Business’S cool. Week 1.

This Friday we are shaking things up. It’s time to put away our summer bags for a school bag fit for fall. We’re trading silk for leather, cotton for vinyl and soft sacs for sturdy back packs. Join us each Friday for Business’S cool.

Stories to inspire and educate, from owner and founder Jacqueline Sava.


Office desk

Tuesday mornings you won’t find me at the Soak office. I’ll be held up in an interior classroom at George Brown College’s School of Design. My philosophies and practices combining design and business led me right to the Design Management program at George Brown. In class you ask? Well, I’m not taking classes, I’m teaching a class called Design Strategy.     Essentially, I teach designers how to think and work like/with business people. I believe (and as a trained designer, I feel comfortable saying this) that designers should learn, at some point or another, that there is a whole world out there that doesn’t understand, speak or think design. More importantly, if we designers want to live in the real world, we need to learn to communicate, work and live in unison with business people.

Most of the students have, like I do, undergraduate degrees in various design disciplines. They all want to work as design managers, design directors or key players in the corporate world, bringing design to the masses, or at least management. Each week (or so) I’ll bring you insights from the classroom.  A sneak preview at what we are working on, great books to read, insights from students, and experiences from the Soak office. It is shockingly true, that nothing is more valuable than experience, and these days, we are getting more than our fair share.

This photo was taken at one of our branding sessions.

Education is a core value here at Soak. We not only educate our consumers on best practices with our product, but also continue to learn at the office as well. We are always seeking to improve, share and develop ourselves, as we develop the business. Feel free to send thoughts and ask questions. Sharing knowledge is my passion and I hope you can learn new things here, to apply to your work and life.

Enjoy.

Back to the design school, and a little bit of history on myself and the program:

The School of Design features many award-winning programs.  Design Management draws international students together with diverse backgrounds such as Industrial Design, Fashion, Graphic Design, Advertising, Architecture, Interior Design etc. All students have work experience, ranging from one to several years, in various disciplines and countries.  The richness of cultures, experiences and insights is staggering. There is nothing more rewarding than learning while you teach. This is my second year working with the brilliant faculty at the School of Design. In the past I’ve taught at Humber College (in both the Industrial Design department and the School of Fashion Business) as well as done lecture series with various business organizations. My background combining an undergraduate degree industrial design from an art college (RISD) and an MBA in strategy and marketing from SSB (York University) offers a unique combination of art and business, design and strategy. When I speak I try to bridge design and business enabling easy and enthusiastic communication from both perspectives.

Next week, let the games begin. I’ve got my school bag ready. Do you have yours?


101 things to do with Soak | 031 Canning tomatoes.

Author: Jacqueline

Sometimes you just have too many tomatos.


While making our third batch of sauce we finally ran out of pots. Mini-Carrie came to the rescue storing chopped tomatos and basil pre-cooking. Yum. The Carries and Phils are non-toxic and food safe, so cook away!


It’s Friday and I’m bagged. Week 29. This bag is Magic

Author: Jacqueline 

Grab a coffee or tea and join us each Friday, to learn how these Soak worthy bags came to be. Are you bagged? Send us your favorite bag. If we feature it here, we’ll send you a Soak gift pack, in a pretty bag, of course!


Last week Soak exhibited at Magic in Las Vegas. We had a great show, welcoming several new Soak accounts such as Lucy B Lingerie, and Apricot Lane as well as seeing old friends like My Philosophy, and Anne van Hauwaert, While seeing friends was the highlight of the show, there were some pretty spectacular bags walking around.

The most coveted one featured Hello Kitty and Elmo, crazy I know. Jane from Itty Bitty Bra scored one of those. 

  

There were several other shows going on during Magic, such as Workroom, which happened to boast my favourite bag of the week. Sorry Karyn I couldn’t snag you one, I tried. They were for buyers only. 

 

The Kersh bag was the most functional, soft cotton, pretty and stylish- definitely a bag that might have use in real life. 

 

The Playboy bag was the shiniest bag, no surprise, but I can’t quite figure out where I’d use it post-show. 

 

I brought home a few other bags to add to our office stash. We use them for post office runs, store visits and taking work home on the weekends. I wonder of I’d get to cut the line at the post office with a playboy bag? I’ll keep you posted.


It’s Friday and I’m bagged. Week 29. Knit Nation.

Author: Jacqueline 

Grab a coffee or tea and join us each Friday, to learn how these Soak worthy bags came to be. Are you bagged? Send us your favorite bag. If we feature it here, we’ll send you a Soak gift pack, in a pretty bag, of course!


 

Last week there was a great party, with a super fantastic swag bag.  

The folks from Ravelry travelled across the ocean to host an event at Knit Nation, the UK-based knitting event. As we’ve just re-launched in the UK, we were a proud sponsor. While we haven’t got our hands on one of these decadent bags, we assure you, they are lovely! The party, as well as the entire Knit Nation event are rumored to have been fantastic!

We look forward to great success with leading yarn shops and haberdasheries in the UK market. 

 

 

If you are a UK based shop and would like some more information on Soak please contact our UK sales rep, Alice.


It’s Friday and I’m bagged. Week 28. Good things come in three’s.

Author: Jacqueline

Grab a coffee or tea and join us each Friday, to learn how these Soak worthy bags came to be. Are you bagged? Send us your favorite bag. If we feature it here, we’ll send you a Soak gift pack, in a pretty bag, of course!


