LES BAGS are handmade by Laurie Sorenson, a Minneapolis-based crafter with over a decade of experience making bags, purses, and totes. With her two sons out of the house and on their own, she began creating her signature line of waxed canvas totes and merino wool felt bags. Experimenting with different styles, designs, and unique touches, Laurie has created a bag that is both beautiful to the eye and constructed to stand up to daily wear and tear. To meet Laurie and learn more about her work in person, be sure to stop by the upcoming Rummage event at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds at the new West End Market! Read our full Rummage event preview story for more details!
How did LES BAGS begin?
The origin of the name is simply Laurie’s initials - LES BAGS also translates from French to English as “the bags,” with a double meaning in two simple words.
How would you describe your work?
LES BAGS is a one-woman operation and each tote and bag is painstakingly handcrafted from the first cut to the final stitch. Each bag features:
- The highest quality fabrics, from waxed canvas to merino wool felt.
- Genuine leather handles and straps.
- Nickel and antique brass rivets and hardware.
What is your creative process entail?
I create new bag designs by thinking about my customer’s needs--what are they using the bags for and how do they utilize them in their day-to-day life? What features will make the bag easier to use and more functional? I created a versatile, cross-body style bag to use on a trip last year to Italy and London and it worked out beautifully for traveling.
How does experimentation play into your process?
I see it as a trial-and-error process; I never go into my workroom saying, “This is exactly what I am going to do.” I love experimenting - seeing what works and what does not. I do not know how much they inspire my process, but I also love period films and old Hollywood cinema, Christian Dior designs and clothing, and classic elegant design.
What do you find special about working with textiles?
I really get inspired by the materials I use for my bags and have found through years of experimenting that I love to work with waxed canvas and merino wool felt and love how my bags and totes turnout using those primary materials. They have very simple lines and neutral colors.
What is your connection to Minnesota?
I have lived in Minnesota my whole life and I feel supporting locally-made is so important because it directly benefits those who are making the high-quality goods customers are buying. I also love the person-to-person communication that can occur through shopping locally--it becomes more personal and more unique. I love the fact that my customers want to purchase from a Minnesota manufacturer.