Originally Posted by HORNS
Rach, were you here in San Fran? I walk by there all the time, since one of my offices is just down the street from her shop. She's been great - a fine craftsman with a gift of great customer service - every time I've walked in there, but have never bought anything. I have, however, drooled over her portfolio of previously commissioned bags. Edit - great color choices, rach, but why a textured leather for the interior?
No, we did everything via phone/email. I'd love to have visited her, but work/research/time prevented it. As for the interior, she was open to different things, but given that I like to use the bag for carrying folders, in addition to a water bottle, and even groceries (if I stop by the store on my way home), I liked the lining that would repel water, and also retain its shape. An ungrained, uncoated calf would show water marks, scratches, and also bend/warp over time with folders and such in it. A canvas/textile fabric was probably an option, but like Hermes or Valextra, she tends to prefer doing a full leather interior (which is more labor intensive, and also a sign of superlative quality/attention to detail.)
Originally Posted by Kent Wang
I dislike the bag style, like a grocery tote. It's also a bit feminine.
You go with the bag that fits best your needs. I've had dozens of bags, in virtually all styles, starting about ten years ago when I got my "first" job. I found that "shopper" style totes worked best for my needs, needing to fit books, a computer, and (mentioned above) groceries or things I pick up during my day. Being able to tweak a style to fit exactly the size/use for me, was best. As such, I picked this style ONLY for my own needs, and not for anything else. A briefcase/messenger/backpack or anything else, of the dozens I've had, didn't "match" as well for what I needed. That's the beauty of a bespoke item... probably there SHOULD be no other members who would say "I want that bag." It's designed for ME, and that's what I paid for. As well, I found this style a good "starter" project for us. Assuming this goes well, I plan to use Bea and AiP for all of my future bag purchases/projects, and as such wanted to start with something manageable, relatively affordable, and that fit my needs. My next bag ,however, will be very different (basically a custom attache case.) Like going to a Bespoke Tailor, you start your journey with them with a relatively simple project, and build your relationship with them based on that performance. I look forward to being a "lifelong" customer of Bea, assuming all goes as well as I expect, and as well as all signs suggest.