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Handmade Portraits: Reiter8


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(Music by Jukeboxer and Lineland)

Katherine Rasmussen of Reiter8 rescues sailboat sails that would otherwise sit at the dump for thousands of years and upcycles them for her innovative line of bags and pillows. The idea came to her during a trip to visit her family in Maine. She wound up collecting sails all along the East Coast during her drive back to New York City.


Katherine gets excited every time she unfolds a discarded sail. Each of the sail lofts use different types of stitching and lettering so it’s always a surprise to see what’s uncovered. Katherine considers her line of products upcycled rather than recycled. Recycling is where you take a discarded item and through a process make it into more of that same item, for instance: paper. However, upcyling takes a discarded item and makes something completely new and different from the original product. Reiter8 has come up with an unusual and exciting line that is not only beautifully crafted, but also good for the Earth.

Have you ever heard the term upcycling? Do you like to purchase recycled or upcycled products? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

Handmade Video Portraits | Earth Tones Series | Team Eco Etsy

Search for Upcycled Items on Etsy

  • Itybitybags

    Itybitybags says:

    Wow! What a wonderful video portrait! I am now in love with her bags! What a unique and beautiful piece of everyday art!

    8 years ago

  • weirdwolf Admin

    weirdwolf says:

    Katherine your my upcycling inspiration! I love your fantastic use of unusual materials. Thanks for sharing your story and opening our eyes to the resources all around us.

    8 years ago

  • nydampress

    nydampress says:

    So beyond fantastic! p.s. The handmade portraits are by far my favorite feature of the Storque. Keep 'em coming!

    8 years ago

  • bittystarr

    bittystarr says:

    this is like!

    8 years ago

  • PickalaPoopa

    PickalaPoopa says:

    Such a nice story, handmade portraits are great. Liked seeing the dutiful mate helping when needed. And an artist helping the environment.

    8 years ago

  • 1ofmykind

    1ofmykind says:

    Wow...just WOW. Fabulous story, gorgeous product and just can't wait to see more of these handmade portraits...especially those involving environmentally friendly vendors. Best wishes reiter8!

    8 years ago

  • DinnerTimeChimes

    DinnerTimeChimes says:

    This is great! Love seeing the faces and workspaces behind the stores on the EcoEtsy team

    8 years ago

  • cloud9designstudio

    cloud9designstudio says:

    Awesome video and article! I love to see The Storque highlighting eco-friendly etsy sellers! You can search "teamecoetsy" to find more likeminded sellers! :)

    8 years ago

  • pouch

    pouch says:

    love this article, congrats! It's a good job you have such a lovely big room to work in :)

    8 years ago

  • LoucheLab

    LoucheLab says:

    This is such a cool video and it's awesome to see other people at work - thanks so much - Tara, you rock!

    8 years ago

  • reiter8

    reiter8 says:

    Thanks, Tara for your wonderful video magic! Thanks, Etsy for shining the light on upcycling! Would love to hear from other upcycler - recyclers! Also check out the Storques new featured column Earth Tones:

    8 years ago

  • spittingimage

    spittingimage says:

    I think that is amazing and I am quite impressed. This is definately a case where upcycling is used at it's maximum potential. Reiter8 - good name too! Way to turn waste into beauty.

    8 years ago

  • youmeyou

    youmeyou says:

    So inspiring.....Thank you for sharing!!...xo

    8 years ago

  • bobnstitch

    bobnstitch says:

    All of these videos are wonderful!!!

    8 years ago

  • daniellexo

    daniellexo says:

    Great work!

    8 years ago

  • missbatch

    missbatch says:

    What a great piece, thanks for sharing!

    8 years ago

  • zJayne

    zJayne says:

    Absolutely, positively enjoyed this piece. Thank you so much for sharing! Love your bags...especially number 5's! Best, zJayne

    8 years ago

  • beachyrustica

    beachyrustica says:

    Wonderful work and video! Thanks for being a part of JustBeachy Team!

