RARAMODO bags is a little studio designing bags for women valuing the originality and wanting to express it through the style of clothes. For women who are avoiding mass-produced objects.
All bags were created according to the original RARAMODO project. Every bag is being sewn here, in the RARAMODO studio, with special attention to the high quality of the workmanship and the detail.
You will find here the unique style and design. Bags are being sewn in limited series, designed in order to combine the attractive appearance and the functionality.
Tell me about your shop.
I make one of a kind purses, wallets, and other bag type stuff from suiting fabrics and cotton prints. My goal is to create timeless designs that will never go out of style.
How did you get started? Have you worked in other creative areas before the kind of work you’re doing now?
I have been sewing for most of my life, but had never considered that it could be profitable until after Katrina, when I moved to Los Angeles and discovered the Fabric district. There were so many fabric stores and the prices were crazy low.
I spent the next two years selling handmade lingerie in the dressing rooms of strip clubs and honing my sewing skills. When I moved back to New Orleans, a nurse friend of mine asked me to make her some scrubs. I had some fabric left over, so I made myself a shopping bag. it was the first bag I’d ever made, and I was so happy with it, that I completely changed my focus. I’ve been making bags ever since.
Is there a story behind the name of your shop?
Well, the name of my shop is the first and middle name that my parents gave me. My dad’s reason for naming me Christian is that he thought I would get more respect in the business world if I had a masculine name. Of course, he didn’t know then that I would be going into business making things for women.
I added my middle name to title to clear up any misconceptions about my gender and to make sure that people didn’t think I was selling purses that believe in Jesus. Also, I think it has a nice ring to it.
Do you work alone? With a team? Do you engage your family or friends in the work? What is your process? How do you ensure you get your work done yet still have a life?
I am a one woman operation for sure. I shop, cut, sew, photograph, package, and ship. I print business cards, design ads and shop graphics, and make sew in labels. I even built my own website.
I have a background in special effects makeup, where I learned to make molds for props, and I’m working on sculpting and casting my own plastic purse handles.
Where do you sell your work? Which venues are your favorites? Do you prefer selling online or in person? Do you attend shows or fairs? Is your work in a gallery or brick-and-mortar store?
My shop is here, http://christianmarie.etsy.com, at Etsy. I love Etsy, but I can’t promise that I will be there forever. I link to them through my own domain, http://christianmarie.com, so that people will always be able to find me even if I switch venues.
I definitely prefer selling in person. It’s difficult to accurately convey things like size, color and texture with photographs and text.
Do you have any favorite handmade shops or sellers you’d like to recommend?
Here’s some super talented New Orleans folks:
Byapryl makes gorgeous gemstone and metal tree sculptures.
Hurricane Pottery has some very cool and unusual pieces.
Bobsandbits makes the cutest little furniture for kids.
What inspires and motivates you?
I wouldn’t say that I’m motivated and inspired so much as I’m obsessive and compulsive. :) I have dreams about sewing. My friends have to repeat themselves because I’m always thinking about how to improve some design. I sew because I have to.
What do you wish I had asked you?
“What do you love most about your craft?”
Making patterns is, by far, my favorite part of the process. It’s like doing a three dimensional puzzle. I see the finished bag in my mind, and then I have to break it into pieces and figure out how, and in what order, the pieces go back together. I have a very analytical mind, so it suits me perfectly. There is no better feeling than having a pattern come out perfect on the first try.
Thanks Christian! And if you would like to be interviewed next, just head over to DIY Interview.
I’m so excited to introduce the latest Try Handmade columnist: Liz Grotyohann.
Please welcome her to Try Handmade, and let her know what concerns you have about leading a greener life. Are there issues you hope she addresses? Speak up in the comments.[hLiz]
We’ve all heard how bad plastic bags are for the environment. As many as 500 billion to one trillion bags are used worldwide each year. Some cities have outlawed them. Many people have switched to carrying their own bags to the store—an easy way to do something good for the environment. Every major chain now has stands of “eco-friendly” totes available—cheap!—so that you can do your part.
But, while carrying your own bag is definitely better than using new plastic, those bags at the store aren’t as “eco-friendly” as they claim to be. Many of those bags are made from virgin materials. Studies have been done that say that those reusable bags need to be used 100-300 times before they make up for the impact of their own production. So, why carry a bag emblazoned with a store logo—do you really want to advertise for them?—when you can buy a responsibly-produced, stylish, low-impact handmade bag from an independent artist? There are so many options out there made from organic cotton, sustainable fibers like bamboo or hemp, or vintage or recycled fabric.
And remember the plastic bags that you use at the store aren’t just the ones at the checkout counter. There are more and more options available now for lightweight, durable handmade bags to carry your produce and dry bulk goods.
Kootsac offers inexpensive, lightweight produce bags in a number of sizes and fun colors. Little Green Pea has cotton bulk food bags, and adorable reusable sandwich bags. And wonderthunder sells these adorable screenprinted vegetable bags that are so much more fun (and green!) than plastic.
The Sewn Natural shop is owned by a mother-daughter team specializing in sustainable eco-design, and vintage-inspired styling for children. This shop is chock-full of brilliant color and sweet vintage style. Toys. Blankets. Clothing. Accessories. It’s a one-stop source for stocking up on amazing gear for your baby or child.
For instance, this colorful matryoshka doll crib bumper. It’s simply luxe. It’s created from a lovely retro (and out-of-print) Anna Maria Horner fabric, and has a matching quilt also for sale.
I was so delighted to see this cute messenger bag, recycled from men’s khakis and featuring vintage fabric and lace, and a beautifully embroidered high-wheeler bicycle. Just wonderful. What child wouldn’t love this sweet little bag as he goes about his day, hunting for treasures?
These adorable little summer gnome dolls are part of a whole gnome series sold in the shop. The dolls are safe for infants, but would be a much-loved gift for an older child. They’re made from beautiful vintage fabrics and are all hand-sewn and embroidered.
This beautiful little dress is one of many finely-constructed, made to order, children’s garments. They range in sizes from 12 months to 5T, depending on the style.
A child’s hanging mobile in colors sophisticated enough for an adult’s creative office space or bedroom? I think we may have found it here. This modern mobile is hand-sewn and needle-felted, and hung from a piece of found driftwood. It’s so beautiful in its simplicity.
This lovely little momma bunny doll is made entirely from organic materials. She has family members, a baby, Willow, and two other children, Spruce and Sierra, each are sold separately. I particularly love that she, and all of her kiddies, have little hearts on their chests. A nice touch.
Drop by the shop and see these, and other darling items for your little darlings.
If you’ve walked through a Target or office supply store near you lately you know that it is back to school time. The great news for those of you headed back to school, or with kids headed back, is that there are lots of handmade options that will help to set you or your child apart from the pack this fall.
Finding the right three-ring binder can be an ordeal, but take a look at this great option from Crown Bindery. Their binder makes organization a breeze and lets you choose how many pages to put in each section, and how to label them for maximum efficiency!