My best selling tote pattern is named after my dear mother, Luella. My mother is an angel. She's somewhat meek, surprisingly adventurous, quite strong, faithful beyond comprehension, and full of grace. Those are the characteristics that inspired her name for the bag.
Meek: Luella grew up a Mennonite farm girl in southern Manitoba. Mennonites and other Anabaptists are often known to be meek and not eager to draw attention to themselves. My mother balances the Mennonite spirit of meek simplicity with modern pleasantries. I'm reminded of the bible verse that says "The meek shall inherit the earth." The bag design is intentionally understated. There are no unnecessary features. In fact some of the added features are deliberately hidden to retain the rugged simplicity for which I'm striving.
Surprisingly adventurous: My mom likes to have fun. It's so fun to watch her giggle when she's trying something new! She came to visit me once when I was in a skeet shooting phase. I randomly asked if she wanted to go shooting with me and she said yes! I also rode a motorcycle for a while, and when I offered to take her for a ride, she was excited to go. Those aren't activities you would expect from someone who is meek as described before. The Luella tote is versatile enough to be with you on all your adventures. Whether it's jaunt to the beach, a long vacation, or the daily adventure of life.
Quite strong: My mother raised me as a single mother for several years. I can't imagine how hard that would have been for her. She went from not needing to work to working and not making as much as we would have liked. I watched her get a degree from a community college while working and having 2 middle school aged children. I watched her navigate the difficulty of an ending relationship with grace. She's never once complained to me. The bag that bears her name is almost that strong. I made a version to carry a sewing machine back and forth to a sewing class that I took earlier this year. It carried 30-40 lbs like it was nothing. You'd be hard pressed to break this bag even through rugged use.
Faithful and full of grace: The first time I ever visited a prison, it was with my mom. We went twice to visit someone close to us who simply made some bad decisions. She always saw the good in that person and had an amazing way of both holding him accountable for his decisions and showing how much she loved him regardless of the position he found himself.
I was deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. I expected my mother to be a complete basket case. She was as pleasant as if she were sending me away to college. When I returned, I asked if she was afraid that I would become a casualty. She said she'd surely be devastated if I didn't come back, but that she had faith that God was in control. That was the concept that gave her the strength to keep from worrying. That's a kind of faith that I had never encountered before, or since. I'm not sure how these ideas relate to the bag, but her grace and her faithfulness are probably the qualities that I admire most about my mom.