If These Hands Could Talk: Meet Kirsti

If These Hands Could Talk: Meet Kirsti

Kirsti. 98 and counting….knit one purl two. If these hands could talk, they would speak countless languages of a life well lead and a life knitted in richness. Born in Berkeley, California, yet raised and seasoned in Finland, Kirsti is nearly 99 years old and can literally knit in her sleep. We woke her from a nap and it took no time at all for her to sit up and tell us (and show us) what knitting means to her. “I remember always knitting….dresses, coats, and sweaters on the bus on the way to work in San Francisco.” As she pulled creation after creation from her bureau, we wondered where quality like that has gone. With knitting as the common thread through her many years and many homes, Kirsti is the mother to four sons and countless grandchildren and greats. Her knitting needles speak fluently, but Kirsti also speaks German, English, Swedish and Finish so we weren’t at all surprised when she stated her secret to life “Keep on moving….and eat strawberry shortcake.” Oh and “put your feet up for 15 minutes a day.” Great advice, but we think her hands were begging to follow suit. Kirsti Aspelin is 98 years old and has been knitting with The Purlettes + 1  “for a long time.” She currently resides at The Redwoods and enjoys NOT turning on her TV, knitting and going out for lunch when her children come to visit. She is looking forward to her 99th birthday and says no one better show up without strawberry shortcake. Noted.        ...
sarah oliver handbags and The Purlettes +1

sarah oliver handbags and The Purlettes +1

At our last trunk show (you can see photos @saraholiverhbags) several new fans asked if we had a video that they could share with friends. Of course we always want to support our fans as much as they support us, so . . . we asked our resident uber-fabulous-video-whiz Khyber Jones if he could put together a reel that tells the story of how sarah oliver handbags are made. Hand knit. In America. By senior citizens. Certainly you’ve heard a bit about it if you’re here reading our blog. But these are not just any old senior citizens. They call themselves The Purlettes +1 and they are the coolest group of seniors you’ve met in a long time. Every day they teach us something new. We also get to hear the most amazing stories from them, and generally fill up with the best buzz of sweetness. We hope you enjoy this video as much as we enjoy working with The Purlettes. Of course we’re biased, but we think they are the the best of the best. As are our bags. Check them out for your self. And thanks for coming...

Cross Body Bags for Spring Inspired by Italy’s Bella Colore

Bella colore means beautiful colors in Italian and that is where the inspiration for our Spring collection originated. Sarah found a “pop of color” on her trip to Florence last summer that made her think of beautiful yarn colors for her bags. Even though the colors she saw were painted years, decades, even centuries ago in the churches, museums and buildings of Florence, Sarah saw timeless beauty that she wanted to reproduce in her spring line. “In Italy, people are not afraid to wear color and I love that!”  says Sarah. For a little taste of “la dolce vita”, add one of our cross body bags for Spring to your wardrobe! Introducing our “bella colore” for spring 2014: Turquoise Blue Sunburst Yellow Grass Green Lisa’s...

How To Celebrate Mardi Gras: Get Your Brooch On

Mardi Gras begins this week and as our friend from New Orleans, Bryan Batt says, “Mardi Gras is about celebration, abandon and fun.”  That is how we feel about our NOLA brooch Big, bright and colorful, this fashion accessory reminds us of our wonderful customers from New Orleans who buy our bags at Hazelnut, Bryan’s gift shop on Magazine Street. This brooch adds fun and color to any bag in the sarah oliver handbags collection. Celebrate Mardi Gras and order yours...

Celebrating with The Purlettes + 1: Sarah Oliver Handbags Warm Hearts and Minds

Yesterday was the annual SOH holiday party I throw every year for the Purlettes +1. It is always a festive event with decorations, yummy food, gifts, funny stories by our Sales Manager Jenny Mac and shared excitement about what we have accomplished in 2013 and the anticipation of 2014, with many more bags to make, events to exhibit our bags and milestones to celebrate. Each year I attempt to share with the Purlettes +1 how important their work is to the success of our company. I like to refer to them as the backbone of SOH but I’m never sure I convey how big an impact their work has on our customers. So this year I was particularly excited to share a blog post by Warren’s Daughter, that I recently stumbled upon. This post was written in a way that brought full circle, the impact the bags have on our customers. I have the luxury to see first hand, the reaction of a customer when they first hear that our handbags are made by seniors in their late 80s and 90s. I see their eyes light up, almost in disbelief and watch as they go find a friend to bring back in order to share what they just learned. I have a hard time describing to the Purlettes the emotional reaction I witness when customers see our bags. Warren’s Daughter’s blog post about her first encounter with sarah oliver handbags, beautifully captured that emotional reaction in words. Needless to say, the Purlettes felt so proud when Daphne read the blog post aloud. I love the last sentence, “My handbag...