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Monday, September 2, 2013

I'd like to introduce you to: Evon Cassier




Please meet my friend... Evon Cassier !

all photos Dave White


Besides being beautiful, kind-hearted and a gentle-soul,  Evon is a talented artist who has a passion for rescuing high-quality clothing items and re-purposing them into custom-made meaningful and clever handbags and totes!   Clothing items from thrift shops, antique shops, the back of some one's closet, a fireman's jacket, a late father's coat, etc...  all become works of art in the hands of this biochemist turned handbag-maker!  Yes, she has a degree in Biochemistry from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo!  Did I mention she is smart too?!

Evon is competing for a $10,000 grand prize and a chance to be featured on marthastewart.com as a nominee in the Martha Stewart American Made Awards
A WIN would mean more new products and possibly even a new working studio for this single-mother of two!

 The voting runs through September 22 and you can place 6 votes per day in a 24-hours period.  Just sign-in to her nomination page,  VOTE 6 times, and your efforts could mean a HUGE WIN for Evon!

Please go to http://www.marthastewart.com/americanmade/nominee/80626 to cast your votes and to read more about her story. 



I wanted you to meet Evon and see her creative bags and totes in hopes that you, too, will vote for her to WIN !


In her own words...
It is intriguing to take textiles that have outlived their usefulness and transform them into bags that can provide service once again. On the surface they are beautifully crafted bags, but dig a little deeper and you see a meaningful story. Maybe the coat was originally worn by a grandfather or maybe it traveled all over the world? I thrive on the stories and memories that each bag tells and that's what inspired me to create a business. Many of the garments I work with were originally made in America at a time when Americans were known for their manufacturing quality and workmanship. I see it in the garments I deconstruct and I am inspired to honor those values that made us great. As my business evolves and grows, I stay committed to American made, sustainable growth, quality workmanship and respect for those who work for me.
The most unique things about my business are the materials I use. Taking quality garments from some one's closet or the thrift store and turning them into useful products is contrary to this world of disposable,"fast fashion" where things are made cheaply offshore of low quality. But bigger, faster, and cheaper aren't always a good thing and I offer an alternative that may one day become the norm. My bags are as unique as the materials I use and are a celebration of individuality, just like the people who own them.



   While Evon stocks bags and totes like these on her website...










she also custom makes bags from retired fireman's jackets and pants, suit jackets that clients send her that once belonged to their father/grandfather, sentimental pieces of clothing that would otherwise just sit in the back of a closet, etc... .  [I'm thinking of having her make a tote out of one of Dan's fighter-pilot flight suits (he flew F-4's and F-15's)- wouldn't that be cool?!]









 Evon is kindly offering all my readers a 15% discount on all her in-stock (only) items HERE.
Simply enter ELLA15 in the coupon code at checkout!

Thank you so much for voting for Evon!
(Remember you can vote 6-times each day through September 22 ;)
I really appreciate you supporting my friend!  
Please visit her website to see the in-stock collections and to contact Evon about having a custom item made.


To watch a video of  Evon discussing her creative process click HERE


UPDATE:
(Martha extended the voting time until September 22, so please keep those votes coming!)

77 comments:

  1. Love to support small businesses who make Made in America products. Her bags looks gorgeous and very practical. I will definitely go vote for Erin and take a look at her website. Thanks for introducing her to all of us.
    Good Luck to Erin! ~ Sarah

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    1. Thank you so much Sarah! I know Evon will really appreciate it.

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    2. I do really appreciate it! Thank you Sarah for recognizing my work and for taking the time to support me.

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    3. My dad is retiring from over 30 years on the Chicago Fire Department. We would love to have a bag made from his jacket. Can we talk?

      Sheila

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    4. Shelia- What a great gift! To contact Evon click on her website which is linked above the first photograph of her bags.

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  2. What gorgeous bags! Off to vote! Good luck Evon! Best, Beth C.

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    1. Thank you so much for your votes, Beth! I am so grateful for your support. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

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  3. Gorgeous bags! I like that she is recycling material into something useful and aesthically pleasing. I'm going to check out her website! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you Leslie! That's definitely my challenge; to recycle in an aesthetically pleasing way! Thank you for the compliment.

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  4. Wow absolutely stunning bags. I love everything about them ~style, function, repurposed, and handmade in the USA!

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    1. Aww, thank you Holly for taking the time to say so. I put a lot of effort into each one and it's a compliment that you recognize that.

