Johagi Originals

bio: We are sisters JOSIE and GINA. and HAYDEN is GINA’S first son. Back when we first started making purses out of recycled vintage in 2003, we combined our names and could not leave out Hayden for he was only a newborn and was a part of many inspirations.

Since then we have evolved into what you see now as Johagi Originals but have always kept in tradition with our philosophy of creating modern designs by using vintage and retro materials.

All of our purses are made from recycled vintage materials including the accessories and buttons. There are no exposed seams on the inside and we use reinforced stitching on the straps and body increasing durability. They have a button closure. No two purses are alike making your purchase a true Johagi Original!

Try Handmade
Visit Erika Jurneys profile on Pinterest.

New Column – Freshly Made

Please welcome Chelsey Mona to Try Handmade. She’s a jewelry designer and a blogger, and has done a great job describing her new column to you. Leave her a comment to welcome her to the site, and tell her if you have any shops to suggest!


Diamond in the rough

You know the feeling you get when you introduce your best friend to a new band she’s never heard of? Or you when you discover that little hole-in-a-wall restaurant that makes THE best blackberry pancakes? Well, that’s what Freshly Made is all about. I get the privilege of introducing you to new artists that haven’t been discovered yet, the rare diamonds in the rough that are beautiful but little known.

As new artists get started, they’re still learning how to publicize their shops. They’ve made amazing stuff, but how do they connect with you? Let’s face it, most artists would rather be in the studio and though they may be used to the show circuit often times new artists have yet to learn the mysterious ways of selling online. Plus most websites that feature handmade items usually focus on shops that already have a following. While those artists are certainly deserving, it makes it really hard for new artists to break in. So how does the new artist get heard? We here at Try Handmade will hand them a megaphone.

Each week I’ll be featuring a new shop that hasn’t yet had a lot of online sales. I’ll be bringing you the freshest shops where the paint has barely dried, the wire has just been cut, the stones have just been set and the last threads clipped. Together we’ll go on an expedition to discover great new artists while giving a voice to those shops that need the publicity the most.

I am so excited to be a part of the Try Handmade community! I hope you’ll share your secrets with me, too. If you have a favorite hole-in-the-wall shop that should be featured or you have one yourself, please let me know in the comments below. I have a lot of shops in the queue to feature, but I know I wouldn’t have discovered half of the independent artists I know if I hadn’t been introduced by other people. Let’s build this up together!

Photo by Katharina Surhoff, available under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NonDerivative 3.0 license.

Try Handmade
Visit Erika Jurneys profile on Pinterest.

A Sweet Surprise

There’s no denying it – America has a sweet tooth. According to the National Confectioners Association, retail sales of chocolate, candy and gum amount to approximately $28 billion dollars annually. All of that sweetness, however, comes wrapped up in a problem. Because candy-wrappers are usually made up of mixed materials, they are generally not recyclable.

The hybrid of paper, plastic and metal that is responsible for keeping your treats fresh and tasty also prevents them from being conventionally recycled. As a result, millions of candy-wrappers end up in our landfills and eco-systems each and every year. Without avenues to recycle the wrappers, we can either choose to reduce waste by buying bulk candy (or candy with more recycling-friendly packaging such as paper or foil) or we can upcycle the empty wrappers into new, usable goods. Here are some Etsy sellers who are doing just that!


Tracy’s passion for upcycling candy and snack packaging came after a recent vacation to the Croatian Islands. She was so taken by the beautiful and colourful designs on some chip bags, that she packed the empty bags in her luggage and brought them back to her Seattle home. It didn’t take long before Tracy found a creative way to use her “souvenirs”. Clever quilt blocks made from the hoarded chip bags were followed by a mini-wallet, which ultimately became the inspiration for her line of accessories. “After making the Croatian chip wallet, I thought about all the chip bags, soda wrappers, candy bar wrappers & coffee bags that get tossed into the garbage,” says Tracy. And so, Squiggle Chick Designs was born.


[Read more...]

Try Handmade
Visit Erika Jurneys profile on Pinterest.

Decorative Instincts

I’ll be honest. I have an apron and I never wear it. I just don’t cook that way. But these aprons are so pretty I could see them over a tshirt and jeans this summer. So arty-chic ;)

Decorative Instincts specializes in fashion-forward accessories for the home. All items are designed by the owners and hand crafted in our Chicago studio. Our love of textiles and beautiful embellishments make the difference in our designs. We believe even the most mundane items should be beautiful and reflect your personal style. Our goal is to help you create your ideal environment.

Try Handmade
Visit Erika Jurneys profile on Pinterest.