In our family we have a bunch of bags we never give away, but take out when it's someones birthday (in our case, 5 times a year), christmas (last christmas we had 20 bags under the tree), Father's Day, Mother's Day, Valentine's Day or whenever there is a time to give a gift.
Here are the presents we prepared when Celeste turned 13.
And here they are under the Christmas tree (blingblingbling styling by Cappi and Margaux).
One can almost pretend that the bags are like bed covers – one stores the bags in a closet so one does not need to iron them.
It’s also when one uses the bags in a family when one really saves money! Wrapping paper, ribbons, tape, cards, etc., are expensive and this expense adds up over the years to an amount one does not want to think about. And think of all the excessive trash!! Check out this statistic about how much wrapping paper is used annually in the USA.
The thing about wrapping presents is that it is totally unnecessary. Of course there are some types of wrapping that is necessary like for food for example. However, wrapping for presents is completely unnecessary. We can live without it – easily.
A lot of people say, what about the kids…aren’t they disappointed to not rip up a package?? The answer is No!! My kids are precisely as happy when they see the bags because then they know presents are soon to come. So happy! Haha.
So in a family one can save the bags. But what about when you give a present to someone not in the family? In Japan there is already the Furoshiki tradition where they wrap the presents in beautiful, and often, expensive fabric. When one has opened the present the receiver gives back the fabric from the giver. Problem solved!! However we don’t live in Japan, so the tradition does not exist in this part of the world. So either 1: decide together if one should give the presents back and forth (siblings, close friends, etc.) or 2: Give away the bag (birthday parties, friends, etc.). I usually give away the bag. One bag with many bags in it! Here is some information about Bag-All and the general concept.Feel free to follow me on instagram: bag_all
A children’s collection!
I have never made bags for children before (My friend Pernilla suggested I do it). And now they are here and I am soooo in love with them! I wanted to do a circus theme and therefore contacted the master of mastering, Ingela P Arrhenius (www.ingelaparrhenius.com) to design the pattern with Elephants and Lions. I am overjoyed that a star like Ingela, who sells her designs all over the world, took her time with my little company. How cute?? I’m just wondering?!!!
The girls have become so good at helping out. Today Celeste was my photo assistant, helped hang things on the ceiling and managed the lights (completely pressed against the wall on our bed haha).
Margaux helped Cappi to laugh.
Here are the rest of the family with different types of bags.
If you noticed, I am not in any of the pictures – but that is because I am usually the one behind the camera. However this one is by the talented Jenny Brandt.
Today was Margauxs 9th birthday!! She has been looking forward to this day SOOO much. I remember this as a kids - the days leading up to my birthday were so slow. And then laying in bed in the morning waiting, waiting, waiting for the family to come celebrate!
Luckily I am the producer of reusable fabric giftbags so wrapping gifts is NO problem at all in our house! I adore the Children’s Collection, that I have made together with an amazing Swedish artist Ingela P Arrhenius. As I think Ingela is a genius I am so grateful that she wanted to work with Bag-all! Ingela has made the animal prints and I have made the graphic prints. This is the Kid's Collection
We made 11 packages for Margaux!
Micke made cake from muffins with whipped cream and strawberries. As we didn’t have any candle holders we made x:s at the top of the strawberries and stuck them in there.
The gang heading up to Margaux! Luckliy for Margaux her uncle, my brother, Rustan was here for her birthday. Rustan is an amazing artist, here you can check out his work: Rustan!
We are so incredibly happy – yesterday we solved everything with our visas. After lunch I received an email from the Embassy saying our Green Card Visas were done. So I ran to the Embassy to pick up our passports and immediately bought tickets back to New York. The kids don’t have this long of a vacation…they had their vacation last week and they need to get back to school as soon as possible.
My mother- and father in law live in Tyresö outside Stockholm. This is where Bag-all main Sweden office is located (in grandmothers work room haha). Without Margita, I don’t think I would have been able to take care of the Swedish part of Bag-All. She packs and sends out orders and really keeps everything under control. I don’t know a nicer and more helpful person than her! Margita is really made out of gold. Micke is also increadibly helpsome, and give people rides here and there, help people move, dig ditches, buy things and drag things across the Atlantic for someone or whatever it may be. Always just as happy, and no complains! I think helpfulness is one of the nicest qualities a person kan have. I am so thankful to have the helpful family Jansch in my life!! Here grandmother is wrapping a shipment of Bag-All bags with Margaux.
See how beautiful her packages are!
After that, we went and celebrated with another wonderful person, my mother, who turns 70 march 12th! We aren’t here though, so my mother and her boyfriend Robert (who we forced to put on Margaux’s tiara hehe) took us out for dinner at Le Rouge in Old Town.
Cappi in her vintage fur coat!
