Pouches & bags and how they came to be. Part 1

What they are:

The Freshly Minted collection of pocket pouches and two wheeled related bags are made from upcycled kites in Hood River, Oregon. All bags are made by the The Freshly Minted founder with the intention of creating unique, sensible and sustainable products for cyclists and adventurers.

These products help keep kites out of landfill.

How it began:

In the summer of 2020 – during the thick of Covid - the founder of The Freshly Minted socks (that’s me, Suzette) got funneled into the wind tunnel where rules for playing outdoors on the water were more relaxed. The Pacific Northwest proved to be a healthy and much needed switch from San Francisco and exactly a year later, MINT was permanently relocated to the Hood River area.

During that Covid summer, while others were nurturing their sourdough starter, I decided to pursue a longtime interest of making bags. I’d purchased a sewing machine a few years back but had only ventured so far as napkins, a table runner, and a few pillow covers. A few years prior while on a kite-cation in Baja, my bag-loving eyes spied a beach tote made from kites that a friend was sportin’. I will do that, I said to myself.  

I didn’t even know how to sew.  I had to spend twenty minutes reading the instructions any time I needed to thread the needle or refill the bobbin. My machine had probably been used less than a handful of times.

But that summer with an extra itch, I packed my kite gear, clothes and sewing machine and headed to my Hood River summer rental.  With a kite harness in desperate need of repair I immediately headed to Sailworks where the windsail maker’s proprietor, Bruce, agreed to mend the harness on one of his industrial machines.

When I returned a few days later to collect the harness, I asked Bruce, what do you do with your scraps?

Why, he asked, do you want to make stuff?

Yes, I want to make bags.

Bruce led me upstairs to the scrap room, pointed out some usable materials, and told me to take what I wanted. A few minutes later I descended the stairs with full arms, a Cheshire grin…and clueless.

Everybody will help you. Some people are very kind. – Bob Dylan

Without prompting Bruce showed me a couple of mini totes and gear bags he’d made and shared some tips and how-to’s of boxing corners. He even gifted me a mini-tote to use as a sample. It’s cake, he said. Feigning understanding, I headed to the nearest market, picked up a 12-pack of local brew and immediately returned to Sailworks for the drop-off and added thanks.

I headed back to my Sherman St. rental, spread the loot out, turned to YouTube, and got started. 

The first items I ever made. Some of the first are still in use today,
tho' most were stolen (another story, another day.)