One of my clients, for whom I do design and illustration work, manufactures the BEST
recycled shopping totes out there in the marketplace.
Most of the work I do for this company is marketing: I design display signage, hang tags, sales catalogs, and the like, and occasionally
will do the actual surface design for a bag.
The problem is, a particular image won't get printed until my client gets a purchase commitment from the retail outlets that carry her product (mainly Fred Meyer
stores here in the Northwest, and Kroger
affiliates nationwide). She presents mock-ups of many designs each season, and for some reason, I have the hardest
time having my designs "connect" with the buyers (there is
also a big turnover of personnel in the buying field, so establishing a
rapport with one doesn't hold any guarantees for future
sales). Generally, they go for designs that are 'safe':
appeal-to-the-masses, nothing too 'out-there'--and I think my stuff is
too wacky or something(???). It can be sooo
frustrating, because all
the designs I submit (after countless hours developing and completing each) are "on spec", meaning I don't get paid unless they
sell, and only then do I earn a small (tiny, actually) percentage of the order.
Several YEARS ago (I think it was 2009 or 10) I came up with this
"Flowers in Bloom" design, with a mixture of whimsical line art and collaged
images (in fact, I did a whole series in this style, about 5 total). My client loved it, we collaborated on color choices, and then she tried her
to sell the dang thing--for years
, faithfully hauling it to another season's presentation, always having it ignored in favor of other designs.
|I've kept the mock-up on display because even if it never sold, at least I loved it. Many of you who have taken classes in my studio have seen it hanging here for years! |
But she never gave up on it, and FINALLY it sold about 6 months ago, and it is just NOW in the stores for the Spring season!!!
|Here's my bag, FINALLY inside my local Fred Meyer store, alongside other designs.|
Here's a little background about this awesome tote-bag company: The owner started her business quite a few years ago, before reusable
totes were so ubiquitous, before 'eco-friendly' was such a catch phrase,
and before many grocery stores started banning thin plastic bags (at
least they're out-lawed here in eco-centric Oregon).
She found factories that used super-strength, multiple layers of poly fiber (made from recycled water bottles) in their manufacturing process. She also designed the large tote bag to have several handy inner pockets sewn in, to hold bottles, newspapers, cell phones, et cetera. Love that!
To test the strength of the tote bag, one of the guys that works for her GOT INSIDE one of them, and two other employees each grabbed a handle and could lift all 175 pounds of him with ease and no sign of stress on the fibers. You've seen the ones at Trader Joe's or even at Joanne's or T.J. Maxx--but they are single-ply el cheapo-s. Even the ones in gift shops, with cool funky designs manufactured by Blue Q, are also the single-ply, poorly constructed el cheapo-s--but with a hefty price tag (about $18.95 for their 'designer' shopping tote). My client's company offers hundreds
of different designs and several bag styles, at EXTREMELY reasonable prices---seriously, Patty Reed Insta-Totes
are a great
product!! Go to their website (a direct link to my design is HERE) and check it out, or head over to your local Kroger Affiliate or Fred Meyer store and pick up a few!
In the stores, they are almost always on sale, for about $4 each, and they will be the best shopping tote you will ever buy. I have so many--I keep several in each of my family's cars for grocery shopping. I can load them up with SO MUCH, they're easy to carry into the house, and they'll last forever. I also use them for quick weekend trips to the beach, throwing clothes into one, books and projects in another. They are great to use in closets, too, for organizing. Also, they are awesome as gift bags, giving the recipient a little extra gift to put to use afterwards. (See, I told you I do marketing for this company!! But I do fully endorse her products:-))
And if you buy MY design, you will help send my daughter to college this fall........well, maybe you will help me pay for ONE textbook?!?!
Okay, my shameless plug is now over!!
This ROCKS!!! I have Kroger (Smiths) here in Vegas, and will be heading there Monday for shopping - I will DEFINITELY be buying them, if they are to be had. If not, I will be in Denver, in March, and will get them at my Mom's King Soopers/Kroger store - absolutely darling, Maggie...your shameless plus is well deserved!!!!!ReplyDelete
now if I can get 10,000 MORE people like you to buy one, maybe I can afford TWO textbooks!! A girl can dream...... :-)Delete
AWESOME.... so happy for you.... and you can plug away anytime you want. Congrats and I will look for your bag in our Krogers - which is Fry's (for all us desert rats!)ReplyDelete
I absolutely love your design!ReplyDelete
I enjoyed hearing about the process and I think your bag is adorable. I have two that need replaced and will have my eye out for these at my neighborhood Freddies!ReplyDelete
Awesome! More than awesome. Every bit as fabulous and even more so than Mary E. Is there a store in Oklahoma retailing your designs? No Krogers here in OK City...maybe Tulsa? I know they have Krogers in TX!ReplyDelete
I think your arwork is beyond fab. LOVE IT!
About the wood floor...we stained grooved plywood and fit two pieces side by side and used a third piece for end piecing. The pergola/frame of my space sits on TOP of the wood holding it securely in place. We did put a threshold of sorts on the front diagonal edge and had to drill into the concrete and thru the indoor/outdoor carpet tho.
Congratulations! I honestly think your designs are the prettiest in the bunch. Love the bright colors and whimsical design!!ReplyDelete
I need to start using mine for groceries! I've saved them for lunches. I do use the large ones for travel, as you know, because you can fold them up and have an extra bag for bringing home goodies! Good luck! Can one buy them on line?ReplyDelete
Yes, Fafi, you can buy them online! There's a link to click on within the post, above, that will take you right there :-)Delete
So very cute!!! Love it!!ReplyDelete
Okay, I actually read the comments section and found out that in Arizona, Kroeger is Fry's. I'll stop in and look for your bag. And in Flagstaff, we only have one, count it, one, Fry's. We aren't big but I can only hope to find this adorable tote bag. If not, I'll check the next time I'm in Scottsdale to visit Mom. Keep plugging away and let's see if we can buy a textbook or two for your daughter.ReplyDelete
I live in Illinois and sent your blog to my best friend in Washington State where she has a Fred Meyer store and was so surprised to receive the bag today! That was just sooo fast and I am so pleased. It's just adorable and such a happy design. Going to first big flea market of the season tomorrow and will be taking that bag!ReplyDelete
This is what I was looking for!!!!!!ReplyDelete
This is a great bag - can't believe it took that long to sell. Unfortunately, I can't help much in going to get one, as I don't live anywhere near a Kroger's (England)...ReplyDelete
I love your design on the bag. You can bet many of my friends have received them as gifts and my closet has several more stored away as gifts.ReplyDelete
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