What I’ve Learned While Minimizing My ClosetOctober 28, 2017
My Perfect BuJo Weekly and Daily Layout with Dutch DoorsSeptember 4, 2018
I didn't realize it had been so long since I ordered my perfect tote bag - a purse that will hold every thing I need and do so in style. I had planned on doing a blog as soon as I got it -- and that was in May! Time has really flown by this year, hasn't it?
I'm doing a blog on a purse because it's an amazing purse. Actually, it's a tote. It's my purse, a tote, my mobile office, my gun holster, my makeup bag, keeper of my bullet journal, and and garage for (some of) my pens.
Don't judge. I'm a writer and a writer needs pens. LOTS of pens... in different colors and with different inks and tips and erasers and pencils. Yeah, we need all that... especially if we are also Bullet Journal fanatics.
First, I've gotta say that this thing, fully loaded (pardon the pun) is heavy. Seriously.
But when I say fully loaded, it means that the purse (which is over-sized per my special order) contains everything I need on any outing -- with room left over for me to stuff things in as the day goes on. Alicia (the wonderful artisan who crafted my beautiful bag) also added a bit more to the form of my purse so it would stay upright, despite the larger size, when I told her how I would be using it. That made it even heavier, but made it much more useful. The weight is the only downside. The ONLY one.
- The leather is super-thick, buttery soft and gets better with each passing day. It's so nice I find myself "petting" it when it's beside me in the car. I love the way it feels. It really does get more luxurious every single day and I've carried it every single day since May.
- It's got this BRIGHT red interior that not only gives my "Black is a color" wardrobe a splash of color, it also makes it easy to find things that get dropped down into the depths. I love the red. When it's closed, it's just a basic black tote, then I open it and ta-DAHHHHH!
- It has a key leash - She added this for me so "digging for my keys" is a thing of the past. I just grab the leash and pull and *voila!* there are my keys, every single time. I don't lose my keys anymore.
- An extra big pocket in the front so I can slip my main phone (yes, I have two -- one for me, one for the business) into the exterior and grab it in a flash. No more digging for where I put the stupid phone, hoping I can find it before it stops ringing. It's always right there and my life just got a little easier. (see the photo at the top)
- A custom-fitted holster for my favorite 9 mm.
- It's got a flap, so it's never in the way, doesn't get "hung up" on anything and isn't visible should anyone take a gander inside my purse. It also keeps my little semi-automatic a split second from in-hand, should the need ever arise. No digging, looking or unzipping anything.
- It has a simple magnetic closure in the center, and that's good. But then it gets great: There are super magnets in the top (on either side of the handle straps -- to keep the bag closed without fussing with a zipper or a snap or anything else. It just closes and my stuff doesn't fall out. Best. Tote. Ever.
- Alicia added pen pockets for me. LOTS of them. So I can keep five pens in the side of the purse (in addition to my favorite daily-use fountain pen I keep in it's own case down in the bag).
- On the side, she added another pocket for me to keep my flashlight and my fold up fan. Yeah, if you are a woman over the age of 50, you understand why I carry a fan with me EVERYWHERE. It has nothing to do with being southern; but being southern helps. Of course, being southern helps lots of things. :)
- She altered the pockets so I could custom fit my needs into them and she added extras where requested.
- Basically, I got a completely custom made purse. I should have done this years ago, instead of spending all my time (and a great deal of money on near-misses) trying to find the ready-made "silver bullet" perfect purse. I've wasted hours of my life. Should my needs ever change, Alicia will be my first call. There's no need to make do when you can have exactly what you want and it turns out this nice!
Originally, I had planned on just getting a generic computer sleeve to drop down in my new bag. Alicia added extra feet on the bottom and an extra thick bottom panel to help absorb an accidental drops or too-hard placements. She offered to do this when I told her I needed protection for my computer (this was the same time she asked for the measurements of my computer and offered to make the purse a little bit bigger so the computer would fit down in it completely). But, once I saw the purse, I knew that only a sleeve in the same thick, rich leather would work. I couldn't bear to put a puffy, ugly, run-of-the-mill sleeve in my glorious new bag.
So, I contacted Alicia again and asked if she would be willing to make me a sleeve. She did, complete with two pockets to hold my charger and the tiny mouse and the usb-c card reader and pass-through charger I needed to carry. She lined the interior with the same lovely red leather. It's a beautiful piece and I get compliments on it even when I pull it out of my bag or carry it alone.
I could have just left a nice review for Alicia over on her Etsy store (which I did) and call it done, but the more I use this purse, and the better it gets, the more compliments I get, and the more essential it becomes to my life, the more I want to tell others about this cool, accommodating leather artisan deep in the heart of Texas who hand-crafts the most amazing bags under the name of The Twelve Six Company. Her tagline is, "Judged by twelve or carried by six. It's your choice."
Alicia specializes in concealed carry purses, but I'd buy from her even if I didn't carry. It's just that much better because I do. So now my reader, you know about her too. If you order from her, tell her that Angela of Living Small says hello (and is still loving her purse!) Nope, I'm not an affiliate, just an aficionado.