Pictures from Senegal

Monday, April 18

Taibatoise Catalog

As Demba and I gear up for future festivals, expositions, and tourism conferences planned for my last few months of service, I felt it was time to make him a catalog. And what better place to display the draft than here? The one caveat is that everything displayed is thanks to the efforts of by Demba and myself. He has other products (Senegalese style bags, shoes, and even home decor) but I wanted to display our work together! You'll have to check out the catalog to see the full range of products.

If you're a fellow volunteer about to COS, and you're desperate for something below, please contact me before May! 2011 collection items should be available at upcoming events but quantity cannot be guaranteed. Everyone else should wait for my replacement to help fulfill your leather desires. Merci.

2010 Collection

Men's and Magic Wallets
·         Name: Magic Wallet
·         Bio: The commencement of my relationship with Demba occurred because my J.Crew magic wallet was the only thing of leather I had on me when I looked for something to recreate. It was a test subject, and Demba clearly passed. The item is a hit with PCVs and ex-pats alike.
·         Description: Our magic wallet works length wise, though the current J.Crew version is horizontal. Slightly larger than your standard ID or credit card, and less than a centimeter thick, this wallet boasts two card slots per side. Elastic bands trap your money on either side.
·         Price: 2,000 cfa

Sac Soda
·         Name: Sac Soda
·         Bio: An already chronicled story, this is an exact copy of a red pleather (plastic/ fake leather) H&M bag I brought with me from the States. When it died I gave it to Demba, who has since recreated it for many a fellow lady.
·         Description: Large women’s bag with magnetic clasp closure; cloth lining with small zippered interior pocket. Fits 8 ½ x 11 sized documents, Netbooks and quite a few more things- making you think Mary Poppins’ bag isn’t all that unrealistic.
·         Price: 20,000 cfa

Sac Alan
·         Name: Sac Alan
·         Bio: This weekend bag was designed at the request of a fellow volunteer as a gift for her visiting boyfriend, Alan, and was also our first product design based solely off photos downloaded from the web.
·         Description:  Carry-on sized bag that an experienced traveler could live out of for a week while a more intensive packer could fit shoes… A sturdy zipper runs across the top and 1/3 the way down each side; cloth lined with small zippered interior pocket; the bag currently has only two carrying handles but a shoulder strap could be discussed.
·         Price: 35,000 cfa

Sac Thomas
·         Name: Sac Thomas
·         Bio: Recreated for my fashion savvy friend and regional neighbor Thomas, this bag is a copy of a Lacrosse men’s bathroom bag. It was all the rage during the last Christmas gift giving season.
·         Description: I estimate this product to be 8 inches long, 4 wide, and 4 tall in dimension. The zipper closure runs the length of the top and about ¾ of the way down each side; cloth lined with small zippered interior pocket and two cloth unclosed pouches on the opposite wall; leather exterior loop for easy carrying.
·         Price: 10,000 cfa

·         Name: Portfolio
·         Bio: Word spread pretty quickly that Demba had creative vision; all the way across the country in fact. A gal I hardly knew got a hold of me with an idea for a document holder for her eminent return to the corporate world. The Portfolio is a one of a kind, special order, item that is not held in stock.
·         Description: 8 ½ x 11 documents have found their home. Cloth lined interior with card holders and pen loops; comes with locking metal clasp and key.
·         Price: 17,000 cfa

·         Name: Envelope
·         Bio: If the magic wallet is too unisex for any girl taking stock of this catalog the solution is the Envelope! It was designed as something small and simple because no one wanted an over sized woman’s wallet.
·         Description: Lacking a tape measure, I estimated this product to be about 3 inches by 6 inches. It was made just like the envelope you'd mail me a letter in with cloth lined interior, small zippered pocket, and a magnetic metal clasp that lets you avoid licking this envelope closed.
·         Price: 4,000 cfa

Braided Belt
·         Name: Braided Belt
·         Bio: I’ve lost weight in my near two year stint in West Africa, and well, I needed a belt that could keep up with my waist line changes. So we created the breaded belt to provide an endless supply of belt holes, thus skirting the pesky deficiency problem all together.
·         Description: About 1 inch thick, made to your desired length, with a 6 piece braid. Each end is sealed with a leather tab finished with metal buckle and two leather loops.
·         Price: 3,500 cfa

