HASOM Bags did not start over night. It was a hobby that turned into a philanthropy project that turned into something bigger.
After graduating from college, my mother gave me her old sewing machine and I decided the first items I needed to sew were cloth napkins and grocery bags. After I built up my own personal stock, I began of course to make more for friends and family. In 2010 I was still on this kick of making cloth napkins and cloth bags from old discarded fabric and linens at thrift stores, when a friend asked for my help. In 2010 the Haiti earthquake happened, and my friend asked me to submit some bags to an art auction that she was organizing with some other local artists. All of the proceeds would go to benefit the earthquake victims. I was so excited to help and came up with the saying "Help your brother. Save your mother" and printed it on to fabric with pictures of Haiti and the earth and sewed them onto about 14 bags. The bags were hung around the artist auction from the ceiling and they all sold! I was so excited and could not wait to do more…..but life happened.
Soon after this auction I went through some life changes moved around and eventually served a few years in the Peace Corps. After returning to the US and landing a full time job, my younger sister called me excitedly in 2015 stating that a local grocery store owner loved her “Help your brother, Save your mother” bag from my 2010 creations and wanted to sell them in the store. We both decided to go for it and make more bags. We changed the name to “Help Another, Save our Mother” (HASOM) and made 10 bags for the store. Soon after speaking to an encouraging friend, we reached out to another local store to sell bags, where I live, and they were flying off the shelves. This is when it was decided to open up an Etsy store in April of 2016 and share the bags with the rest of the world.
We wanted the bags to really be about what the name stated: helping others and saving mother earth. When you buy a HASOM Bag product you are:
- reducing the amount of textiles in the landfill as all products are made of upcycled fabric giving it a second life,
- reducing the amount of toxins released into our environment from fabric production as all products are made of upcycled fabric,
- reducing the need for production of virgin fabrics in unsafe and unfair working conditions since we are not purchasing new fabrics,
- keeping plastic bags out of the landfill when you chose this bag over the plastic grocery bags, and
- helping people, with 25% of profits going to an organization that helps fight hunger or works in youth development.
It took a while to get this project started. With our passion for living a greener life, serving others, making crafts, and encouragement from friends and family, my sister and I are just getting started.