After years of buying purses, messenger bags, and totes–none of which worked all the time, I got tired of changing bags. After spending tons of money on tons of bags, I finally decided to have one custom made. I’m a writer, teach writing and journaling classes, am a creativity coach and speaker.
That means I schlep an amazing amount of small pieces: pencil for sketching, pen for writing, index cards, rollabind notebook, books, wallet, glasses case, sometimes a camera. And then all the stuff women carry– lip pencil, chapstick, brush, bandaids, Aleve, and gum.
I called up MacClay leather, from Pennsylvania. I’ve seen Clay’s work at shows, and he is meticulous. His work is beautiful and the leather he uses is rich and wears tough and long.
The bag has to be a shoulder bag and a messenger bag because I ride a motorcycle and it has to come with me. No problem. The strap is adjustable to hang over my shoulder or across my body. The clasps are brass–sturdy and easy to operate.
I wanted it lined in a light material. So many bags are lined in black and you can’t find anything. No problem. A pale tan nylon is waterproof and just the right color for hiding a bit of schmutz and light enough to find things.
The bag had to have two outside zipper pockets on one side (shown with 4 x 6 index cards to highlight the zippers) and a slide pocket on the other. In addition, the big open pocket has to have a smaller pocket to hold the Metro card, cell phone or receipts. It went into the design.
The inside has pockets lining one side, and a long zipper pocket on the other. The stash pockets hold the checkbook, glasses case, cell phone when it needs to be zipped away, gum, and a brush. The zippered stash pockets holds the airline tickets and receipts when I travel, and the ever present book or magazine that’s always with me so I can read while I wait.
The bag is tough and still formal enough for me to call on clients without looking like a rock climber who’s lost her way. It was not cheap, but it sure was cheaper than buying bags for different purposes. And I’ve saved money in time just carrying one bag. It’s a great bag. I’ll bet MacClay leather will make one for you, too, if you ask.
(c) 2007 Quinn McDonald. All rights reserved.