Beautiful Custom Bags...that are homemade?

So excited.

I should have had this out this morning, but my night last night was thrown off by a major storm and to be honest I didn't want to be on the computer during it. So I worked.

Now I get to share with you my new find!

During the craft show Jackie and I participated in back at the beginning of May, I met this man. His name is Rand Kuenzi. He was also a vendor at the show and was doing a raffle! Me being me I said absolutely I'll add myself to your raffle! I love the chance to win anything! :)

Now let me say this. Rand makes these amazing bags. Out of tshirts and canvas,  fabric and canvas, uniforms, all sorts of stuff are in his designs. Basically he can take a tshirt or uniform and make it into this adorable tote!

A couple days later I received an email saying I had won! Me! I never win stuff like that, but boom! I won.

So me being me...I have all of this stuff that I wear and stuff that Jason wears and to be honest I had A MILLION ideas swarming my head. I couldn't decide. Then I went to my storage closet to put some stuff away when I saw my BEAUTIFUL Heidi Grace bird cage fabric. So I immediately sent him an email asking if he could use that instead. Of course his answer was yes. When we finally got together to talk about my bag and the design of it I had so many ideas. He must have been wondering what in the lords good name he had gotten himself into! I definitely had some demands LoL. But he delivered in a way I couldn't imagine! I LOVE IT. Want a peak at my fabulous new diaper bag/ overnighter?
Check it out...
You can view even more pictures and all of it's features at the end of this post!

Ok now. I had the opportunity to chat quite a bit with Mr Kuenzi and I decided that I wanted to do a Q&A with him. To let you all know how awesome he is :)...so here it goes! Enjoy!

Let's get started!

LHD: How did you get started making bags?
Rand: Daughter Grace, now a college Junior, was in Home Economics class in Middle School and had a sewing project and I was the available parent to assist. Additionally, my grandmother was a world-class quilter and my mom used to make some projects when we were growing up on a small family Dairy Farm in Southern Wisconsin. My hometown of New Glarus, Wisconsin is full of crafty Swiss and Norwegian people and I am Swiss-Norwegian so crafting is just in the genes.

LHD: Did being in the military have any influence on you getting started?
Rand: Yes, my military values and experience are embedded in Kuenzi Fabrications. Being in the military is a daily exercise in "defining requirements" at best value and ensuring Quality is in each product and service. Also, most of my military career has been in aircraft maintenance which is essentially engineering.

LHD: Once you got past making the first bag, how did you expand and move into selling your bags?
Rand: I gave away totes for about seven years as I improved the quality and then in 2009 I sold some bags because ladies I made them for DEMANDED to pay something for my effort and the quality. My wife says I would "give away the store" if I let my heart lead the enterprise and she's probably right. In the last year I have given away more than 50 totes, mostly to teachers, students, and other parents.
LHD: How do you juggle family and creative-time?  When do your ideas and inspirations come to you?
Rand: Juggling family and creative-time is pretty easy because my family inspires most of my creations.  For inspiration, I just keep my eyes open all the time and have traveled extensively outside the United States which has certainly broadened my horizons.
LHD: What's your typical day like?
Rand: Typical day is get up and go work full-time job for the Department of Defense and then I get home and craft for 4-5 hours while getting ready for the next day's activities and schedule.

LHD: With work and then more work :) how do you and your wife make time for each other?
Rand: Making time for my wife is a challenge but because we're both Mid-Lifers and we both have family at the top of our priorities, we are nearly always together when I am not away at my first job. 

LHD: How did you first come up with the idea to make tshirt conversion tshirts?
Rand: Ah, T-Shirt conversions. That's a funny inspiration. I was at a local Thrift store and noticed how many cool and stylish t-shirts were in near new condition yet selling for around $5 apiece and thought the previous owner must have let the shirt go with a sad grimace. Also, the thought of just throwing away clothes was irritating.  Just because an outfit or t-shirt doesn't fit anymore does NOT mean it can't be transformed into something useful--and why not a tote?   

LHD: What is your favorite date night thing to do with your wife?
Rand: Olive Garden dinner out.

LHD: Best part of being a dad of girls?
Rand: The best part of being a dad of daughters is STILL having them call me "Dad" and knowing I always will be that special guy to in their lives.  

LHD: Least favorite thing about being the only guy?
Rand: Being the only guy in the house means I am misunderstood ALL THE TIME so I have somewhat learned to deal with it but also have become less sensitive when they say I am not making sense.

LHD: If I want to order a bag...how do I go about it?
Rand: If anyone wants to order a bag or just look at the possibilities, they can visit www.kuenzifabrications.etsy.com or send me an email atkuenzifabrications@gmail.com
LHD: Final Thoughts? 

Rand: If I NEVER make another sale or face the prospect of never making a profit I will STILL CONTINUE to fabricate because it's a passion. I am also seriously considering writing a book about my passions and intend to intermingle the sewing/fabrication ambition and success to tell my story.

Thank you so much, Rand, for answering all of my questions and also for the opportunity to have a custom Kuenzi design! I've been toting it proudly EVERYWHERE! :)

Now want another peak at the rest of my bag...and everyone...here's the deal. You'll have a peak INSIDE my diaper bag...so NO judging hehehehe

One HUGE front pocket for all my stuff...normally my cell phone, Ipad2, chapstick & camera go in here.
Two fabulously big end pockets. I can fit a bottle and juice cup in one! Leaving the other for my keys!
Six interior pockets.  Which tickles me because I can have my diaper bag organized...as much as possible.
One super glorious hard bottom that can be removed so I can toss the bag into the washer! 
Can you tell I'm thrilled? Go check him out! The possibilities are endless!

Don't forget to always check up on us! I know I'm not always on top of my blog like I should be, but I've been a busy girl :) I still love you all! :)


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