So, I've been doting on my little grandsons lately, so I have to catch you up on something fun for my son, Dan. He's the guy who lives way out in northwest Montana, loving life in the mountains around Glacier National Park. He and his girlfriend, Jessica, find many ways to enjoy the outdoors there. they ski a lot, sometimes clear UP the mountain when the lifts aren't running.
And then, there's the biking, and even though there's still plenty of snow at the higher elevations, they will bike up as far as they can go. This picture is from Going-To-The-Sun Highway, running across Glacier Park. It's really steep and narrow and winding, and full of cars when all the snow is cleared. That's still awhile in the future. But while the plows are still working, bicyclists have the freedom to use the open sections without worrying about being run off the road.
Between work and play, Dan has developed a new little sideline business. It's named Totes Magotes, a name I knew nothing about but sounds quirky, so I googled and learned this:
|Even his business cards are quirky!|
He has started offering the bags on his new Etsy shop, and is discovering the many ways that a sewing machine can come in handy! He's using one of my older machines and a gifted serger on his dining table to put the bag pieces together. I think he started learning to sew when he wanted to repair and/or tailor some of his own clothing. I taught him the basics and he's self-taught from there. He really does a good job, even his a good cutting mat with rotary cutter and ruler. And he knows how to use an iron, too! That started way back in high school when he had a job that required neatly pressed khaki pants every day.
I gave him a recycled burlap coffee bean bag a few years ago, made by my friend, Kristina. Eventually, he became interested in the idea of making his own, after a lot of people saw his bag and liked it. Now he has 3 bag designs that he makes and sells. The main bag is about the size of a paper grocery bag, and there's a smaller version for kids or book or lunch. Then he has developed a specialty bag to hold a yoga mat, too. They're shown below:
|He even makes custom orders with painted designs. |
This was an order from Canada for a Mother's Day gift.
Every coffee bean bag comes from roasteries in Montana, plus a couple imports from Minnesota! Every bag is different. That burlap can be pretty tough. He found out that sewing through bits of bark will break your needle!
He's been stockpiling some bags in order to offer them for sale at the Farmer's Market in Whitefish when that starts up. I've been to that market, and it's a good one. A really good community event. So if you see a bag on his Etsy shop, you should get it now before that market opens. It's fun to see him learn how things are made, and then figure out how to do it. He will really take on just about anything! When both my kids were little, I always tried to convey the message that it's always worth a try to learn anything new. It might not work out, but it also might be fun! No matter what, Dan will always know how to run a sewing machine!
If you shop on his Etsy page, tell him mom sent you!