Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Best Ever

Remember a couple months ago when I was complaining about never being able to find a good messenger bag? Well those days are over!

That's right, since posting back in January about missing my old bag from Korea, I've come into the possession of what may be the world's greatest messenger bag, even better than Old Blue. Check it out:

A beautiful bag atop two beautiful quilts1

Where did I get such a beautiful bag, you ask, and what's so special about it? I'll tell you.

It is exactly the size of a MacBook in length and width, and it is only three inches deep. It has exactly one main compartment and one small pocket on the front the size of a typical paperback. The flap velcros down but has no other unnecessary fastener. The strap is long. And the whole thing is constructed from tough black canvas. It can hold very little without feeling floppy and empty, and it can hold as much as I'm ever likely to carry to school without having to be as huge and formless as most messenger bags.

It turns out that when I was researching my previous post on bags, I stumbled across a website I hadn't ever seen before: churchillbags.com. The site is the home of a small collection of messenger and other bags all made from scratch by a fellow named Kevin Churchill, a college student from these United States. Since it was such a small operation, I emailed Kevin to see if he would be interested in helping me get the bag I've been dreaming of. He read my blog post and told me he'd be happy to do whatever he could to help me, and we spent the next month or so chatting about possibilities and ogling the beautiful but expensive offerings at jackspade.com.

Finally I decided on what I wanted and Kevin offered to make it for me from some spare fabric he had, kind of as a prototype. I wired him some dough, and he got busy. A week later, this beauty showed up at my house and I haven't stopped smiling.

Friends, let me emphasize what I'm getting at: This messenger bag is 100% custom-made. It is exactly what I wanted. Exactly. I didn't have to settle in any way, shape, or form. It was made by a total stranger who not only was happy to follow my whim but who also freely proffered his advice and expertise and pulled the whole project together in a flash. I couldn't be happier—except of course, when I consider the price.

Kevin made and mailed this bag to me for $26. With my whole heart I recommend Mr. Churchill to you who seek fine handmade products. I suspect he would agree to your custom demands as well, though when you see his paisley-lined corduroys and sexy suit-wools you may just stick with the established catalog. Tell him David sent you.

My prized possessions: a ratty old quilt, a Taylor limited-edition made from Tasmanian blackwood and Sitka spruce, and a Churchill original

1 I stitched that light blue quilt together from two sheets I bought and Bed Bath and Beyond years and years ago. It's not and has never been much of a quilt, but it has touched down on three continents.


Elisa said...

Wow! I too have a messenger bag I love. It's a beautiful camel brown, glossy-gorgeous leather Fossil bag with minimal frills and maximum awesome-ness.
But your story is cooler.
And I love the pics in this post! It makes me think about all the family blogs that people jam up with pictures of their children in ridiculous outfits.

Janssen said...

Best success story I've heard all day (it may only be 8:00am, but I can neither confirm nor deny).

It's a good looking bag, made even better by containing a Mac.

Jennifer said...

I need one! How do I contact this "Mr. Churchill?" I need a sweet church bag for my kids. No, Elisa, I will not post pictures of them. Though their outfits are ridiculous.

David Grover said...

I'll post pictures of them if you want. Anything Claire wears is golden (if appropriate).

You can contact Kevin at kevin@churchillbags.com, but I recommend just looking at the sweet bags and totes on his site first.

The Hippo said...

Claire's new name is Shanka. She came up with it herself.

Melanie said...

David - you probably have no idea who I am but my name is Melanie (Walker) and I grew up in Texas and was best friends with your sister, Liz, years and years ago (assuming I have the right David Grover but you look just like your dad!). Anyway, she left a comment on my blog but I have no way to get in touch with her and I'm wondering if you can help me out! Do you have an email address, blog address, phone number, anything that I can get in contact with her?? My email is melgunnell@hotmail.com and my family blog is brianandmelanie.blogspot.com. If you could help me, I'd really appreciate it!

David Grover said...

Yeah, I remember you guys. You lived over by Petrosky somewhere. You have two brothers, right?

Anyway, I'll pass on your info to Liz. I don't know what her computer situation is, but we'll figure something out.

Mary Arlene said...

I am so happy for you!!! And I agree with Elisa, it feels as if you have had a baby and you are presenting it to the world. And I couldn't be happier for you. By the way, Shanka doesn't wear clothes anymore, she wears her bathing suit everyday! It is so cute, I'll send you some pictures.

lizard said...

hey dave-o. so glad i spent the last five minutes of my day reading a bout a MESSENGER BAG! oh well, only you can make that interesting. i wanted to letcha know that mares told me about the post from melanie walker so i'll get in touch with her. thanks for bringing people together with your tales of a messenger bag! lotsa love, your sis

Kirby said...

This is a glorious success story.

I am now extremely tempted to have a custom messenger bag made.

Melanie said...

Thanks, David! I appreciate it...yes, we lived by Petrosky (great memory!) and I still have two brothers. I saw Liz's comment so hopefully we'll get in touch. Thanks, again.