2011 Collection

Magic WAX Wallet
·         Name: Magic Wax Wallet
·         Bio: Continuous product development... Even an old classic can be revamped into something new and unique. It could even be sold to clients who already have the old model! Admittedly I was also looking to design something simple and small that could be sold as “uniquely African.” You can’t get this one at J.Crew, folks!
·         Description: Same size and functionality as Demba's original, but the inside is now outfitted with color-coordinating African patterned cloth material curiously named 'wax.'
·         Price: 2,000 cfa

Sac Alys
·         Name: Sac Alys
·         Bio: By now, Demba has solidified his reputation as the “go-to guy” for any whimsical leather idea brought to life via pictures from the web, and that’s exactly what this bag represents. But because I was the first to formally order one I am once again a part of its namesake.
·         Description: Slight smaller than 8 ½ x 11, this is basically an over sized rectangle clutch. A zipper closes the top; cloth lined interior with small zippered pocket.
·         Price: 6,000 cfa

Sac Scott
·         Name: Sac Scott
·         Bio: Once upon a time, my dear friend Ms. Scott brought a canvas army backpack along for her PC service ride. It held up pretty darn well, and put up a big fight, before finally busting too many straps to continue on. And so, we created a leather version for her; she couldn’t be happier.
·         Description: Cloth lined interior with small zippered pocket; adjustable backpack and closure straps with metal belt buckle closures; fits 8 ½ x 11 and small to average sized computers.
·         Price: 22,000 cfa

Soda Sandals
·         Name: Soda Sandals
·         Bio: Arguments are unavoidable at the office, even if the office doesn’t look like my old cubical. When Demba and I got into our first major fight he sought to augment his apology with a surprise pair of sandals. I’ve only ever worn flip flops in his presence and so that’s what he views as my preference, I suppose. What a beautiful and thoughtful gift!
·         Description: A simple leather flip flop, made to your size, with braided leather on the outer strap.
·         Price: Unknown; I wasn’t allowed to pay him back. But if I had to guess, no more than 10,000 cfa.

Alex's Shoes
·                Name: Alex’s Shoes
·         Bio: When an American foreign exchange student came to spend a week in my fair hamlet of Mboro, he couldn’t help but capitalize on the opportunity to design his own pair of shoes. Who can blame him, really? The shoes were expressly made to be less than office formal- a casual leather shoe for everyday wear.
·         Description: These couldn't be simpler, two pieces of leather coming together; rubber soles and lace ties; available in your size.
·         Price: 22,000 cfa

Computer Bag
·         Name: Computer Bag
·         Bio: Yet another volunteer returning to the fast pasted corporate world sought me out to create a professional piece for his future life. He asked for a suitable computer bag with a twist! Behold our first tests run at embedded name "engraving."
·         Description: Simple handle; metal lock and key closure; divided cloth interior for documents with pen loops; and lightly padded computer compartment with Velcro secure; embedding included. Even comes with leather key chain to safeguard your key!
·         Price: 30,000 cfa

Coming Soon:

Future Mary Belt
·         Name: Mary Belt
·         Bio: Last fall when a round of trainees came to Mboro to learn Wolof, they brought with them their accessories. It’s taken some time but Mary has agreed to loan me her amazing belt to copy.
·         Description: A 2 ½ inch thick belt that is meant to be worn around the mid-section and not the waist; It has a simple small metal buckle tied down by smaller pieces of leather, such that the belt overlaps itself before clasping.
·         Price: 8,000 cfa

Future Sac Aida
·         Name: Sac Aida
·         Bio: Sadly the original Sac Soda is finally starting to show a sign of use… and besides no one has only one bag! So I’ve done a bit of research and I think I’ve found my next bag, via J.Crew.
·         Description: I plan to recreate this bag to be large enough to fit documents and average sized computers. I’ll keep the two outside pockets and ask for the usual small zippered interior. I might even go all out and ask for traditional African patterned wax fabric for the inside.
·         Price: 30,000 cfa

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