Review: Satchel Studio Messenger Bags

by Kara on September 10, 2009

Elements in the collage Kelty designed for my bag include my dog Chiqui, my rat Pepper, a peacock, and photos of our trips to Hong Kong, Peru and Costa Rica.

Elements in the collage Kelty designed for my bag include my dog Chiqui, my rat Pepper, a peacock, and photos of our trips to Hong Kong, Peru and Costa Rica.

I was walking past the Stanford Bookstore one afternoon and saw that an artist was having a trunk show on the patio to showcase her collection of bags. I was immediately blown away by these gorgeous bags. The artist, Kelty Luber, creates beautiful collages and applies them to various messenger and tote bags. The results are spectacular. I immediately bought one of her messenger bags for my niece, Katelynn. I chatted a bit with Kelty and was thrilled to find that she also does custom designs as well. I took her card and when I went home, I checked out her Satchel Studio website. It was too much to resist. I asked for a gift certificate for Christmas, and my Dad gave me one. I couldn’t wait to have Kelty start on a design for me. I gave her links to some pictures from Stephen’s website that I like and told her that my interests were travel, animals, books, and bookbinding, and that I like sunset colors. She came up with a fantastic design – I didn’t have her change a thing. You don’t have to provide your own pictures like I did. Kelty did put some additional elements of her own into the collage, and she can provide all sorts of images to complete your design. I just happened to have a lot of images I wanted to use. I had her put the image she designed for me on a large zippered tote bag. In retrospect, I wished I had selected a messenger bag, but I will probably order one with the same design at some point. I don’t think she carries the tote bags anymore – the messenger bags probably sell better.

The bags that she uses are very sturdy, the designs seem quite solidly affixed, and Kelty’s service was very fast. At the time of this writing the messenger bags with a stock design run $55 to $65. Sometimes they are cheaper because of a sale. Bags with custom designs run $75-85. They aren’t cheap, but the price seems very reasonable for a custom design. I loved what she designed for me, and every time I carry the bag, I always get comments on it. I keep a small stack of her cards in the little zipper pocket to give to people who inquire. Kelty’s stock designs are every bit as awesome as her custom designs. If you want a really unique bag to drag around on your travels, I recommend checking out Satchel Studio.

Update 10/11/09: Please note, Kelty will soon be selling her bags through Etsy. She has a new website, Steep Street, and I have changed all the links above to reflect that. However, the new Etsy store is not live yet. I will update the links above when the store is live. In the meantime, you can contact Kelty at Steep Street if you are interested in ordering a bag.

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