cherish?
This one is easy - the first jumper I ever knitted for my then boyfriend, now husband - a grey alpaca jumper. The knitting is not very even and I have come a long long way in terms of skills and inspiration but it was a transformative experience and made me realise that there was an artistic side to this nerd.
♥ Where is your favorite countries/ places?
Kyoto for its history, Tokyo for its vibrancy, Oxford, England as I have many memories of growing up there, Cambridge, England where I fell in love and learnt to knit and sew and of course, sunny Singapore.
♥ What is the motto/s you live by?
This is not a motto but I know that I need to sew, to make something beautiful, everyday! :)
Thanks Sakizome for an enjoyable interview. I love hearing other people's life stories, it always makes motivated me in some ways. I truly am overjoy with my bag and I start to understand what my mother who is a seamstress used to says " when you carry a good quality handmade bag, you will feel like a million dollars". I did. :)