Today we’re celebrating the number 3. Three years at our new office, Chris’s third anniversary with the company and the third bag, I have yet to make. After bag one and two, I know exactly what I’d like; I just have to find the time to make it.e love our office; we can’t believe it has been three years since we moved in. Three years of forklift payments, three years of the ice cream truck, and three years to settle into this lovely space. I guess it’s not our ‘new office’ anymore. Either way, if you are in the neighborhood, do stop by for a visit.

Front entrance

Chris’s third anniversary with Soak is also this week. To celebrate, I made her a lovely bag. I started with an assortment of my favorite fabrics, some from Quilt Market, some from the Workroom all ones I knew she’d love. I included the supplementary pocket detail from my first bag as well.

I also added a bit of extra detail into this bag. For structure, Karyn from the Workroom suggests using canvas as an alternative to interfacing. It gives structure, without stiffness. Don’t forget to Soak and dry it first, as canvas does shrink considerably.

I wanted a detail that would reflect Chris’s three years. I worked on a few ideas for quilting into the outside of the bag and in the end, settled for a more subtle approach. I inserted three contrasting orange panels into one of the straps. Between you and I couldn’t get the full length of the strap from the fat quarter of fabric I had chosen, so integrating the contrasting panels into the handles helped with fabric yield and pattern continuity. 

Before assembling the bag, I worked my free motion machine embroidery magic to write on the bag. Truth be told, at a recent Quilt Sunday I played with one of the fancy Bernina machines that controls the stitch length while doing free motion and I fell hard and fast. For now, I get to stick to my current machine, controlling stitch length by hand. I am getting pretty good at it.

For my third bag to be, I’m going to focus on something a bit bigger, to fit in more work stuff while on the go. I’m also going to add more canvas structure to the interior of the bag, making it easier to distinguish one pocket from the other. I’m going to play with the machine embroidery a bit more; I love the subtlety of the texture and how the thread overlaps the various colours. As with everything here at Soak, it’s all in the details.

Update:

One of our wonderful readers, Amber, sent us a short email with a photo of a similar bag that she has made. We thought it was beautiful and wanted to share it with everyone.

“I love your bag.  Especially the one with the summery bird fabric!  I made this bag as well.  I really like how it turned out.  I did use canvas between the layers, but wish I would have thought to divide the pockets up more.  Really nice free stitching as well.  I’ve yet to try that with my Bernina.  Keep up the great stitching!
Amber”


It’s Friday and I’m bagged. Week 26. Amy Butler Frenchy bag

Author: Jacqueline

Grab a coffee or tea and join us each Friday, to learn how these Soak worthy bags came to be. Are you bagged? Send us your favorite bag. If we feature it here, we’ll send you a Soak gift pack, in a pretty bag, of course!


I’m feeling crafty. Small scale, weekend style projects.  A little spice in my sewing, a quick fix needed.

I was going through the pattern stash in the office and came across my trusted group of Amy Butler bag patterns.  Amy, the loveliest lady in the world, gave me a few patterns at quilt market. This is their lucky weekend.

I started my crafty journey last night, reading through patterns and sorting the remnants from my most recently cut out quilt. (more on that later).  I had made a few fabric piles and decided on the Frenchy Bag.  All I needed was some interface, a problem easily solved by a trip to the workroom on the way home.

This morning, while perusing flickr.com, I noticed Karyn’s posting of new fabric arrivals. Seriously, as I tweeted, how am I supposed to work with fabrics from home when she has the new Echino collection in stock? Apparently my cotton brights will be stunning linings.

Last week I had also come across a Japanese retail site for Echino print products.  I kindly requested that Karyn sort out stocking the insanely divine umbrellas in Toronto, just for me.  A girl can dream. Maybe if we all want them, we can place a big order from Japan.

Anyhow, I’ll keep you posted on pattern and sewing progress. I’m leaning towards incorporating some quilting techniques into the bag and will no doubt make more than one, in the name of  design, experimentation and an inability to decide on a single fabric.

I’ll still be stopping at the workroom tonight. I’m certain though, that I won’t just be buying interfacing.


It’s Friday and I’m bagged. Week 25. ZigZag bag

Author: Jacqueline

Grab a coffee or tea and join us each Friday, to learn how these Soak worthy bags came to be. Are you bagged? Send us your favorite bag. If we feature it here, we’ll send you a Soak gift pack, in a pretty bag, of course!


This Friday is all about my favorite new knitting bag. It’s not all that new (acquisition knitters frolic 2010) but it’s my favorite.

A couple of months ago (pre-frolic) to be exact, I was introduced to ZigZagStitches when Catherine from ZigZagStitches tweeted that she’d added more bags to Flickr.com before the Frolic. I was immediately in love.
ZigZag bags, kittens playing with yarn.

While working on my large green shawl (note- final photo to follow, as soon as I find my lost memory card with all TNNA photos on it!!) I realized that it’s hard work carrying a large knitting project around. In response to this rather obvious fact, my top knitting friends introduced me to the concept of the ‘small, portable simple project’. I was looking towards my trip to the UK and a small project was what I needed indeed.ZigZag bags at the Frolic.

At the Frolic, I sorted through bags and fabric to find my perfect match. It was the right size for my mid-length needles and fabric style. Echino is one of my favorite textile design houses and I was thrilled to see a boxy bag zippered in one of their fine fabric designs.

While I haven’t finished any particular ‘small, portable simple projects’, I have acquired a few more. I am working on Winter Bud in our very own ‘espresso yourself’ colour of our Ravelry inspired Creative Juices Collection and this killer scarf as seen on someone at TNNA, in a lovely shade of orange(not in production) from Lorna’s Lace.  I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

With my ZigZag bag in tote, I’m officially a stylish and organized knitter. Now, if only I can find more time to knit.