SaraBella Upcyled Art Bags

Ah Bend. Beautiful scenery, big skies, yummy food, and a lot of talent. I was lucky enough to finally visit the SaraBella workshop and store in Bend’s Makers District and speak with Karlin Hedin the manager.

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I first learned about SaraBella while taking the Marion County Recycler class. Since then I’ve met a Salem-based artist, Lori Robinett who also works with fused plastic to make functional bags. What I like about these sort of bags is how durable they are, and how they use something that was once considered waste as a resource.

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When I walked in the door I was bombarded by stunning colors and patterns. Of course I had to touch the art and feel the weight of the fused plastic bags. I was impressed by the strength and craftsmanship of each piece.

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While I was looking around, a couple of folks stopped in to say hi and drop of their bags to be incorporated into future creations. Each time Karlin was sure to greet the visitor.

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I spoke with Karlin a bit about this history of the business and asked if I could take photos of the workroom. Karlin invited me in and we easily chatted about creative reuse. P3240119

SaraBella is a business that is as passionate for arts as education. Karlin told me that Sara was visiting Guatemala to teach women how to glean from the landfill to make garments for income. While many artisans guard their technique, at SaraBella I got the sense that these artists work toward the global good, setting ego aside. Truly refreshing!

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The workroom was full of colorful bags everywhere. Each sorted by color which helps the creative process.

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I made my purchase of a fabulous see through over the shoulder bag and a fun water bottle holder for a future gift. I was thrilled with my purchases and left feeling thankful that artists like Karlin and Sara work hard to be inclusive artists willing to share their knowledge and who are good stewards to our earth.

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For more information about SaraBella, visit their retail store and workshop in Bend: 1234 (now that’s an easy number to remember!) NE 1st St, Bend OR 97701. Or visit the website, online shop,¬†and http://www.sarabella.com/blog/¬†to hear about what Sara and her crew are up to!



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