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I sometimes receive items or samples from companies who'd like me to consider reviewing or blogging about their products. No money changes hands, they simply send me an unrequested item, often accompanied with the question 'is it hip enough?"
I have made it known to these generous people, that sending me a product in no way guarantees a post, favorable or otherwise... or even a mention. And in many cases, the items don't warrant taking up cyberspace.
above: Travel bag in Spencer Plaid
But then there's Saltbox. This year, right before Christmas, a large package arrived and in it was a canvas and faux leather bag from a NY company I'd never heard of named Saltbox. How they knew my favorite color was orange, I'm not sure, but a fabulously large orange, brown and white patterned bag named "the Getaway", shown below, was enclosed.
above: Saltbox Getaway bag in Basketweave pattern, Squash color.
I opened the bag and discovered it was not only crafted from a stylish water-resistant heavy canvas fabric and had handles, interior and trim made from recycled fabrics... but it was large enough for all my belongings, along with my laptop in it's own bag, and still had enough room for my jack russell terrier, Indie, to fit comfortably!
It was so enormous, it was almost too big. Then I noticed that inside were two halves of a simple antiqued carabiner-type brass buckle on either side, that when attached, it reduced the size of the bag by folding in the edges and turned it into a large sort of shoulder bag. How clever! And cute!
above: Saltbox Getaway bag when interior buckle is fastened to reduce size.
So I promptly began to research the company and their products and I was instantly smitten. They have a very large selection of well made, nicely detailed, canvas products. Bags, purses, luggage, wallets, and more in various sizes.
above: model shown with large tote in Squash Basketweave
The collection comes in four different patterns; Basketweave, Plaid, Geo and Medallion. Each of the patterns is available in various colors as well.
The heavy duty canvas is waxed to provide water resistance and all the products have details like antiqued silver or brass hardware, magnetic closures, interior pockets, silver feet and other thoughtful touches.
above: model shown with Carryall in Tiki Basketweave
To easily show you their whole collection, below are all their present products, each shown in the same color and pattern; Squash Basketweave.
Getaway, open and clasped to reduce size:
Utility Tote, shown open and closed with magnetic snap:
Large Tote and the Takeout Tote:
Daybag, shown from two angles:
Cosmetic bag, Luggage tag, Travel wallet and Pencil bag:
Travel wallet, closed and opened:
So what, where and who is Saltbox?
Saltbox is a Manhattan-based design studio known for its creations in canvas -- a humble material brought to new heights through fine design.
above: model shown with Takeout Tote in Berry Basketweave
Founded by Nicole Scheinholz over a decade ago, the company made the unlikely transition to bags from luxury shower curtains. Being a typical New Yorker who shouldered her daily haul, Nicole created a tote for herself with one of her more popular curtain prints so she could lug in style. The bag was a huge hit, igniting a personal passion for bag and accessory design and signaling a new direction for the company.
Regularly featured in magazines such as People, Coastal Living, InStyle Weddings and Country Living, the collection is renown for its classic patterns and gorgeous vibrant colors. Saltbox pieces tell a story as they wear -- the canvas softens like a favorite pair of jeans, exuding laid-back style while remaining sturdy and supremely functional.
above: model shown with Daybag in Feryn Plaid
Heavy gauge canvas, treated to be water resistant, makes each piece perfect for year-round use. Inspired by travel, history, nature and architecture, the prints and color palettes are graphic, yet imminently wearable. Key features give each shape its unique look. Some have extra snaps and pockets, others convertible and removable shoulder straps. Versatility is vital.
Below is the story of Saltbox as told by its founder:
above: Founder and President, Nicole Scheinholz
"They say that necessity is the mother of invention… but now we believe them. The story behind the creation of the Saltbox collection goes like this… when we travel, we like to take along practical yet stylish tote bags – sturdy & roomy carryalls that make a beautiful & personal statement. Easier said than bought! And after an unfulfilling search for totes that met our high expectations, we figured we’d just have to make them ourselves. Saltbox pieces have unmistakable style that is somehow undefinable. They are effortlessly timeless, yet supremely cool.
These are things we love: classic patterns in luscious color combinations, unique embellishments and mixing patterns in surprising arrangements. Especially important are the “little extras” like zipped inner pockets, sewn-in key fobs and snaps galore – those are the details that make our bags special and extremely practical to carry.
Plus, all of our pieces are silk-screened by hand on 100% cotton fabrics – a process that imparts unique variations in each piece. And now we are adding home décor items to round out the collection. Our understated and elegant pillow collection will beautify the home, and soon to follow will be other decorative accessories. " ---- Nicole Scheinholz, president
Another thoughtful touch:
If you enter "Give my love to Haiti!" in the message box at checkout, they will donate 10% of your purchase to the Red Cross in Haiti between now and February 14th.
To see all the available patterns and colors as well as prices, shop Saltbox here