“Oh, is that my Bag Lady?” I could hear her ask down the telephone line before she was passed the receiver.
“Yes, it’s me. Bag lady” I said, by way of introduction.
“Hello!” said Barbara
“I was just wondering how it went last week, just to see whether or not I should keep making them?” I said.
“Ohhh…. do you know what?” We didn’t sell any.”
And then she added “But one of the girls overheard someone say they were too summery. They were looking for Christmas gifts. They weren’t overpriced. We’ll sell them in summer – it’s not far away.”
“That’s true! They are summery. Even though they are beautiful, even I don’t use one in winter because they are a summer bag! Oh well’” I said, “I’ll just keeping making them then. I’ve got nothing else to do.”
Baggy-chic … Raggie-baggie … Raggie-bag … It was hard coming up with a name.
“What do you think Pete?” and I gave him all three options, along with my tagline 100 per cent hand-made bags from recycled rags!
“I like the tag line” he said “but there’s too many rags or something so raggie-bag doesn’t work.”
“What about Raggie-baggie? It sounds kind of Scottish.”
“It’s nice, it’s just that there still may be too many rags.”
“I’ll just change the tag-line then.”
I was torn; my beautiful, whimsical, 100 per cent ethical, hand-made, re-cycled, local … you name it!… romantic, dreamy, gorgeous, silk ribboned, cloth bags needed a name. I had sourced all the fabric from the “rag” section of the charity shop, which is a deposit for all the un-sellable items that came through the door – donated items that were either too old-fashioned or stained or faulty in some other way and that would only ever have otherwise made it to the weighing bin in some far off depository, where they might eventually become stuffing for sofas or be turned into washing up cloths, all the while earning the charity shop about 12 pence per kilo. My re-cycled items, however, bring in about 100,000 times that price by the gram. Plus they’re cute.
But they are only half a donation as only half the sale price goes to the shop and the other half to the maker, which means they can only be sold at special function days – it’s all head-office stuff.
Baggy Chic … that’s descriptive, except I was sure it was an American term that Scots wouldn’t get.
Back in the charity shop, Barbara and one of the volunteers were on-hand. Two Scots.
“I’m doing some market research” I said. “Which of the following do you like best?”
… and reeling off the list of three, they answered in perfect unison, like a chorus: “Baggy Chic!”
Despite all this market research, this morning it all came down to “Bag Lady.”
“Oh and the other thing, we’re having a bag sale next Thursday night, with wine and cheese and all the volunteers will be there so you and Pete must come!’
“Okay! What time are you bringing out the wine? I’m only asking for Pete.”
“Not straight away – about 7.00 probably. I don’t want to be carrying drinks around all night”
“Okay, we’ll be there then.”
Back at home, I told Pete of our invitation.
“What? they’re having a BAG sale and your bags are excluded and yet we’re invited?” he’s teasing but it is all fact.
“Yes. It’s ironic. But as my bags aren’t wholly donations, they can only be sold at special function days – it’s all head-office stuff.”
“So how come we have to go?”
“I don’t know, it’s just ironic.”
“Oh we have to go. They can’t have it without us. We’re the guest Jokes of Honour!”
It was light-outs time but now neither of us could stop laughing. Pete had to, because he has to go to work in the mornings (whereas I do this and bag lady stuff from home.) Eventually, it was the next day and now … it’s only two more sleeps! This Thursday, at around 7.00pm, we will make our guest entrance, head straight for the drinks table and make our grand speech. Maybe. More likely, Pete will get tipsy and I’ll just buy a bag.