Zoe's Bag Boutique

Karen Norback of Zoe's Bag Boutique designs and creates purses, wallets on strings, messenger bags, and other accessories. Many of her products are one of a kind, unique pieces as she makes a practice of purchasing small amounts of varied fabrics to give each piece it's own special flavor. This has resulted in an extensive collection of fabric choices for her craft and an endless variety for her customers.

Tell me about how you originally got into your craft.
I’ve sewn since I was a little girl. As I looked for a way to utilize my love of sewing, I got into the manufacturing world, working in factories for many years. I tell people too many bad bosses drove me into my basement where I went into business for myself! I sewed for other companies, on a contract basis, gradually working on my own designs, until I decided to venture online.

What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
It’s not possible to pick one thing! Laughing at my husband’s jokes, working in the garden, playing with my animals, creating a great new design, looking at fabrics, eating chocolate, reading a good book.

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your shop?
Finding enough time to make products, handle custom requests, do paperwork and all the other tasks required of a sole proprietor.

What item in your shop would you most like to receive as a gift if someone were shopping for you?
The wallets on a string are my favorite product. It’s the only product I make that I use. I own only one and when it wears out I wait till I make one that I must own!

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
Hmm tough one, not working in the world of sewing I know that. My grandfather and grandmother both spent their entire life working in a men's suit factory in my home town in England. I never imagined I’d be in the same profession. I do remember thinking I was going to marry an American, after an American boy attended my school for one year. Amazingly that came true! And many years later, for about 5 or 6 years, my husband and I both worked in a sewing factory doing the same jobs my grandparents did.

What other shops or artists out there do you love?
berkleyillustration.etsy.com the most unusual portraits of animals!

britishcreamtea.etsy.com reminders of food from home

Marjji.etsy.com the hedgehogs are amazing

strangeling.etsy.com I love her artwork, I have quite a few and can’t stop looking at them

KreatedbyKarina.etsy.com I so want some of these soaps! [see Karina's interview on Such Cool Stuff! here - Ed.]

What does your future hold?
Sorry my crystal ball is broken today!

Stop by Zoe's Bag Boutique at Etsy or at www.zoesbagboutique.com.