The Barcelona Satchel: A Perfect Marriage of Work and PlayMonday, 20 February 2012 by Laura, Author and Journalist
The Barcelona: A Perfect Marriage of Work and Play
My inner Girl Scout likes to be prepared, which means having everything I need to juggle the daily demands of being a mom running a small business. No two days look the same, and while I enjoy the variety that my life offers, I can sometimes be caught off guard and not prepared to fully utilize the small pockets of time that open up on any given day. My schedule is constantly shifting, like sand beneath my feet, and one thing I’ve learned over time is the importance of being prepared and flexible.
Having a sense of humor helps, too.
Busy women understand the value of having a handbag truly capable of transitioning from morning meetings to afterschool sports to dinner with friends (if you’re lucky enough to actually carve out dinner with friends!). We each have our own handbag personalities; some of us prefer to have several options available while others are looking for that one perfect handbag for every situation. Belen Echandia’s Barcelona is ideal in either category. It will quickly become on of your most cherished and favorite handbags.
I prefer having a few well-made bags that I can live in and occupy for some time. Once I received my Barcelona in black matte, I felt no desire to carry anything else. Don’t get me wrong--I have a few other bags that I adore--but this particular style reflects my own so well that I look forward to carrying it for the foreseeable future. This bag can easily take me from client meetings to school functions. I can spend an afternoon navigating downtown Austin with all I need to be fully prepared for work appointments and personal errands. This bag carries every necessity including my iPhone, Kindle, planner, compact camera, and more. I rarely leave the house without more pens than I really need, a sketchpad and energy bars that never seem to give me enough energy! I guess that’s what coffee is for, right?
I can carry the Barcelona by the handles, giving it a polished and professional look. The detailing on the front pockets is just beautiful and the pockets are large enough to handle my keys and iPhone with room to spare. The BE Barcelona includes several additional pockets and is thoughtfully designed to keep your personal items secure and in place. The back outside slip pocket is ideal for my planner, journal and pen; they are at my fingertips and can be retrieved at a moment’s notice. No rifling through a bottomless tote and fumbling for a pen just as a client makes an important point that needs to be documented. I have what I need immediately.
When my appointments are complete, the Barcelona folds nicely and becomes an eye-catching messenger bag unlike anything else I have seen. The bag’s clean lines are interesting and attractive, and I can walk the downtown streets comfortably as the bag’s design distributes weight extremely well. As much I’d love to be one of those ladies who travels light, my schedule (and my personality) just don’t permit it. With the Barcelona, I can keep all my important items close at hand and my back doesn’t hate me by the end of the day!
Carrying this bag further strengthens my belief that designer Jackie Cawthra has a deep understanding of how to marry lovely ideas with practical execution. Unlike so many things we’ve seen promoted by fashion editors as the ‘next big thing,’ Belen Echandia styles offer no compromise between fashion and function. The fact that these bags are handmade in Italy and that Belen Echandia is committed to providing a livable wage to leather artisans is also extremely important. You can see the attention to detail and quality in the stitching, the sumptuous but hardy leather and the expertly crafted hardware.
The Barcelona Satchel is a perfect representation of what Belen Echandia believes is important-- lovely high-quality construction, a desire to support artisans in their craft and a commitment to giving women worldwide beautiful handmade leather bags worthy of being carried and enjoyed for years to come.