As we head into fall, we are graced with seasonal vegetables, beautiful fall decor and a time of gift buying. To some, it feels natural to attend markets and support what feels like home; local communities and their businesses. For years, I have participated in farmer’s markets all over Houston. When The Marano Bag first came to life in 2009, I had to find a way to sell my bags. Coming from a background in trading, I decided that carrying my bag was the best way to market it and boy did the public speak! With my tote in tow, I was stopped almost every where I went. My bag, hanging off my shoulder, was marketing itself and when the market spoke, I listened.

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.

The Original Marano Bag is available today. The Marano Bag is looked at as a piece of art, but functionally is a fantastic sturdy bag to take anywhere. Michele created The Marano Bag filled with her memories. Now you can fill it with yours.

Please contact us directly 713-899-8420 or to select your bag and other pieces of the collection.

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