Behind the Bag with DeNai
Always looking for daring ways to bring cutting edge style into motherhood, the Petunia Studio is our playground to create. It’s a place to explore fabrics, textures, silhouettes, and product innovation. And a place to work with new partners and collaborators.
We’re pleased to announce our newest Petunia Studio release: A Certified Fair Trade Woven Tote! DeNai Jones created this special collaboration with artisans in Ghana, Africa, where the bags were privately designed and supplied by a certified member of the Fair Trade Federation. We talked to DeNai for her thoughts on why she chose this project for the Petunia Studio, and how excited we are about its coming arrival!
Why did you decide to create this bag? I was inspired by the trend of the straw, hand woven bags. I love hand-woven baskets, so I tried to weave a few things together… pun intended! A fashionable feature-rich bag, hand-woven, Fair Trade, sturdy and easy to clean. I’m a scrapper, so I knew there had to be a way to bring this idea to life for our Petunia Pickle Bottom moms. I have also been wanting to work with artisans on a smaller scale for a while. This felt like the perfect opportunity to create something unique for mothers looking to stay on trend, carrying the bag of the season.
I picture mothers taking them to the park with their little ones, to the beach, to the Farmers Market, to brunch with friends- really using them as an everyday bag for diapers and anything else that needs to be carried along. I personally use one now for my ceramics class, so there are a million uses and places for these bags, with and without little ones.
Why is it important that these bags are Certified Fair Trade? I felt that if there was a way our company could help support mothers, families, and makers around the world, then let’s do it! I felt like these bags were a perfect opportunity to involve others and make a difference- even if just on a small scale. This particular project benefits makers in small villages in Ghana, Africa. We’re really proud to be a part of it.
What was your favorite part of the design process? In all of the design projects I get to work on, seeing an idea in your “mind’s eye” to final concept is magical. It takes a lot of perseverance in many cases because there are always hurdles. But, if you can problem-solve and design your way out–it’s super gratifying! This particular project took extra thought and creativity because there this exact bag has never been created before. The artisans weren’t sure they could weave pockets into the bags and add the Stroller Strap holes. When they sent photos with their success, they were as excited as I was! Tingles, really.
What is your favorite detail about the bag and its accessories? My favorite detail is the bottle pockets. They received a lot of skepticism in the early stages of the project, and their success is really exciting! They’re definitely a reminder to myself to never take no for an answer- just try. And then try again!
What’s next from the Petunia Studio? I have some exciting projects up my sleeve. I love the Petunia Studio, as it’s like a little playground that allows me to design without the constraints I’ll often have with our seasonal collections. I truly enjoy exploring new concepts that I think moms will enjoy. And if they don’t succeed, I know I tried something new and enjoyed bringing a fresh idea to fruition. This is what keeps my passion and creativity fueled.
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