A few weeks ago something fun happened: A woman called me and requested for travel bags to be given in goodie bags for Black Women in Hollywood luncheon (today). Unfortunately I had to turn the offer down because my company was still starting up, and a little to small to give away 300 bags. Then she called back and asked if I wanted to donate 20 bags to VIP goodie bags….and how could I say no?! Just the perfect amount. Guess how happy I was today when I saw this. Oprah had been given one of the VIP goodie bags! I am a BIG fan of Oprah! Every Sunday she sends out much wisedom to the world through her show Super Soul Sunday. I have learned more from Oprah than all my years of school! Just the thought of that she might have my bags in my hand today makes me so incredibly happy and proud!
One of the funnest things about starting something new, like a business, is to receive feedback. It really makes all the struggles worth it! The internet is a great tool when it comes to spreading peoples thoughts. I am constantly surprised with how nicely people write about Bag-All (I find links by seeing where people who visit my website, find Bag-all.com). For example, yesterday I found this blog post by a 19 year old Swedish blogger, Danielle Gustavsson. She really understands the whole concept of Bag-All and has clearly put down a lot of energy to take pictures from my website to illustrate the message on her blog. BIG thank you to you Daniella!! Below I’ve copied and pasted her blog post.
Every birthday and Christmas, most people receive presents wrapped in giftwrapping paper, and what happens after this? It gets thrown away. Whats even the point of buying giftwrapping paper, if the child is just going to tear up the nicely wrapped paper, if its just going to land in the garbage? For a future perspective, this wasteful tossing of paper is unsustainable. Think about what it looks like outside of you and your neighbors house after every Christmas. So many trashbags get filled of giftwrapping paper that is ready to just be thrown out. To throw out some concrete facts, in the USA alone, about 4 million extra tons of waste is seen around the holidays – and again, that’s only in the US! Aside from the paper, there is also tape, ribbons, etc., that also needs to be created from nature, ready to be color printed and shipped. Jennifer Jansch, a Swedish stylist who now lives in New York, took an interest on this and started experimenting with reusable giftbags made in fabric that can be used over and over again for years. The outcome was, Bag-all.
Very simple fabric bags, that one can simply wrap with a ribbon. She has made these bags in many shapes and sizes, with very cool designs!
Think, how genious! And on top of it being sustainable, one can wrap a present in a matter of seconds. Then one doesn’t need to buy paper, find tape, take time to neatly wrap it, etc. It’s so simple, yet so stylish! Jennifer has adventured with her idea, and even made “travel bags”, so instead of putting your shoes or other traveling things in plastic bags, there are fabric bags for this too (Also very stylish)
For press, Jennifer uses her own family as her models.
This is how it looks like under the tree. An incredibly smart idea, and I am so impressed by people like Jennifer. If you want to buy Jennifer’s beautiful bags, click here: Bag-all
There are a lot of readers who have wondered what kind of visa we are on in the US in order to live in New York. In 2008 I was here on a journalism visa (we lived here for 6 months to see if we enjoyed living here with the kids). I used to work as a journalist for several Swedish magazines and Micke was on “paternity leave” for Caprice (in Sweden mother and father both receive maternity leave). After that, we have been here on business visas.
But then the most amazing thing happened: We WON Green Cards on the lottery that America has every year! I had completely forgot that I’ve been paying to be in this lottery for the last five years, so GUESS who was surprised when a woman called me last may and said “Congratulations, you’ve won the Green Card Lottery!!”. I thought it was a really bad prank. But no, it was true. We had won – the whole family!!
So today we are going to Stockholm for doctor appointments (mandatory) and also for an interview at the American Embassy. I am so incredibly happy for this since I’ve always felt at home in the USA! It’s going to be a lot easier for us to have greencards since we won’t have to renew our visas. And it’s going to be so much fun to go to Stockholm to meet some friends and family.
Of course, I am not traveling without my bags. You can order your own travel bags here: www.bag-all.com
A few days ago someone suggested in a comment that I should make a bag with a red cross on it. Funny enough, I've already made one! Unfortunately it turned out that you are not allowed to use the Red Cross symbol, so I made another one with a black cross and a red ribbon instead. Such a great bag to have to put bandages and other medical things in!
There’s a few of you (on the Swedish blog) that have requested a questionair from me, so I’ve gathered your questions and posted them here:
I find it a lot of fun to receive feedback on the blog! People ask questions or comment with good points or just positive reactions. It’s fun also because it is so time consuming to have a blog! So all this feedback gives me energy and I’m also getting to know some of you guys who comment regularly, which is fun! It’s always like that when you put your effort into something – to see how people respond to it. When I was younger my grandmother used to say “You’ve done such a good job, you’re going to be praised”. I thought it was mindless to “announce” when one is to be praised, and it kind of took the edge off it too. But my mother was intelligent and announced it so we would not miss the praise/gratefulness.