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  5. The bags made from firefighter's turnout gear are SO cool. My hubby is a firefighter so I'd love to have one made for him.

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    1. I agree Carole- I absolutely LOVE the firefighter bags- and how great it would be that it was your husbands. (Thank you to him for his service by the way.)

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    2. When I make bags from old turnout gear I always find myself wondering to myself what stories the jacket could tell if it could talk. What kind of action did it see? Did it save a life? It's quite interesting to work with these materials.

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  6. This is one talented girl. I think she has a good chance of winning. I looked at Martha's site the other day and it seemed that the people with the most numbers were ones that had function and beauty. Now I need to go vote!
    x
    Carole

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    1. She is indeed! So hoping she wins! Thanks for voting Carole!

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    2. Carole, It's so sweet of you to believe I have a chance of winning. That just makes me smile and truth be told, I'm beginning to feel optimistic about a win myself! Thank you so much for your votes.

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  7. Very cool! LOVE the fireman coat bags! Best of luck to her. And fighter pilot bag? HECK yeah!!

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    Replies
    1. We're thinking either a tote or a messenger bag!

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    2. HECK yeah! I can't wait to start that project. Linda, thanks for your votes. I'm humbled that everyone is being so supportive of my work.

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  8. OH! I wish I had known about this sooner. I would have had her make 2 bags from my FIL's pilots uniform too!!!! One for me and one for my SIL. I am going over RIGHT NOW to vote for her and then go to her site!!! Thanks for introducing her. Hope you had a GREAT weekend. XO

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  9. When I went to vote, I did click on vote then it took me to a page to register for the MS site. Is it necessary to do that to make the vote count???? Thanks!

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    1. Pinky, yes Martha requires you to register to vote. I imagine it enables them to know that the votes are all legit. It is simply your email or you can access using a Facebook account. Thank you for trying to vote!

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    2. Pinky, I sincerely appreciate your efforts to vote. I'm feeling optimistic about a win considering how supportive everyone has been. And I'm wishing you had known me sooner too. I would have LOVED to make a bag from your FIL pilot uniform. I'm always looking for cool new projects!

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  10. much older sister SusanSeptember 2, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    I wish her all the luck! I voted for her yesterday and today and will continue everyday until the13th. Evon's bags are great looking too! If you say she is talented than she must be! I know how picky you are! If she is your friend she must be special too! I love the idea of a bag out of some of Dan's flight suits! I wish we had gotten to see him take off and land like Daddy and Mother did! They said it was unreal!

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    1. Thank you Susan! I've very excited to make a bag from Dan's flight suits. With Joan's great eye, it's bound to be a great bag!

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  11. What a fantastic idea! Evon's bags and totes are wonderful! I love the notion of recycling things -- especially items with sentimental value -- into useful products. Thanks, Joan, for introducing us to Evon and for letting us know that Martha Stewart's American Made Awards are back and voting is open now. I enjoyed the contest last year. There are so many talented people making amazing things right here in the US. I'm going to vote for Evon now!
    Claudia

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    1. I agree Claudia, so much talent out there!

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    2. Claudia, Thank you for supporting my work with your votes. I'm so grateful. And, I happen to agree with you that recycling is the way to go!

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  12. Joan,
    I voted for her on MS site...what fabulous bags and I love the story that can be behind the different bags, based on the garment and who it belonged to. I will vote for her tomorrow too.
    Karen

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    1. I love the stories behind my bags too! It what makes everyone so different and unique. Thank you for the compliment and for your continued voting efforts!

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  13. I checked out her website...she does beautiful work! Now, I'm off to vote! ;)

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  14. I cast all my votes for her! Love her spunk!

    On another note, I may have scored some bombshell hydrangeas! I'll know by Thursday & keep you posted!

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    1. Thank you for voting!
      I finally found two (scrawny;) hydrangeas but would love a couple more, so please let me know!

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  15. I captured a screen shot of your comment. I like being called spunky! Thank you for your votes! I am so thankful!

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  16. Anyone who recycles gets my votes and her totes are fabulous! I hope you're doing well on your side of the mountain!

    XXX
    Debra~

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    1. Debra, thank you for your votes!

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    2. hi Debra- we are well! Thankful for this rain, but getting tired of the humidity;)

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  17. I remember pinning her purses as one of my first pins...(I checked 2009!) love love her work!

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    1. That is so cool that you pinned her 4 years ago!

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    2. Really? That's wonderful. Thank you for the compliment!

