1). Bette’s Bags is a family business with your daughter, Maggie, correct? Please tell us how it all began.
Actually, we are now more than a mother/daughter team. Dad (has been there since the first show) and Stew (Maggie's fiancee) are our roadies. They help us lift, carry and set up our tent and in return all we have to do is buy them lunch and dinner. Bette's Bags began as a joke really. Maggie purchased a very expensive designer bag and before she left the mall she saw another woman carrying the exact same bag. To tease Maggie, I made her a "One of a Kind" bag. She liked it and used it; friends and co-workers commented on it and wanted one of their own. We made several bags as "gifts.” After hearing from friends and family things like, "you two should start your own business,” “where do you sell your bag,” “do you have a website” and “how can I get you to make one for myself?".
In September 2007 we set up our first space at the Arlington Court House Market (renamed Arlington’s Urban Village Market at Court House). Maggie lived and worked in the area at the time and was very familiar with that market. We were so happy and very surprised at how well did at our first show. We continued at that market until it got too cold then spent that winter making bags in preparation for the following spring. And the rest, as they say, is history.
2). I tried to pick a favorite bag, but I can’t! You have too many beautiful designs? Do you have a favorite bag style—something you enjoy making the most?
We can both honestly say that EVERY NEW bag we make immediately becomes our new favorite. We actually have to plan on making ones for ourselves and NOT allow ourselves to keep each one that we make.
3). You’re an animal-lover, like me! Have you ever considered expanding into little dog carriers or even poo bag bags?
Oh my ... we are animal lovers aren't we! Although we have never considered making any "pet-specific" bags, several of our customers have purchased our tote bags for their pets needs. We have such a hard time making all of the bags and knitted accessories that we try not to add any additional products to our line.
4). What three words would you use to describe your craft?
Unique, Modern, Quality
5). Where can we find your craft outside the Ballston Arts & Crafts Market?
The first place to look is our website, http://www.bettesbags.com/, which lists all shows and markets for the upcoming fall and winter season. (People who sign up to receive our newsletters and get coupons before each show.) We will be at the brand-new Fenton Street Market on October 3rd, DC Mafia's Holiday Heist on November 21st and our Bette's Bags Etsy Shop. We hope to add more throughout the coming weeks.
Bonus question: Quick! What’s in your pockets right now?
A leather thimble, paper clip and ink pen … so McGyver!
Find Bette's Bags in their usual spot, Booth #30, September 12th & October 10th!