I used to have only two handbags; one, a black one, for the winter and another, a brown one, for the summer. Oh, and one more, a black envelope-like evening bag that my godmother gave me for my 18th birthday.
It is possible to live with only two handbags. For years, even decades.
But then the last brown handbag got old. I searched for the shops in Helsinki (Finland) for a new one, but couldn't find anything that I liked. The summer was approaching fast and I was still using my black winter bag. One rainy day I rummaged through my yarn supplies and found some leftover cotton, and another, a mixture of cotton, linen and silk. I found a crochet hook and started working. The first Milmanda bag was born.
Bitten by the Bag Bug
I liked the first handbag so much that I made another one, to go with finer dresses. And then another one, and some more. Different colours to go with different summer outfits. The bag bug bit me. I gave some bags to friends and family, and also sold some to friends and family to give away as presents. I made more. I bought more yarn, yep, I have to admit, it got slightly out of hand. Moving from Finland to Portugal forced me to sell and donate some of the supply.
The first furry Viva! bags I made partly as a joke for Christmas parties. But now I actually think that they are the dot on the i for any woman with personality.
The Milmanda bags are as ethical a product as I can make them. They are handmade by a grown-up woman who eats well, sleeps well and lives in a big house, and has a happy, if not completely trouble-free life. I use recycled materials (fabrics for linings, rings) whenever possible.
I love designing and manufacturing the Milmanda bags. I'd make them all day long if I could. As I have other activities, too, the number of Milmanda bags will always be limited. There are Milmanda bags now on three continents; Europe, Central America and Australia. I'd like to pin more countries to the Milmanda map!
So, the Bagless Lady has truly become a Bag Lady. But, out of respect for the real bag ladies in this world, here's what I promise you: for every Milmanda bag sold I will give one euro (yes, one euro, not one cent) directly to someone in need. It may be a homeless person I meet on the street, someone blind, disabled or just old and begging for money to be able to buy something to eat. For one euro you can buy a coffee and a bread roll without fillings in Portugal, or in some cafés even a bowl of soup. So, one euro for each bag, and the donation is from you and I.
Lots of love, beijos,
Who is behind Milmanda?
A Finnish woman, who got tired of working in the office and decided to go live in Portugal. Nuts about handicrafts, DIY, photography, writing and animals. Also author of the Casa Viva blog (in Finnish).