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Handbags for Every Occasion From Boejack Design

Dec 10, 2019

by Aleksa Brown

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

In our Featured Shop series, we shine a light on a standout shop from Etsy’s talented seller community, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at their process and story.

Roomy, rugged, and travel-ready or brightly patterned and pretty: There’s a perfect bag out there to suit every purpose and personality. And while it may seem surprising to think you could find, say, an adorable cat-ear clutch for your feline-obsessed cousin and a luxe leather satchel for your chic older sister from the same small atelier, Eda Atay Pastirmaci of the Seattle-based handbag shop Boejack Design makes it possible with her impressive array of styles, sizes, and materials to choose from.

Explore the Boejack Design collection

With a background in engineering and an eye toward how each bag will be used—whether it’s a fanny pack for vacation that does double-duty as an evening bag or a hardworking carryall with hidden pockets to aid in organization—Eda creates handcrafted pieces that are more than just attractive accessories. “I think the main factor that affects my designs, above all, is functionality,” she says. “I’m always eager to create something that’s both useful and unique.” By keeping her customers’ different lifestyles in mind, Eda has produced an inspiring range of designs that offers something one-of-a-kind for every purse-carrier on your shopping list—yourself included.

Read on to discover Eda’s tips for finding the right handbag to fit the person, then shop the Boejack Design collection.

Portrait of Boejack Design shop owner Eda Atay Pastirmaci in her Seattle studio

Take us back to the beginning: What was the first bag in your collection? 

My first design was the cylindrical shaped bag. When I first started sewing, I could only sew fabric—canvas, mainly—so I created this model. To this day, I think people still really like it. I’ve added new versions over time and I’ve even introduced vegan leather handles. 

What are some other top-sellers today? 

It changes depending on the season. The fanny packs and cylindrical shaped bags sell very well in the summertime; during fall and winter, oversized and medium leather bags are popular both on Etsy and at craft shows. 

With holiday shopping in full swing, can you share gifting tips for your handbags? 

My advice for gifting one of my handbags is to think of your recipient’s future plans. For example, if she’s going to travel soon, I’d recommend the convertible fanny pack; if she just started college or a new job, I’d recommend the oversized tote bag so she can carry all of her books and supplies. The oversized tote is also perfect for people on the go, because it can fit a laptop, coat—even shoes for the gym after work. For someone who’s looking for something super unique, I would probably give the geometric bag or the wooden frame clutch. And lastly, keep in mind that fabric and colors play such an important role. For friends who are going through difficult times, I recommend giving them bags in bright colors to make them feel happier. 

Suede leather tote with pockets from Boejack Design
SHOP: Suede leather tote with pockets from Boejack Design, $174
Eda sewing a cat clutch with her sewing machine
Cat-ear clutch from Boejack Design
SHOP: Cat-ear clutch from Boejack Design, $55
Eda cutting leather fabric for one of her totes
Leather crossbody bag from Boejack Design
SHOP: Leather crossbody bag from Boejack Design, $120
Eda selecting a material to use for a new bag from a large stack of colorful fabrics

You studied electronics engineering, and you have a masters in business. How did you start designing purses? 

Before Boejack Design, I had a very boring engineering career. I was in need of a hobby; I wanted to create something from scratch. I found this old sewing machine of my grandmother’s, and I taught myself to use it. The first bags I made were for myself and my friends. I didn’t have any intention of selling them, but then I went to a motivational workshop in 2011 and the instructor gave us homework: She asked us asked us to fulfill a dream of ours. I rushed home, collected all the handbags I’d made, and went to an independent boutique to see if they’d stock my designs. Everything started with this. 

Tell us about your design process. 

It’s about continuous improvement. It always starts with the question of how something is going to be used. First I decide what it’s going to be, say, a makeup bag or backpack. After I come up with a prototype, I use it (and ask my friends to use it) for a couple of weeks. Then I ask their opinions about the particular style: Do I need to add a zipper to the opening? Change the size? Add another pocket?

