pflueger on Oct 1, 2014
I love this bag & it's getting tons of use! No, it's not compact, but it does have a flat bottom, a large capacity & is extremely sturdy. Plus, I love being able to see inside. thanks!
GladiolaSmiles is born!
Several years ago, I needed a container of a specific size to carry my husband and my vitamin supplements on a trip in such a way that it would be convenient and easy to move about. My eyes happened to spot the new dog feed bags that my husband just emptied were this poly/woven tarp like material that was very sturdy and waterproof. I decided I could open the bag out flat and measure, cut and sew whatever size I wanted.
After several trials and errors, I developed a style and system for cutting the bag material so that the beautiful graphics would show on one side of the tote and the carry handles would be double stitched into the bag for strength. The only material I needed to add was thread for the sewing. At first I tried invisible, nylon thread, but soon found it would tear out very easily.
At first, I made these totes for family and friends. They were wonderful market totes for bringing home the groceries and leaving the plastic bags at the store. When I found some of the beautiful horse graphics being thrown away at my daughter's horse boarding facility, I started grabbing them whenever I was out there. Then Purina did a breast cancer research bag with the beautiful pink bags with barrel racers and I went bonkers for those. Since I had a sister who was fighting breast cancer, they were very important to me and I eventually got pink chickenfeed bags, too.
The first time it occured to me to make money with the totes was at a family reunion when we had our friendly auction to raise funds for the next reunion. I donated two of the tote bags and the friendly bantering and bidding took in more than I dreamed it would for one of these totes. After that, I started trying to come up for a name to call an ETSY store. Several ideas came up, mostly devoted to sewing, but they were already taken according to Google. I have been accused of always smiling and have been called Gladiola many times, so one day the idea of GladiolaSmiles came to me and it stuck. This way I can add other sections to my store down the line, like painting and other crafts. At least that is what I am hoping to do.
So far I have had some good experience selling totes on Etsy. My new adventure has been acrylic wildlife paintings on rock slabs. My sister showed me a couple she had purchased and told me the artist was "retiring" and there was a need for someone to fill the gap. So, I have been experimenting and enjoying getting my feet wet in the fine art area again. So far, I have sold a couple to friends and one at a "show/craft fair" with good reviews. I am going with Gladiola as my signature on the artwork, as it fits, and will be promoting and adding the slabs in a new section of my store. The hard part is knowing how much to ask as a selling price. I guess that is always a problem with newcomers!
I noticed dog food was coming in sturdy woven material with wonderful graphics on them. I could utilize the material so it didn't end up in the landfill and found other animal feedsacks with graphics including horse/chicken/rabbit, etc.
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