I like your bags. How can I buy one?
Very easy. You send me an email to strick_else(at)yahoo(dot)de with the name of the bag, your adress and preferred method of payment and will receive an email with confirmation and details. Once I have received the payment I‘ll send the bag to you. I send worldwide.
How can I pay?
You can pay via bank transfer to a Spanish or a German bank account or via paypal. Sorry, I don‘t take credit cards.
How much are the shipping costs?
I only charge the real shipping costs from Spain that I have to pay. A 100 g letter within Spain costs 0,95 €, within Europe 2,25 € and to the rest of the countries 3,10 €. Up to 500 g it is 2,10 € within Spain, 6,30 € within Europe and to all other countries 9,85 € (prices of 2016). Unfortunately my new design of the "return bag" weighs more than 100 g..
How can I be sure that my bag is unique?
I only use umbrellas that I (or now some friends) find „dead“ in the streets. So it is very unlikely to have two which are exactly the same. As every umbrella has eight segments and I use four of two different umbrellas, there will be a maximum of four similar bags. Since one umbrella has only one closing strap, I can only make one tote out of each umbrella. And of course I take care of not making three of the same backpacks. As a sign for you every bag gets a label with the photos, places and dates of the found umbrellas.
Why do your bags have different prices?
Good question ;-) Even though that every bag is unique, there are some which are made out of „normal“ umbrellas like checkered dark blue. Some have a very special pattern that I am sure I won‘t find again. (Remember: I won‘t go into a shop to buy an umbrella!) I think this rareness should be expressed in the price.
What does this funny sign mean?
It is my logo. When I was a child I drew flying birds like this. And of course my mother asked me: Why did you put the dots underneath? I answered: But Mummy, those are the eyes! Since my surname is Vogel - meaning bird in German - it eventually became the family logo. (Read the whole story in German here: http://www.susannes-sammelsurium.blogspot.com.es/2015/08/mein-logo.html)
How long does it take to make a bag?
Well, it is a bit difficult to calculate. Of course I can‘t say anything about finding umbrellas, but I do take a stroll around town after it has rained. (Road sweepers are very active here.) I take a photo of the umbrella, bring it home and put it in my bathroom to dry. It then gets a label attached with place and date. There are days when my bathroom looks like a morgue. Taking it apart I can do in the living room while watching TV. But especially to unsew the segments takes quite some time. After that the segments are washed, dried and ironed. Then all the segments of one umbrella go onto a coat hanger together with the label. Now comes the creative process of matching two colours that fit and finding a name. The actual sewing takes about two hours, maybe one hour more for the details: stiching the logo, printing out the photos to make the label and making photos of the bag.
I have a very special umbrella that I don‘t want to throw away. Can you make it into a bag for me?
Yes, of course :-). Send me the cloth and I will use two segments together with two of mine to make a very special bag for you. Since the work is nearly the same, I charge 14 € for every bag I make for you. Of course you can specify whether you want a tote or a backpack.
What about the rest of the umbrella? Do you throw it away?
I try to use as much as I can. I have started to make jewellery out of the metal or wooden tips of the umbrellas and I have made coat hangers out of the handles. I might soon put some of it here on show into the shop.
How did you get started?
That‘s a long story. ;-) I have always loved and do believe in recycling and I used to take photos of „dead“ umbrellas in the streets. One day I needed a lining for a bag made out of „plarn“ and thought for a bag out of garbage I can‘t just go and buy some fabric but have to recycle something. Then I found an umbrella in the perfect colour. When taking it apart I realised how durable the cloth is and thought about how else to use it. I made some bags and gave them as Christmas presents in 2012 and everybody loved it.
A year later my husband and I were in Portugal for the Christmas holidays. I won‘t go into detail here, but he had to stay in the hospital in Lisbon. The weather was miserable and I needed distraction, so on my daily way to and from the hospital I picked up all the umbrellas I could find. He died 10 days later and I came home with 52 umbrellas. Now I feel the obligation to use them for something positive.