Even after a few months or a year, I sometimes decide to update certain elements. I also ask my customers for their feedback so I can incorporate it into my next iteration. Because everything is changing all the time—cell phones, earbuds, etc.—I need to change my designs, too. For example, modifying the pocket inside a bag in order to fit a bigger phone. 

Eda's neatly organized studio shelves (filled with fabric swatches, tools, notebooks, and art) double as an inspiration board
Convertible fanny pack from Boejack Design
SHOP: Convertible fanny pack from Boejack Design, $59
Eda sewing an abstract clutch at her workbench
Minimalist vegan leather crossbody from Boejack Design
SHOP: Minimalist vegan leather crossbody from Boejack Design, $70
Eda adding fasteners to a bag strap
Assorted clutches from Boejack Design
SHOP: Assorted clutches from Boejack Design, from $55

Can you tell us the backstory behind your (brilliant) convertible fanny pack

I came up with the idea while I was on a trip. It was very warm and humid, and I wanted to be hands-free. I also wanted to keep all of my important belongings close to my body, and have a very neutral-looking, minimal bag. That’s how I thought of a fanny pack. The final design has a shoulder strap too, in case I want to carry it as a shoulder bag. You can take the straps off and use it as a clutch or wallet as well—everything is detachable. 

What about your unique geometric handbag?

I carry lots of stuff in my bag, and being able to find things easily is very important to me. What I like most about my geometric bag is that it has two compartments, each with their own pockets inside. This helps keep everything organized and adds a lot of functionality, in addition to its unique geometric shape. 

Half moon convertible shoulder bag from Boejack Design
SHOP: Half moon convertible shoulder bag from Boejack Design, $60
Eda carries a roll of fabric across her bright Seattle studio space
Burgundy vegan leather satchel from Boejack Design
SHOP: Burgundy vegan leather satchel from Boejack Design, $103
Eda wrapping an order for shipment
Cactus clutch from Boejack Design
SHOP: Cactus clutch from Boejack Design, from $58
A portrait of Boejack Design owner Eda Atay Pastirmaci in her Seattle studio

What sorts of materials do you use to make your bags? 

All of my materials fit into three categories: fabrics, leather (including vegan leather), and hardware. I’m eager to source as much as I can locally or on Etsy because I love supporting other small businesses. I think my favorite material is Japanese fabric. In Japanese culture, certain patterns have different meanings according to tradition. You can see the way I’ve incorporated the wave fabric into my burgundy satchel: I picked this fabric because according to tradition, waves can bring you luck. 

Do you have any customer stories you want to share? 

People are always stopping me to see where I get my bags. Just last week, I was at a concert and a woman approached me. When I told her I made the bag I was wearing, it blew her mind. I gave her the name of my Etsy shop, along with a special coupon code, and she placed an order, which was very nice.

I’ve also got a lot of repeat customers. The interesting thing is that they keep buying the same bag over and over again. I’ve asked some of them, “Why do you buy the same bag so many times?” and they’ll tell me that a close friend or sister saw the bag and loved it, so they’re buying it for her as a gift.

Follow Boejack Design on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Product photography by Boejack Design. Studio photography by Sasha Reiko.

