Sunday, June 18, 2023


 Bespoke is a great word. The dictionary defines it as "Made for a particular customer or user."

It sounds so much more exclusive than "custom".

Occasionally, I see things on the internet, within a short period of time and my mind connects them.  The first one I saw was on a bag makers' forum, where someone thought that putting a metal tag on a bag that says "Handmade" looked unprofessional. 

Just like this. Now you can guess my opinion. I think that shiny hardware makes a bag look rather polished. This is my Flora bag, a bespoke bag for one of my dear ones. I imagine most people don't actually get close enough to read the tag.

Then I saw something about the price of a Hermes Birkin Bag. Apparently some people are willing to pay $250,000 for a leather tote bag, with shiny hardware. It boggles my mind. I love a nice handbag, own quite a few, but really? I was further shocked to discover that the bag has a couple of slip pockets inside, and is otherwise a big open space. You have to buy other bags to put inside in order to be able to find your stuff in the bag.  There was mention made of the bag being "aspirational". 

The next article I saw was why one should never buy a counterfeit designer bag. It made all sorts of interesting claims for why, including basically that it devalues the "real" designer bags.

Which lead me off to the whole idea of bespoke. I have been asked if I could make someone a bag. My answer is always "You can't afford it." This largely comes from knowing that people are not even willing to pay minimum wage for my time in making the bag. One of my "bespoke" bags takes probably 10 to 15 hours to cut, fuse and sew. That means that the bag should cost at least $150 plus materials. Someone who is asking is expecting to pay under $50. Many makers undervalue their goods because they just want to sell that bag. However, they aren't really paying themselves for their unique creations. 

My mind is still whirling at the amount of profit a $250,000 bag must make for the corporate body whose name is on the bag. Some of these bags could stand to be "devalued" I'll continue to support makers, I like knowing who made my item. Why would someone want an expensive bag that is the same as hundreds of other expensive bags?

A couple of weeks ago, my sweetie surprised me with this pendant. It came from a jewelry maker that he saw featuring her work online and decided that I would enjoy it. He was right.  It is perfectly imperfect, like all good handmade items are. 

Meanwhile, I finished my socks.

 One pair of big socks and one pair of baby socks. 

I am also making progress on my latest "bespoke" bag. The recipient choose the fabric and the cork. 

This is the back and the flap. It is pretty wild. Of course, the mess on the table doesn't help. The lining is much calmer. The bag is actually nearly finished but I am behind on photos.

If all goes as planned I will have a couple more finishes in a couple of days.