At the end of our Christmas market, we hold on to three of Marano Bags, and 1 baby tote. The original Marano Bag will carry on in its own legacy. The final bags will be part of Michele Marano’s art. These bags are the last and are numbered. No more bags will be made, nor will you find a reproduction. The bags are one of a kind, no two are the same, so the final 3 bags will carry a value of their very own. As a farewell to The Marano Bag, the story is told again about how and why they became. If you have one, its a good idea to keep it as art. If you want one of the final bags, they will be available for release in a week. For now, we hope you enjoy the legacy story of The Marano Bag.
More than ten years ago, I spotted coffee sacs by a gardener who was using them to carry leaves. I asked if I could have just one and before you knew it, I had gathered a palette, hundreds of coffee sacs piled high. I had not yet determined what I would do with them, but my adoration towards them was enough. I learned intuitively to listen to my inner voice and having been at a transition point in my life, I was longing to create, reflecting on my childhood years growing up along the countryside, remembering my parents, and trying to find a way to incorporate art into my design business. I had a real interest in recycling the life of these sacs. The texture of the bags reminded me of the beautiful nature I grew up around in upstate New York and it made me feel at home. I wanted the interior of the bag to be reminiscent of the colors of New England. Westport was one of my favorite places while I lived in Connecticut and madras plaid and seersucker fabrics reminded me of the sailing community, the country- club preppy lifestyle that I grew to love during my years working in Old Greenwich.
It was 2009, and burlap fabric wasn’t yet mainstream, nor was there value for used coffee sacs. I treasured the texture, the color and the imperfection of each bag. In 2010, The Marano Bag was born, making its way as an original tote, which hung on my shoulder to local farmer’s markets all over Houston from City Centre, to SugarLand and eventually the Dallas market.
The Marano Bag was discovered by representatives of Williams Sonoma and I was asked to participate in Williams Somona’s Houston Highland Village Artisan Market. Within a matter of days, buyers of Williams Sonoma asked to have samples shipped to their headquarters in San Francisco. They loved The Marano Bag and decided they wanted to carry the bags in select stores and in the Williams Sonoma on-line catalogue. My bags went International, where people from all over the world had access to my Bags. Every bag was unique and every bag was made in Houston, Texas.
In a matter of a year, China picked up on the burlap fascination and soon after that, burlap became mainstream. The Marano Bag, true to its form, style and creation, was and still is produced in Houston, being one of the first burlap totes made from real coffee sacs, reaching buyers from around the world.
Last year, being cooped up from pandemic, I was bursting at the seams with creativity and reflecting on past memories. Some of those memories were created during seasons of The Marano Bag. The bag was symbolic to many things; being somewhere you loved and being content. We can use our memories to create, if we allow them to inspire us. The Marano Bag told a beloved story that many can relate to and associate with in their own lives. Last year, the timing felt right and a version of The Marano Bag was created. A small collection was made, with rising costs and labor, I wanted the bags to be economically priced right. I also added a few smaller sized bags so the bags would be economically feasible to all. The Marano Bag is looked at as a piece of art, but functionally is a fantastic sturdy tote to take anywhere.
Michele created The Marano Bag to fill it with her memories. Now you can fill it with yours. Today, Michele holds a sample collection of her own as a keepsake, however, there are 3 wine totes available and a small tote bag. She will release these bags in an announcement in the coming weeks.