Shop Boejack Design

Olive Green Suede Leather Tote Bag with Pockets, Minimalist Everyday Shoulder Bag, Soft Leather Tote, Large Leather Shopper
Olive Green Suede Leather Tote Bag with Pockets, Minimalist Everyday Shoulder Bag, Soft Leather Tote, Large Leather Shopper
boejackdesigns
$179.90 USD
Leather Shoulder Bag in Burgundy, Vegan Leather Crossbody Bag, Womens Satchel Bag, Japanese Fabric Bag, Unique Gifts for her
Leather Shoulder Bag in Burgundy, Vegan Leather Crossbody Bag, Womens Satchel Bag, Japanese Fabric Bag, Unique Gifts for her
boejackdesigns
$104.90 USD
Womens Clutch Bag with Shoulder Strap, Cactus Clutch Bag, Kisslock Frame Clasp Purse, Succulent Toiletry Bag, Plant Lady Gift for her
Womens Clutch Bag with Shoulder Strap, Cactus Clutch Bag, Kisslock Frame Clasp Purse, Succulent Toiletry Bag, Plant Lady Gift for her
boejackdesigns
$59.90 USD
Leather Crossbody Bag, Large Tote, Minimalist Bag, Vegan Leather Bag, Canvas and Leather Laptop Bag, Foldover Bag, Gingham, Gifts for her
Leather Crossbody Bag, Large Tote, Minimalist Bag, Vegan Leather Bag, Canvas and Leather Laptop Bag, Foldover Bag, Gingham, Gifts for her
boejackdesigns
$84.90 USD
Black Leather Crossbody Bag, Geometric Shoulder Bag, Womens Minimalist Bag, Genuine Leather Satchel Bag, Structured Bag, Box Bag
Black Leather Crossbody Bag, Geometric Shoulder Bag, Womens Minimalist Bag, Genuine Leather Satchel Bag, Structured Bag, Box Bag
boejackdesigns
$164.90 USD
Geometric Handbag, Colorblock Clutch Purse, Metal Frame Clutch Bag, Modern Bag, Kisslock Clasp Purse, Minimal Evening Clutch, Gifts for her
Geometric Handbag, Colorblock Clutch Purse, Metal Frame Clutch Bag, Modern Bag, Kisslock Clasp Purse, Minimal Evening Clutch, Gifts for her
boejackdesigns
$62.90 USD
Minimalist Black Vegan Leather Bag, Small Crossbody Bag for Women, Womens Shoulder Bag Vegan, Soft Leather Bag, Modern Everyday Bag
Minimalist Black Vegan Leather Bag, Small Crossbody Bag for Women, Womens Shoulder Bag Vegan, Soft Leather Bag, Modern Everyday Bag
boejackdesigns
$74.90 USD
Black Crossbody Bag, Vegan Leather Shoulder Bag, Geometric Purse, Minimalist Structured Bag, Vegan Crossbody purse, UNIQUE Gifts for her
Black Crossbody Bag, Vegan Leather Shoulder Bag, Geometric Purse, Minimalist Structured Bag, Vegan Crossbody purse, UNIQUE Gifts for her
boejackdesigns
$94.90 USD
Abstract Print Purse, Small Makeup Bag, Screen Printed Purse, Linen Zipper Pouch, Cute Pencil Case, Burnt Orange Purse, Unique Gifts for her
Abstract Print Purse, Small Makeup Bag, Screen Printed Purse, Linen Zipper Pouch, Cute Pencil Case, Burnt Orange Purse, Unique Gifts for her
boejackdesigns
$36.90 USD
Natural Leather Bag, Vegetable Tanned Leather Purse, Minimalist Satchel Bag, Nude Leather Bag, Genuine Leather Shoulder Bag, Geometric Bag
Natural Leather Bag, Vegetable Tanned Leather Purse, Minimalist Satchel Bag, Nude Leather Bag, Genuine Leather Shoulder Bag, Geometric Bag
boejackdesigns
$164.90 USD
Womens Minimalist Colorblock Clutch Purse, Kiss lock Purse, Geometric Clutch Bag, Metal Frame Purse, Multicolor Clutch Purse, Mustard, Mint
Womens Minimalist Colorblock Clutch Purse, Kiss lock Purse, Geometric Clutch Bag, Metal Frame Purse, Multicolor Clutch Purse, Mustard, Mint
boejackdesigns
$62.90 USD
Green Clutch with Strap, Kiss Lock Purse, Crossbody Clutch, Birds Clutch, Organic Fabric, Heron, Polka Dots, Colorful Handbag, Gifts for her
Green Clutch with Strap, Kiss Lock Purse, Crossbody Clutch, Birds Clutch, Organic Fabric, Heron, Polka Dots, Colorful Handbag, Gifts for her
boejackdesigns
$74.90 USD

1 Featured Comment

  • sbhhlzgo

    Sheila said 232 days ago Featured

    Enjoyed reading your purse 👛 profile. How unique!! I am definitely a cat 🐈 and shoe 👠 lover. Will be looking to purchase something special with those designs. Congrat!!

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