"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
_ William Morris
, 19th century craftsman, designer, writer

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sail Bags: Again & Again

As far as I'm concerned, there's no such thing as owning too many tote bags. Food, water, shelter, tote bags.

So, when I discovered the graphic goodness of Again and Again's upcycled collection of totes cut from used sail cloth -it was love at first sight.

Designed by German ex-pat, Frieda Grotjahn from her small studio in the artsy part of Gloucester, Mass., Again and Again has been stitching up totes, bags, shower curtains, Christmas stockings and custom orders out of sail boat spinnakers and main sheets since 2005.

 Frieda was once asked to create a pageant dress made of sail cloth for Miss Massachussets' to wear in the national competition -which she did! The evening gown featured a bright red lobster on the skirt, Yankee ingenuity and state pride.

Situated on New England's busy coast, Gloucester has no shortage of sea loving sailors -which, thankfully, results in a bounty of boats.

The deal is, donate an old sail to Again and Again, and Frieda will make you a custom bag from the material. 

Although every sail is different, Frieda says one sailor told her he will only use a racing sail made of technical, Kevlar material three to five times. Depending on their size, a racing sail can cost $30,000 or more.

After creating the donor's bag, what remains will be used for the business.

Frieda says her favorite part of the design process is spreading out a newly acquired sail and imagining what it might become, "it's like Christmas."

"Finishing a bag is a joy!"

However, the talented designer wasn't always set on her entrepreneurial path. Frieda once worked in the hotel industry, and only left her first career after the successful launch of Again and Again.

Her advice to those wishing to pursue their own venture: "Don't expect that you can live from it [immediately]," she warns, "I was so lucky."

Three words the designer would use to describe herself:

Live * Create * Enjoy

Each year, Frieda designs a 'signature' limited-edition bag. For 2012, it's the red-lobster on the tote bag below. Last year's design featured the graphic numbers of Gloucester's zip code. 

"...I must down to the seas again, 
to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship
 and a star to steer her by.” 
 _John Masefield


Again and Again totes, bags and stockings are available online and at select retail locations.


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  4. Recycled Sail Bags, Sailcloth totes, Sailing Totes
    Sailing Totes, Tote bags, Seabags, Duffel Bags, Beach totes


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