Guideboat French Plumber Bag, an Unboxing

Check for it here (Medium Size Beauty):  French Plumber Bag

Guideboat French Plumber Bag, an Unboxing!

The Guideboat philosophy is everything wonderful about Northern California!  It’s the water, the lifestyle, the respect for thoughtfully made goods and all things “authentic, honest and long lasting”.  How have they stayed off my radar for so long?  I’m loving their website and one day soon, I’ll figure out exactly what it means to “Ply the Water!”.  Till then, I’ll have fun exploring this little medium sized beauty.  First impressions – a stylish, comfortable carry!  This bag has something unique – and let’s be honest, I’ve reviewed enough purses to know when something’s unique!  Check out the removable interior, zipper pouch…they’ve thought of just about everything.  Plus, who goes the extra mile to put a shoulder pad on a medium size bag – thank you to whoever understands we sometimes pack waaay too much into a modest size bag! Looking forward to test driving this beauty and am figuring out where to go, who to see and what to do this week so she can come along!  Cheer to Northern California* and to home and to all things made to last.

*Disclaimer – I have a soft spot for the Northern California lifestyle; it is home after all!  Where else can you do a trail like the Dipsea where you’re certain that you can’t take even one more step and then someone comes up with the Double Dipsea!  If you’re a crazy hiker or wish you were, Northern California is some of the best.

Awl Snap Tom Tom Tote

Check for it here (A (small) large crossbody beauty):  Awl Snap Tom Tom Tote in Cognac

Awl Snap Tom Tom Tote!

“Mmm…smells like leather” –> How cute is it that Erin @ Awl Snap takes the extra time to stamp her box with this cute saying.  This says everything about Awl Snap…she took the extra time for just about every detail – and it shows!  Here’s what I’m loving:

1. Versatility:  Everything on this bag is doing double duty!  You think you just got one bag, but she spent so much time making the interior just as beautiful as the exterior, that you can turn this bag inside out and have a second, informal fun weekend bag. Plus, the leather is butter soft so no elbow grease needed to turn it inside out.  How about that clever strap closure?  It’s got multiple lengths.  Set it to the shortest setting and you’ve got a great key fob to dangle inside the bag…can someone please explain why all key fobs aren’t the same length as the Tom Tom Tote ?  Most key fobs are waaaay too short and getting your key off requires fumbling around clumsily with your fingers because the key fob is too short to pull out of the bag.

2. Organization: Two open pockets on the exterior and one on the interior.  You add in the key fob (i.e., the strap for closing the bag) and you’ve got one organized little gem!  Phone and keys in the front pocket, tablet on the interior pocket and you’ve still got the whole bag to work with.  Amazingly, my Lenovo Thinkpad fits in this bag, too so it would actually be an unbelievably stylish computer bag.

3.  Details, details, details:  The strap closure swivels so you don’t need to put the strap on just right. You just need to snap it on and even if the strap is twisted, you can easily unwind it.  How about that should strap?  It can be extremely long or extremely short and you just can’t say that about a lot of bags. Most bags either cater to the tall crowd or the small crowd, but not both.  PLUS she went the extra mile with a continuous loop strap so no tail dangling awkwardly off the bag as you shorten the strap.  Sure, she has this gorgeous striped interior, but she went the extra mile to have it peek out over the top of the open front pockets…it’s like when you have this great outfit on and then someone hands you the most perfect matching earrings.

Here’s what I’d love to see in Version 2.0 of this bag:

1.  These days our phones are like mini tablets – they’re ginormous and they’re constantly changing.  I love that the front pockets provide easy access to your keys and phone, but I’d love to see those pockets deeper and wider to accommodate more phone sizes.  I’d love it if the pockets came all the way to the center of the bag.  Maybe just a single piece of leather (instead of two distinct pockets), that has a stitch down the center to make two pockets.

2. She can’t be faulted for this next section…I mean, she took the time to make the INTERIOR of the bag gorgeous!  You can tell that she cares about her product.   This bag isn’t necessarily meant to be turned inside out, but I totally would.  And, because I’m hard on my bags, those white stripes would turn gray pretty quick.  How about a simple dark navy or black interior to hide some of that dirt if we choose to rock this beauty inside out?

Really, that’s it!  This beauty is coming to you handmade straight out of Virginia from someone who had the courage to quit their day job and take a stab at making a living out of their passion.  Good call, Erin.  Awl Snap’s gonna be around awhile.