Chakra Pennywhistle: From Vintage MoneyBags to Stylish Wallets

By: Melodie Duperval.

FAULT: Tell us about the experience you had when you first came up with the eco-friendly accessories collection?

Oddly enough, the collection itself has evolved organically… naturally.  In a way, I think it’s had to.  Being an indie handmade design business with the main focus on eco-friendly goods forces you to branch out and grow upward.  Not necessarily into a huge company, but “up” in general.  When searching for and creating with found or eco-friendly materials, you have no choice but to start small and branch out.   The materials used are not neatly packaged and found logically placed in a section of like-items in some big box store.  They can range from sitting in an antique booth, buried under piles of clothing in a thrift, or coming straight from an organic farmer.   These are the things that shaped the first eco-friendly collection.  It was layered appreciation.  Sounds complicated but it was simple.  Seeing a use in the useless or otherly-purposed… That’s how it started and it’s grown from there…

FAULT: What do your collections usually consist of?

Organic. Recycled. Handmade.

Organic. Original hand drawn designs printed on organic cotton twill. Each pillow is stuffed with raw organic cotton and sewn with organic cotton thread.

Recycled.  Recycled, modern, and simple. Vintage Moneybags turned into stylish cushions and wallets. Each pillow and wallet is exceptionally unique.

Handmade.  Custom pillows and children’s wear using vintage calendar tea towels to “circle” special dates.

FAULT:The vintage moneybags in your recycled collection are amazingly fun! What are they made out of? How did you come up with that idea?

My business partner Ursula and I were antiquing in Tucson, Arizona.  We stumbled onto a vendor who had about 5 different bank bags.  We were both drawn to the prints and overall wear.  The bags were worn in a way that showed their history, some with outlines of the coins they once transported.  A couple had inked date stamps from the 80’s.  We bought them and turned them into pillows and naturally along came the wallets.  The wallets are special because they can get more wear … the bags aren’t completely losing their past purpose.  We ask our buyers to keep these wallets in circulation.

FAULT:What’s your personal benefit of being an eco designer?

We think that it all comes down to considering and appreciating the source. We believe the handmade community we participate in has sprouted from this idea. Whether you produce eco goods or make an effort to buy them, you are playing a part in a type of appreciation for how things are made, where they came from, and promoting their use as opposed to a “quick fix.” We live in a fast-paced, throw-away world.  The creative process for our indie community and eco handmade world, however, causes us to slow down and forces us to ask ourselves questions about the materials we use, their past life, and their future possible uses. A maker’s process is focused and deliberate. We find that as we make our goods at this reduced speed, we unconsciously provide ourselves with the time necessary to really research our materials… And when you research green materials, a whole new world is introduced. It is exciting to be a part of. We learn something new every single day.

FAULT: What is your FAULT?

Choosing a long somewhat misleading business name.  I still get emails addressed to “Chakra”… I imagine “Hootie” feels the same way.