Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows I have a strong preference for handmade goods and the artisans with the skill and passion for making them. In the hands of a talented craftsperson, a common object becomes a work of love, and I feel good when I'm able to own and use the work of their hands and heart. When that skill is partnered with good business sense, enthusiasm and truly happy and friendly personalities, I feel I've struck gold - these are the people who will always have my loyalty and gratitude and I'm not even exaggerating when I say I believe that these are the traits that improve our world.
I've found this in abundance through the dynamic mother-daughter duo that make of Sweet Magnoleah, and I'm so tickled to have the opportunity to talk about their delightful handmade treasures. Paula and Leah work closely together to select and blend really interesting fabrics with some seriously amazing sewing skills along with a really fun vibe that makes the entire process of selecting just the write accessory feel like a pampering experience.
Sweet Magnoleah logo.
I opened the tissue and it was like my birthday - I received a make-up bag in a bright blue floral print, and a reversible market tote in an earthy brown and orange floral print on one side and orange and white chevron fabric on the reverse. Each was neatly bundled inside a wide satin ribbon - a very pretty presentation that made me instantly think that these could be ordered as gifts and sent directly to the recipient without concern. These little touches matter a lot to me and every aspect of ordering these felt like real care was given to make the experience pleasant.
When I first received these, we were still in the dead of winter, and the bright and happy colors made me hopeful that maybe Spring might actually arrive! Now that it has (ok, we had snow three days ago, but still!), I can't wait for the market tote to become my bag of choice - and I can, because it is so much more than just a market tote.
The tote is big and roomy, and so solidly construction that I've gotten no sense at all of straining to accommodate the weight of what I put in it - the handles and very durable and attached in a way that doesn't cause undue stress on the bag. I've found it very easy to tuck in just about whatever I want to carry. Indeed, the challenge won't be on what the bag can hold, but how many pounds you want to pick up.
It's also stylish enough to use as a handbag, and the handles are the right length to comfortably sling onto my shoulder as easily as carry it on my arm or in my hands.
I put it to heavy use a couple weeks ago, when I attended a four day conference with multiple workshops as well as a very tempting vending room. Our hotel room was physically as far away as it is possible to get from the conference area and still be in the same building - so minimizing trips back and forth was vital. My Sweet Magnoleah tote was put to use carrying workshop materials, a Kindle, snacks and water, my purse, some needlework for 'down time', my purse, and as a way to haul various treasures purchased in the vendor room, including (too many) books. I never felt the bag's integrity was being stressed at all - no stretched bits or wear and tear in spite of some hard use.
These bags are the perfect accessory for anyone doing some traveling, or just looking for a really versatile handbag that can be used however you need to - and yes, they're easily washable.
Best of all, each one of Sweet Magnoleah's market totes are reversible! Simply flip it inside out, and you've got a whole new look. This is where their fabric blends shine - and they have a really wonderful sense of how to combine different strong prints together in a fun way that really works. Flipped to the chevron side, I think the bag suddenly develops a more sophisticated style that will pair very well with most springtime attire.
As is the nature of handcrafted items, the patterns available will vary, but at $25.00 for each Market Tote that will reverse to two different looks, these quality bags are a total steal! I guarantee you there is at least one more of these that are going to be mine.
But unlike several bags I've bought and tossed aside in frustration, this one has one really huge superpower - you can actually fit your toiletries in it, and find them without having to dump the whole bag out or root around blind!
It's the pattern they use - the zippered top is wider than the base, so you can use it without grief!
For that same conference, I was able to put in the make up items I'd be using and still have room for a baggie of travel sized 'wet' items (facial cleansers, toothpaste, etc) at the top, and zip it up without feeling like I'd overstuffed it. I had no problem at all keeping everything neatly corralled inside the bag, and here again, the happy colors and pop of polka dots on the inside make the bag fun to use as well practical.
At home, I've taken to keeping my essentials inside the bag, so I can put away less used items out of sight, instead of scattered all over. It makes for a pretty touch in the bathroom!
The inner lining is cotton rather than some sort of vinyl, so I've not tested it with 'messy' items, but here again the bag is washable - so as long as reasonable caution is made to cap your cosmetics, or put them in small baggies, the solid construction of the bag itself should provide lasting durability. These brilliant bags go for only $15, and it would be well worthwhile to own more than one!
If you're looking for something a little more compact to tuck into a purse, Sweet Magnoleah also offers flat zippered pouches ($10) also with their signature interior contrasting fabrics, that are just right for the job of being on-the-go. Looking for something even more compact? How about their new Credit Card pouch on a keyring O-ring ($8). I know it's redundant to say so, but one of those needs to be in my future, too.
All in all, I just could not be happier with my experience with Sweet Magnoleah - these have become my favorite bags to use both for the way they look and the pristine construction. I've enjoyed my conversations with Leah and Paula, and I know they bring that heart and warmth to every customer they deal with.
These affordable and fun bags may be just the thing you're looking for as a unique tuck-in for an Easter basket, the perfect Mother's Day gift, or simply as the perfect wardrobe addition for the warmer season ahead.
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Sweet Magnoleah is offering this lovely matched set of make up bag and zippered pouch in their Amy Butler-Lark fabric design to one of our readers world-wide! The combined value of this sweet duo is $25, and the Giveaway will be open until just before midnight on April 6.
To enter the giveaway, leave a comment in this entry as instructed by the Rafflecopter, then leave the name you commented under and your email in the box in the Rafflecopter entry. (This allows us to contact you if you win!) This will open up additional optional entries to increase your odds of winning.
This giveaway is open WORLD-WIDE
and will end just before midnight ET on 4-6-15.
and will end just before midnight ET on 4-6-15.
The winner will be notified by email within 24 hours after the end of the giveaway. In order to claim the giveaway prize, the winner will need to respond within 24 hours of notification, or an alternate winner will be selected.
Good luck everyone!
a Rafflecopter giveaway