Tag Archives: Stel’s
For the third in our Pop-up Shop feature series I chatted with friend Alice Saunders of Forestbound. She’s a local Bostonian and has continued to impress with her wide selection of handmade salvaged canvas and leather bags. Check out our Q&A below to see how she got into making bags and where she gets her unique materials.
Q. When did you first start crafting bags and what made you decide on using only salvaged materials?
A. I had been making bags on and off for many years, but officially started Forestbound in early 2008. I had been going to flea markets since I was a kid and was always drawn to military surplus and historic textiles.. one day it just dawned on me that I could take these old canvas items apart and make a bag that was more my style and that I would want to carry around every day. From there it just kind of evolved and made sense to transform these beautiful old textiles into practical every day items so people could still appreciate the history of them.
Q. Forestbound has become a rather well-known brand, what are some highlights in your career thus far?
A. Ah man, that’s a tough question! I was featured in the New York Times Style magazine a few months ago, which was definitely a highlight, but I’d have to say that connecting with other designers and creative types who have a similar aesthetic and mindset is what I am most thankful for. Aaron Ruff of Digby & Iona (www.digbyandiona.com) and Amy Merrick (http://www.amymerrick.com/) to name just a few!
Q. Where do you find your materials?
A. Mostly at flea markets & estate sales throughout New England. I’ve been hunting around for old military textiles for so long that I’ve been lucky enough to develop relationships with some real great old timers who collect military antiques and put canvas aside for me. Those always seem to end up being my favorite finds.
Q. What are your sources of daily inspiration?
A. Daily inspiration mostly comes from the textiles and objects that I’ve surrounded myself with in the studio. I basically have an entire room filled with materials that I’ve collected but haven’t sorted through yet. Whenever I need a little jolt of inspiration I just go into that room and dig through a giant pile until I find an old duffel bag or feed sack that’s just been sitting there waiting to be uncovered again.
Q. You recently launched a men’s collection and a collection of all leather goods with great success. What do you have in store next for Forestbound?
A. Well winter time is usually when I end up finding my best materials, so I’m mostly just waiting to uncover some new finds that will end up turning into a new collection of bags. I try not to get too far ahead of myself and just rely on new design ideas to come once I discover some unusual materials or hardware. I also have really been enjoying working with leather more than I have in the past, so I’ve been thinking up some new all leather bag designs as well.
I hope you are all excited about The Shiny Squirrel Pop-Up Shop I’ll be co-hosting at Stel’s. The opening party is Dec. 10th 6-8pm, but Stel’s will be holding on to the goods through the holidays. We have an amazing list of vendors on board and Jessica and I wanted to do a series of features highlighting them. First up, we’ve got Joe Gannon and Max Wastler of Buckshot Sonny’s with some clutch holiday gifts. Their shop is gender neutral, but I have a strong feeling that the ladies out there would get mega brownie points for picking up any (or all!) Buckshot goods for the men in their life.
Q. For anyone who has met the two of you, they know you guys are two peas in a pod. How did you guys meet?
A. We met through mutual friends at a fundraiser in New York. We got to talking, hit it off, and the next thing you know, we’re visiting different parts of the country to learn more about the great craftspeople keeping alive our country’s manufacturing efforts.
Q. What inspired you to start a shop together?
A. After happening upon a treasure trove of deadstock sporting goods in Nashville, and after realizing our struggle to find sporting goods that didn’t look like they’d come from a NASA space lab, we thought we’d utilize some of the knowledge we’d acquired in our hunt for quality. We’ve put together a small selection of things we love, things we think will hold up well enough that you’ll want to pass them onto your kids and their kids.
Q. The Buckshot Sonny’s shop is a perfectly edited selection. How did you decide on those specific brands and products?
A. Truly, trial and error. It will always be that way. 90% of the boots Leon Leonwood Bean first put out were returned. While we don’t aspire to that, we understand — and we expect our customers to understand — that if it doesn’t hold up to our standards of quality and ethic, we won’t sell it.
Q. You only launched this September, and are already off to a great start. What do you foresee in the next year for Buckshot?
A. First, thanks for the kind words. We’re in the thick of it right now with holiday sales. In the next year, we’d like to expand our product offerings, particularly with summer approaching. Look for things to wear in and around the water, on the trail, and at the barbecue.
I’m so thrilled to announce that I’ll be co-hosting a pop-up shop with good friend Jessica of The Shiny Squirrel this December. The event will be hosted by at Stel’s, one of the best shops of Boston. We have an amazing lineup of talent that is going to have their goods available so I hope you all can make it!
Amazing American Heritage event tonight at Stel’s shop on Newbury. With representatives from Hickorees, Randolph Engineering, The Hill-Side, Billykirk, Quoddy, and Gitman Brothers in attendance, it was certainly one for the books. Not that anyone needs further incentive to purchase goods from these incredible brands, but a portion of all proceeds went towards the Cam Neely Foundation, which I’m sure inspired some generosity and enriched some closets in the process. An IPA from Blue Hills Brewery in hand and great people like Andy, Jon, and Pete to chat with while supporting a great cause, well, it doesn’t get much better than that!