Friday, September 28, 2012

Rickshaw Bags Design Contest and Tour

Tuesday evening was the culmination event of our Rickshaw Bags design challenge and we celebrated SFEtsy style~creative friends, learning from our peers, wine and cookies...  Big thanks to our SFEtsy hosts Rebecca Saylor and Katy Atchison as well as Mark Dwight, Founder of Rickshaw Bags.

Our winner with the most likes for her design is Sarah Friedman of Birdbags.  She was bright eyed through the entire tour, her love for bags clearly visible.  Her design is based on the landscape of Sonoma and includes multiple appliques in vegan leather and machine embroidery.  As a special surpise, the runner up was also chosen to have her bag made!  Congrats to Usha of Usha Designs! Her bright flowers captured 21 shares on facebook during the contest.  Both designers have chosen their fabric and trims during our Rickshaw party and will be receiving their custom bags in a couple weeks.
Our winners Usha and Sarah in the Rickshaw sparkly pedicab!
Mark Dwight gave us a great tour through the manufacturing process of Rickshaw bags.  I saw many of our team members evaluating the scale, opportunities, and responsibilities of Rickshaw Bagworks (20 employees) in comparison with our own production levels.  It was great to hear some of Mark's challenges and successes.  We also talked about SF Made and it's potential as a service as a network for those in need of resources around scaling production of goods right here in San Francisco.  SF Etsy member Adra Valentine of Stone Valentine mentioned that she joined SF Made to find out who the cutters and sewers of the city are in case she needs them when increased orders come in for her cloth works.

Every designer present (and Jen by mail!) choose to have their original design made! It was a creative frenzy in the showroom as we chatted over fabric samples and helped each other find just the right match.  For each bag we choose the exterior fabric, interior fabric, and bag flap trim.  At one point we were all trying to fit a gorgeous seafoam into our designs and everyone loved the new herringbone fabrics (which are made in the USA from recycled bottles).  We'll all be getting our bags via mail or pick up within the next few weeks and Mark will be taking photos before they leave the factory.  We're looking forward to the group shot!
Katy and Mark working out her bag design options.
Mark reiterated his commitment to supporting local designers.  As SF Etsy team members, we now have the opportunity to design bag flaps and have the bags manufactured locally.  Please see Katy's original blog post to understand more about the process.  We all actually produced our own works in a suitable medium on fabric.  Purely printed designs can already be produced via, which our members could use, but it's an entirely different scale to have custom artworks as well as the custom color choices.  The bag we all made is the Zero Messenger Bag, so named for it's very low amount of waste in cutting and manufacturing.  You can see Mark show how it's made in this video.

Thanks to all our participating designers and party goers! Lisa of TickleandSmash, Karen of Fabulry, Frances of Frances Marin Art, Fleur of ArteFleur, Jen of Mama's Magic Studio, Eve and Rick of Monkey and Seal, Toby of Savor the Date, Steph of Since Sass, Usha of Usha Designs, Sarah of Birdbags, Katy of Katy Atchison Illustrations, PJ of Wooliverse,  Eko of Eko Jewelry Design, Cristiana of Pebble and Fire, Nina of Neon Sprinkles Studio,  Adra of StoneValentine, Steph of Since Sass, Niana of SFlocal, and our colleagues and friends!

Bag design mini gallery!
If you've got great pictures to share or want to see more, do check out our tag #sfetsy on instagram and twitter!
Thanks again to our amazing creative instigator Rebecca Saylor! We all had a wonderful time and look forward to more~
Rebecca having a much deserved swoon after all the fun!

If you're an Etsy seller in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact Katy or Steph about joining SFEtsy!


Katy said...

This was a great little event! Thanks to everyone for coming and supporting SFEtsy by having a blast. we should be having another partnership with them - stay tuned! :)

Metalicious said...

Congrats, this was a great contest!

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