    7 years ago

  • BululuStudio

    BululuStudio says:

    I looooooooooove this shop

    7 years ago

  • ruthely

    ruthely says:

    Is amazing how the lives of people like us (hand made) are so alike. I live it. is like a big family.

    7 years ago

  • judemcconkey

    judemcconkey says:

    Actually very inspiring! Excellent to watch and read about.

    7 years ago

  • sudiosu

    sudiosu says:

    Great video, love the shop, too!

    7 years ago

  • parltradet

    parltradet says:

    Nice portrait. Inspiring work. Great idea to make such good-looking and probably durable bags made out of used sails. Both practical and eye-catching! Congratulations Reiter8! (You make me want to start a shop for sewn products. Maybe I will.)

    7 years ago

  • AmyJaneClayAddict

    AmyJaneClayAddict says:

    Reiter8...your work is inspiring! Thank you for educating alittle on recycling vs upcycling! Fab bags...keep it up!

    7 years ago

  • baconsquarefarm

    baconsquarefarm says:

    Wow, what a great story, so inspiring too~! Enjoyed the video as well, continued success with your shop too~! Love your bags & shop~!~!

    7 years ago

  • MyArtShoppe

    MyArtShoppe says:

    Wow, What an inspiring story! I grew up in Maine! I love Maine ,I love boats, what a cool idea this is!

    7 years ago

  • MyJunkyTrunk

    MyJunkyTrunk says:

    Really amazing work!!!

    7 years ago

  • gutsche

    gutsche says:

    Where on earth do you get used sails?

    7 years ago

  • Fishstikks

    Fishstikks says:

    That is truly fantastic!! What a great story!

    7 years ago

  • reiter8

    reiter8 says:

    I get a lot of my sails through my donation program: Donate a sail and get a free tote made from your sail in return. :)

    7 years ago

  • orangepoppy

    orangepoppy says:


    7 years ago

  • ZuzusPetalsCreations

    ZuzusPetalsCreations says:

    Such an inspiring story! Love your bags and the video! Makes me want to sew!

    7 years ago

  • leuckit

    leuckit says:

    Hip, Hip, Hooray for upcycling!!!

    7 years ago

  • Emburr

    Emburr says:

    That is fantastic. It warms my heart to hear a story like this one. Hoorah for recycling.

    7 years ago

  • woolhug

    woolhug says:

    So impressed how she use the material beautifully!

    7 years ago

  • sewsillydesigns

    sewsillydesigns says:

    I had alreay hearted your shop, my daughter and I love your bags, they are awesome! Thanks for sharing your video, it was interesting!

    7 years ago

  • jodieflowers

    jodieflowers says:

    Awesome shop!

    7 years ago

  • SleepDreamPlay

    SleepDreamPlay says:

    i fell in love with this shop the first time i saw it. She has just absolutely great products

    7 years ago

  • PDXfabricdeli

    PDXfabricdeli says:

    Totally inspirational - thanks for sharing.

    7 years ago

  • cicadastudio

    cicadastudio says:

    Utterly fabulous!

    7 years ago

  • whimsyandspice

    whimsyandspice says:

    yay! I love our flea-mates and Brooklynites, Reiter 8!

    7 years ago

  • Artdefleur

    Artdefleur says:

    Love your bags!

    7 years ago

  • saraaires

    saraaires says:

    Great video! Upcycling seems perfect, how could we let these wonderful materials waisted outhere? Lovelly basement too, so much light!

    7 years ago

  • JuliaMichell

    JuliaMichell says:

    Really interesting to listen to how someone has made it work, thank you very much.

    7 years ago

  • karenmeyers

    karenmeyers says:

    Loved seeing your process!

    6 years ago

  • handloomin

    Manju G from JaipurHandloom says:

    these handmade process is gorgeous.

    2 years ago