Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sandstorm Kenya and other small business obsessions

After a recent trip, Justin brought home an amazing tote bag from Sandstorm Kenya for me.  We've been obsessed with this little company ever since.  Sandstorm Kenya makes all their canvas and leather travel and tote bags just outside of Niarobi, Kenya.  It's truly a local business and they originally got their name producing luxury safari tents! How cool is that?  They're gaining popularity and have certain goods for sale in the UK and US for explorer expat yuppies like us.  Our life's rugged! We have Kevlar tires, yo! My TOMS have holes in them from trekking around Ethiopia.
large black canvas tote purchased at Kenyan retail store
 The tote bag is huge and sturdy and will likely outlast all the motherhood it will see in the next decade! It's beach-bag-style big and I'm always apologizing for bumping into people with it. Arabella could comfortably fit inside-that's how spacious this lovely thing is.  It isn't exactly like the tote I fell in love with online and I didn't hesitate to send a note to the company.  I received a personal email back from the managing director.  He explained that the inventory on their website doesn't always match their inventory in their Kenyan stores because it's still a small company and if I wanted to exchange my tote he'd be happy to help (of course I'm keeping it-I'm trying to decide which bag to buy next time we are in Kenya).  Customer service is not lost folks!  Just one of the reasons to check out Sandstorm Kenya.  That, and their unbelievably cool products.  We have this bag and this one too.  We are officially obsessed!

Speaking of obsessions...

Have you heard of Jacobsen Salt Co.?  If you haven't, go read about this cool Oregon based start-up.  They hand harvest finishing salts from Oregon Coastal waters!  Even cooler, Ben Jacobsen is an old friend of mine's husband.  They have a kick-starter campaign too.  I'm dreaming about homemade salted caramel or even just good crusty bread drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with some Jacobsen salt. Yum!

I've had small businesses and entrepreneurial thoughts on my mind a lot lately.  I know a ton of people who have created their own brand and it's so inspiring.  Just look at this list of inspiration!  Some of them can no longer be called small businesses.  You might even say some have made it big!

Rock Your World: Pacific Northwest Gem and Art Gallery in Lincoln City, Oregon
Manifesto a brand actualization agency in Milwaukee, WI and Portland, OR-brain child Proxy People
Emulsions Photography in Baltimore, Maryland
Slater Foods BBQ sauces, marinades, rubs and more in Vancouver, Washington
Fusion Fitness in Austin, Texas
Socialize in San Francisco, California
Strategy Printing in Baltimore, Maryland
Alicia Mickes Creative freelance creative/art direction in Seattle, Washington
The Striped Whale customized children's clothing in Arlington, Virginia
The Northwesterners radio station in Portland, OR
Immusoft Corporation biotech company in Seattle, Washington
Expat Transitions corporate coaching in Saudi Arabia (at the moment)
Accuvant in Austin, Texas
CanceRevolution cancer coaching in Lima, Peru

Doesn't it make you want to start dreaming bigger?


GH said...

I love your blog! You are so ambitious while managing 3 children. I'm not sure I know how you have the energy for it all. I'm definitely impressed.

Sara said...

Gosh, that was such a nice comment. Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoy reading it. I really enjoy writing it!

Emily said...

Are you thinking of starting your own company?
If not, but could what would it be?

Sara said...

I have so many ideas rolling around in my head right now. I'd love to be a personal chef for a family other than my own! HA!

Mac said...

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