Saturday, July 11, 2009

Saturday's Featured Artist: Sasaki Creations

Recycling for a better world is the lofty goal of many Etsians, including myself :). Today, we'll meet Barb Sasaki from Hawaii, who brings life to recycled material and makes unique and beautiful wonderful handbag for her lovely shop, SasakiCreations. Her shop was established in May 29, 2007, and has 199 sales so far.

Here's our short and sweet interview with Bard Sasaki from SasakiCreations. Ready for a trip to Hawaii?

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#1. Describe yourself in 5 words.
Determined, Passionate, Creative, Hard-working, Messy

#2. What goodies do you offer in your shop?
I make handbags and accessories mostly out of recycled coffee bags and potato sacks, but I also love working with silks from kimonos and obis or other beautiful fabrics. I just started making yoga mat bags out of Japanese obis. I love color and contrast.

#3. How was your shop started?
In the beginning, I opened my shop to sell my husband's items. He is a woodcrafter and also makes earrings. After a while I started selling my handbags and now that is all I have in the shop. (sorry, honey!)
I began making handbags after a work injury that left me depressed and broke. I decided to take my life back into my own hands and do something that made me feel good. Since I couldn't carry a big purse after my shoulder surgeries, I worked on a design for a wristlet to carry what I needed. That original purse evolved over time and then I started getting requests for bigger bags.

#4. What are some unique things about your shop?
I started using the coffee and potato sacks to set myself apart from the other bag makers out there. I wanted to be unique! People enjoy novelty items and I live in the middle of Kona Coffee Country so the bags are readily available to me. I also used to live in Idaho so have been quite creative in sourcing those sacks to use as well. I actually am licensed by the state of Idaho to use the bags and their logo in the production of my handbags. At this time, I am the ONLY person permitted to do so!

#5. What or who inspires you?
I am mostly inspired by other strong and determined women who go out and create the lives that they want to live. I also take inspiration from my own sense of humor. I love making things that "tickle" me. You will often see novelty bags like my watermelon bag or bags made from silly fabrics.

#6. What is the item in your shop you enjoyed making the most and why?
I think it would be my Silk Yoga Mat bag. I love that the textiles in the bag have a history. Somebody once wore that obi and the kimono that the bag is made from. Who were they? Where did they go all dressed up? The bag turned out so beautifully that I leave it hanging in my studio just so I can look at it.

#7. What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
You can not just post your item and wait for people to find you. You MUST be very diligent about listing new items or renewing listings, commenting in the forums and treasuries, social networking like twitter and facebook and always carry business cards with you to shamelessly promote your work. And don't spend so much time at the computer that you don't have time to be creating new works! It is a balancing act!

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Beside her wonderful shop , Barb Sasaki also has a blog ( where you can get to know her and her work better. So, don't hesitate to drop by and say "Hi"!

That's all for today's Featured Artist. Your Comment and Feedback are much appreciated! Next week's Saturday, we'll meet Lucy and her incredible skin care and makeup shop, MumMum'sCraft. Au Revoir!


For more information on "Saturday's Featured Artist" and "Wednesday's Hidden Gem", click here!

1 comment:

  1. I will offer free US shipping on any of my products to everyone who mentions that they saw this feature. Stop by and check it out!
    Barb Sasaki