The best bosses I’ve had are those who are good at giving good feedback (the funnest) and bad (necessary for development). And the times when I’ve been a boss over someone, I really try to be the kind of boss I would personally like. Unforutunately there are a lot of bosses and a parents who are not like this, and are quick to point out when something is not good. For bag-All I’ve gotten a whole new approach to receiving feedback: pictures!
It’s incredible how happy I get when someone posts a picture of the bags.
Recently, the majority of posts have been of the Travel Bags.
Carina Nunstedt posted this picture on Instagram. Charger bag together with a bag from Hope!
Blogger, Samantha Wennerstrom, www.couldihavethat.com, posted on Insta:
Nonohandbags, which I don’t have the clue of who they are, posted this!This one is posted by @belleami81 on Insta. She ordered bags from the cute online shop www.casarosenhill.seBy the way, Casa Rosenhill also posts very nice pictures:So, if you have some bags from Bag-All, please send them along on instagram! Hashtag #bag_all or #bagall or tag me @bag_all so I can see the picture!
Today we’ve started to put up the booth for New York Now. It is huuuge, and takes two days to go through the whole fair. Bag-All’s booth is in a section of new products in Pier 94, a pier near the Hudson River, and not at the Javits Center where the bigger fair is. Testing the new alphabet-bags.
It sounds a little crazy – and my daughters think I’m a little strange – but I love the subway! Anywhere in the world – Stockholm, Peking, Paris…and most of all, New York. We don’t have a car in the city and I am SO happy for it! To be honest, I don’t really like cars in the first place, and I feel thankful for being able to live in a place where I actually don’t need one. And anyhow, the monthly cost of a parking space in this city is equivalent to a one-bedroom apartment in Stockholm.
And then I also take “bus number 11” –which was what my dad always called my legs (when I was younger and would ask my dad for a ride he would point at one leg and say 1, and then point to the other leg and say 1). When I am going to meet a friend for lunch or dinner downtown (Soho, Meatpacking & Tribeca are where a lot of popular restaurants are), I always leave an hour early so I have time to walk there. I work at the same time, answer emails, talk and text on the phone. A lot of people think its crazy to even think of the idea of walking from uptown to downtown (7-8 km).
When I’m in a rush or carrying something heavy, I take the subway. Like I said, I love the subway for many reasons, one being the diversity of people you can find. You can find any type of person you can think of –in every subway car.
Today it is December 23rd and we've celebrated christmas at home. Why? Because we are traveling to L.A tomorrow morning. Ever since Cappi was born we've had a tradition: to take pictures of the girls on Christmas Day. I thought this would be fun for them when they get older to have pictures of themselves every year on the same day, with one year in between. I think one forgets this during the year, but on Christmas it’s easier to remember. In addition to this, they always dress up extra nice on Christmas. And then of course, it’s nice to send the picture to friends and family. Since I always mail the Christmas card (also to save paper) it doesn’t matter that the card comes on Christmas day, and not a few days before. This is how this years Christmas card turned out. 2012 2011
201020092008This years Santa, or Tomte (or as we call him in Sweden) got a big bear hug!! And here is our blingblingbling tree with our gift bags. Merry Christmas from all of us to all of you!! P.S. Here is our leftover trash from Christmas! Not a sign of a big black garbage bag of wrapping paper.
To start one’s own business can be quite scary. When one puts a start to it, there are no guarentees. Different thoughts swerve through one’s head: imagine if no one likes what I’ve created… But then one gathers the courage anyways and jumps straight into the unknown. Sometimes it can feel as if one is stuck in a videogame and unexpected barriers appear out of nowhere. And one better stick with the battle to land on the right track. A lot of the time it is very energy consuming and frusterating. But then – the reward! Guess how proud and happy I was when my friends and complete strangers began to send me pictures of the bags they’d bought (#bagall and @bag_all on instagram). Sometimes they were traveling with them! Like this picture from my friend JenniferOr like this picture from Chris, on his way to Aspen with his earbuds in a Bag-All Travel bag.
A few days ago, celebrity stylist @juneambrose posted a picture on her Insta. How she found the picture, I have no idea. But check it out, over 2,000 likes!! And the sweetest Anine Bing @aninebing did the same, but with her own bag. I promised yesterday that I would share what I received as birthday gifts! Celeste sewed me a gift bag by herself. So incredibly sweet! I realize a lot how children are influenced by what their parents do. I think this is so nice, I am considering making a similar bag for next year’s Christmas Collection. Cappi gave me two belts with “Diamonds”, from Anthropologie.And from Margaux I received a necklace with a horseshoe. She knows how much I love all symbols that represent luck, especially horseshoes. And she slyly snuck into our room and borrowed these floral jewelry bags that I am soon launching for Bag-All.And from Micke, I received this lamp I’ve been wanting for a long time. It is ordered from Etsy, so it has not yet arrived.