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  18. Off to vote for Evon as well! Best of luck to you, Evon. As the owner (husband and I) of a small manufacturing facility in Vermont, we are always happy to see and hear the pride for Made in America. You make beautiful bags that are not only creative and personal but also that make a statement for your beliefs! You go girl!!

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    1. Thank you for voting!
      Love Vermont- we go over for day-trips and explore all the little back roads!

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    2. Thank you! Luck is always a good thing but having the support of people like you is going to make this possible. Thank you so much for your votes and for appreciating American made! Go Vermont!

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  19. All I could think when I watched Evon's video was OH MY WORD. And then I started to cry because it just came across so special and amazing. She has my vote six times a day through the 13th. Without a doubt she should be the winner. Incredible! ~ Dori ~

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    1. I loved that video too Dori! Thank you for voting!!

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  20. Hi Dori, I just finished a project that made ME cry! I made bags for 11 girls in the same family (daughters and daughter-in-laws)from their father's coats. When he passed he obviously left his love behind with his girls and that's what they wanted to hold onto. So sweet. And thank you very much for supporting my work with your daily votes. I am grateful to you. -Evon

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    1. Wow - I bet that was a serious tear jerker. How special for those daughters. I can hardly imagine. Do you have pictures?? {Smile} ~ Dori ~

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    2. I just took a picture of the collection as opposed to individuals of each bag. They also requested a special inscription that I had stamped into leather and sewn into each bag. It was an awesome project to do. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=564880503576601&set=pb.152381824826473.-2207520000.1378306554.&type=3&theater

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  21. Wow - she is amazingly talented! Those bags are incredible. I am heading over to check out her site and also to vote!

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    1. Thank you Jenni! I appreciate you checking out my work AND for voting. I hope you find my stuff worthy enough to vote every day. I would love your support!

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  22. Oh and Joan are you on Pinterest?

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    1. I'm not- I'm a little 'slow' with social media;)

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  23. Evon you are a winner either way, but you have my six votes each day from here on out. I love seeing textiles repurposed, your bags and totes are beautiful. I wish you continued success, and happiness in your business, isn't it great doing something you love?! Thanks Joan for introducing us to her. Donna :)

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    1. Donna, Thank you for the compliments and for your support with the voting. I like to think of myself as having created some success but I tell ya, a win in this contest would put me over the MOON!!! Thank you again!

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  24. much older sister SusanSeptember 5, 2013 at 7:40 AM



    I'm still voting my six votes everyday! Evon is really getting the votes too!

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  25. Susan, I really am getting the votes! Its so exciting and I'm thrilled to have your support. Thank you for voting every day. That's what will make the difference in the end.

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  26. Evon, you should know that Dan is voting for you too! Without any prompting from me he asked me how to vote and registered with MS so he could vote for you. He very diligently votes each day and even reminds me to vote:)

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  27. much older sister SusanSeptember 5, 2013 at 7:44 PM



    Damn you Joanie and Patti!! You and Patti have me putting down new shelf liner and getting rid of some of my kitchen 'stuff'. I've been at it for two days and I'm sore and tired but I must say my kitchen looks so more updated!
    You two are so irritating!!!

    Of course, I am voting tomorrow morning again for Evon.

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  28. Wow. I'm so lucky. Please thank Dan for me! I actually got a message from a man who said that as much as it hurt his manpride to be signed on with Martha Stewart I got his vote. I'm still laughing about that one!

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  29. Love the bags! I also make bags from recycled/ reclaimed textiles, and am a big fan of anyone who does the same!

    I started working at a furniture store years ago and could not stand the thought of all the gorgeous fabric samples being tossed in the trash, so I started making purses and totes from them. Then I started adding any interesting textiles I found from thrift, antique, and junk stores, and sold at local craft fairs. Each one unique, never the same one twice.

    You get my vote!!

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    1. Hi Pam. It appears we are kindred spirits (though I am not gifted in mixing and matching. That's a special skill that you obviously possess). Thank you so much for supporting my work. I am grateful!

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  30. The handbags are amazing! Particularly love the herringbone and hounds tooth plaid ones.

    Kudos to Evon for recycling and wishing her continued success in her business. -Brenda-

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    1. Thank you Brenda. I appreciate you stopping by to say so!

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  31. Love what Evon is creating. I hope her business is successful and she sticks to recycling!

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    1. Hi Michele, Thank you for the compliment! Repurposing is definitely where my heart is. I have no desire to ever let it go!

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