Tote Bags

In 1974 my school book bag was made by Marblehead Handprints, a small cottage industry on the North Shore of Boston, Massachusetts. Everyone had one. They were bold, graphic and colorful. My mom even did a bit of sewing for them, making patchwork jackets from their fine cotton.

By the 1990's the owners, Molly Haley and Kathy Walters, retired and sadly closed their shops, however, the iconic prints and durable products lived on for many more years.

While working on a business plan in 2006, a serendipitous meeting with Molly changed the direction Willywaw. At the time, I was thinking of printing a line of greeting cards, though I had a background in textiles and clothing design and was working as a freelance illustrator. My vision for Willywaw gradually expanded, encompassing everything I enjoyed - illustration, printmaking and textiles. Tote bags were the first Willywaw products that I designed, printed and stitched.

Marblehead Handprints inspired many people and their influence encouraged me carry on a handprinted tradition, blending art with function.