When I was a student at art school back in 2004 or so, I attended the festival Wereld van de Witte de With. I saw a little stand selling a plastic bag. Well, sort of. It was a plastic bag, but made of a much sturdier material. And in much nicer colors! I was in love, but being a poor student, I couldn’t afford one. I regretted it so much that you can imagine my excitement when my then mother-in-law bought me one soon after. It was the bag you see in the photo. It was a bag by a new designer, Susan Bijl.
Now it’s 2013 and the ‘new designer’ has been designing her signature bag for ten years. Different colors, better material (or at least, the New Shopping Bag, as it’s called, feels so much sturdier than my old one), but still as awesome as back then. I have two new bags in beautiful mint and burgundy, since my old one has been used so much the inside is slowly falling apart. They also come in different sizes now (or did they back then too? I can’t remember), which is great.
Susan Bijl inspires me as a fellow Rotterdam citizen because she has been growing and growing at a steady pace. From that little stand in the Witte de With-street to selling her bags all over the world. And even though I know absolutely nothing about her personal life, judging by photos of her (and the fact that her contactpage mentions the same ‘green’ bank as I use), I think she stayed modest and very kind every step of the way. I like her. And I love her bags.