Check It: Jared Desimio Tote Bags

Thanks so much to everyone who came out to Picnic Portland last weekend and checked out Fox + Fern’s terrariums and succulent gardens! We had an absolute blast and felt really good about our little venture because of all the great feedback we got from everyone. We also even made some dough.

And then I spent it. Like…before the event was even over. But I had to.

I’ve been a fan of Jared Desimio’s for a couple of years now, ever since I saw his pieces at another local craft show in Portland – the Big Chill – a couple of years ago, right after I moved to Maine. Then I stalked him at Picnic last year. And lo and behold, he was set up a few booths down from us at Picnic this year. I decided that if I made a certain amount of money that day that it would be time to invest in one of these heartthrobs.


Jared is a craftsman in the truest sense of the word. His bags are made from repurposed materials – used drop cloths, vintage military duffles and flour sacks, vintage copper rivets and high quality leather straps.


He showed me his new design, where the adjustable leather straps tuck neatly into a slit on the side, which does make for a cleaner finish than the earlier models, however I can’t say it really bothered me that they stuck out a little. This bag was stenciled with a handmade stencil that he tossed after he was finished so there will really never be another like it.  Eat your heart out, L.L. Bean Signature.


I had originally pined for the flour sack bags. I love the way the flour sack design is folded over so you can see it on the outside. I favorited it on Etsy last year. I held it at the booth, I talked about it, I think I might have pinned it on Pinterest. But then after talking with Jared and his sweet wife (whose name I don’t think I got, but she’s a champion for his cause and a good little saleswoman) I started getting more attached to a larger green tote with a big paint splatter on it that vaguely of reminded me of seagulls:


I was sold by the beautiful craftsmanship, the fact that he works out of a studio in an old mill with big old windows in Brunswick that I’ve driven by a thousand times, and the assurance that I’d have the bag forever. And then he told me about how the leather on the straps had a little irregularity in it because it had been sitting in the window of his studio and it got rained on a little. Every single piece of this bag has had a life of its own. The bag’s got soul, man. Honestly, the final straw was the thought he put into the tag. If you read any of my posts, you know I am such a strong believer and big time lover of well done packaging, and this was one of the best examples I’ve seen.


Allow me to break it down for you:

1) an oak tag…tag…with his custom logo embossed on it and his signature (price stamped on the back)

2) a little pocket made from a page of Thoreau’s “The Maine Woods”

3) inside the pocket, a piece of old school…school paper (seriously, why did that just happen twice?) with a contents list typed up on a typewriter and stamped with the date the bag was born (the date is stamped on the leather label on the front of the bag too!) It was like a letter to me, explaining why each piece is special, tempting me to take it home as if I hadn’t already made up my mind.

4) the whole thing tied onto the bag with a leather lace.

Needless to say, the green bag came home with me and has gone everywhere I’ve gone ever since. Even if it’s a little too big for times when I just need my wallet. When people compliment me, I say “Oh, this old thing?” and I mean it literally. And then I show them the tag that I keep in one of the pockets inside…because it’s part of the package. And with that, I am now a freelance promoter of Jared Desimio’s products.

Find Jared on Etsy: and on Facebook: and for the next three days you can get anything for his Picnic prices – 30% off! Feel free to call me if you need more reasons to bite the bullet.

Thank you Jared for your hard work, attention to detail and tolerance of my stalking you last weekend!

All photos from Jared Desimio’s Etsy site.