A Bag Born of Friendship

The evening began with my summer parea, the Greek word for your group of friends. I was hosting aperitivo at Panito Cottage and they arrived with a hostess gift: a basket full of figs from their orchard. While the evening carried on, figs were eaten with gorgeous Parian cheeses, cured meats, and plenty of Moriatis rosé. The next morning, figs accompanied my morning yogurt ritual, in the afternoon, they topped my salad, and I even attempted drying a few in the sun, but the neighboring geese who take their evening stroll through my yard helped themselves before I had the chance. Now, what to do with the basket?

Before my mother went back to school for her interior design degree and started her firm, she had another business called, “She Sells Sea Shells” with my Aunt Audrey in the late seventies/early eighties. They collected shells during our trips to Antigua and then spent hours gluing them on everything: mirrors, Christmas ornaments, boxes, dollhouse furniture, you name it. I have their workspace in our cellar firmly planted in my memory: The ping pong table folded in half covered in cloth, their treasures strewn about in a manner only they could understand. Most of all, it smelled like the sea, which I loved. Weekends were spent at craft fairs throughout New England peddling their wares.

She Sells Sea Shells.

I decided to channel their shelling capabilities and got to work on these basket bags, adding a few leather cords strung with vintage glass beads. I started toting mine around Paros, and quickly received orders from friends. Now, people are sending me their seashells (some from Bordeaux beaches, others from Fiji, and even a few from Caribbean shores), and custom bags being created. This Jane-Birkin-meets-basket bag is dedicated to Stella and Audrey, and is tailor-made for toting your own treasures.

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