Sunday, May 22, 2011

My Sasaki Bag

Sometime ago, in my browsing on, I found Sasaki Bags. Barb Sasaki of Kona, HI makes bags out of burlap coffee bean bags. What caught my attention was that she had a bag made out of a Kauai Coffee bag and the address on the back side of the bag had the town of Eleele, Kauai. My mother was born in the town of Eleele.

I left a comment about loving her bags and so began a cyber friendship. I told her I wanted a bag with that coffee bag. She told me to let her know when I was ready and she would make one for me. I "liked" her Facebook page and have commented on her blog.

About a month ago or so, I emailed her to tell her I wanted to order a bag and would she be able to have it completed by the end of May. I got it the first week of May. She told me she could and I then told her what I wanted. I decided on the style and what I wanted. The bag I purchased is called the medium Omiyage bag. Here's the front of the bag. I don't know what this bird is called, it is common to the Hawaiian Islands. The bag comes with web handles.

As a gift, she included a shoulder strap. It would have been an extra charge.

Here's the back side of the bag.

Showing the shoulder strap and the web handles. And her tag.

As another gift, she included a cell phone pocket and a pencil pocket. The fabric used for the inside and the bottom of the bag is a common hibiscus pattern, red and white. I love it....

This is a 10 inch zippered pocket that I ordered.

Another gift she included is this tissue holder. The fabric is a map of the Waikiki area including parts of Kapahulu. I was so excited to see this fabric. Hopefully the picture can be enlarged, if so Seaside Avenue is just above Royal Hawaiian Avenue. My mother and her cousin, Aunty Lou (we called her Aunty because she was older than we, although she was a cousin...this is Hawaiian style) had a dress shop on Seaside Avenue just up from Kalakaua Avenue. While I was in high school, my younger sister and I spent a lot of time after school, helping to sweep up the floor
and take the trash out.

On this side, Palani Avenue can be seen. It runs between Kapahulu Avenue and Date Street, just one block long. My grandmother's house was on Palani. Grandma had a drapery business and my younger sister and I would go there too after school to help her clean the floor in her sewing room. Sometimes she would have one of us iron the pleats in on draperies she was making. Her house is no longer there. After she died, her property was sold and there's an apartment building there now. That was really sad to see because between the "big house" (that's what we called it...there was usually a family member living there. My mom lived there for a while) and Grandma's cottage and sewing room was a huge Hayden mango tree. The cousins spent many a day up in the tree eating green mangoes until we were sick to our stomachs. :-)

I am very excited to have my bag. I'm going on a trip in a couple of weeks and I'm going to use it as my carry on bag. It is quite large...13 inches from the top edge to the bottom of the red fabric and 18 inches from side to side. The bottom is 6 inches wide. There is a piece of wood that is fabric covered on the bottom. I will be able to have my Nook, camera, phone and Mp3 player and still room for my wallet and other items. And with the shoulder strap I can cross it over my shoulders and it won't be cumbersome to carry. I plan on taking another bag to use too.

Oh, she also included a stainless steel water bottle with a hook on it. I can hook it to the shoulder strap. I used it the other day when we went to watch the Tour of California downtown. My water was still cold when we got home.

I believe Barb is originally from Idaho. She is married to a Japanese man. Here are some of her links: her etsy shop, her blog and her web site. Take a look and see what she has to offer.

I've sure enjoyed our chatting and who knows, maybe someday I'll get to meet her.

Mahalo, Barb!


  1. Wow....I got chicken skin over and over again just hearing about all the deep "connections" to your new items !!

  2. What a unique bag! So nice of her to include extras too. And OMG that map tissue holder!! How awesome is dat!

  3. That's pretty neat and so much hard work and time into making it. All done by hand too? How much was it?

  4. @Didi: "Connections" is right. She told me she used that fabric for the tissue holder so I wouldn't get lost when I went home again. :)

    @jalna: This is a very special bag...a one-of-a-kind. And yes, the tissue holder is so special.

    @mmiissee: The base price of this bag is $45, I ordered the wood bottom and 10" zipper pocket and with shipping, I sent paypal to her for $65. The extra cell phone and pencil pocket and the shoulder strap that she "gifted" me with would have been extra charges. So they are expensive. Look and see her Etsy shop, I included the link, to see what else she makes. She is making ipad bags now. She has some bags that she made out of silks. I want to save up some more money to get a smaller bag that I can use for everyday. This one is too big to use for everyday. This is an early birthday present to myself. :)