Care: The Obstacle Is The Way

Care: The Obstacle Is The Way

In the early days of Sapahn, I dedicated myself to creating the perfect handbag—one that turns heads and sparks conversations. Inspired by customer feedback and determined to avoid the dreaded "black hole" interiors, I embarked on a journey through Bangkok's vibrant fabric markets. Discover how overcoming obstacles led to the unique, sustainable, and beautiful linings that make Sapahn bags truly special. Join us in celebrating the craftsmanship, quality, and community that define our brand.

Welcome to The Beauty I Hold, a new Sapahn series celebrating our core values—Care, Craft, Commitment, and Community. Each edition will highlight these values in action, sharing inspiring stories and the people behind our beloved products. Plus, we invite you to share your own Sapahn stories and how they embody these values in your life. Join us on this journey to carry forward our mission of creating something beautiful and impactful.

What Makes a Great Bag?

In the early days of Sapahn, I spent a lot of time reflecting on what really makes a great bag. A bag that people can't wait to tell their friends about. A bag that prompts strangers to stop and ask, "Where did you get that?" A bag you want in multiple colors. So, I started asking customers for their thoughts. If you've ever been on the selling side, you know that if you ask for opinions, you'll get a million responses. It can be overwhelming, but there's absolute gold in the answers. One of the top things women said to me was, "I hate it when bags have black lining. You can't see anything. It's like a big black hole."

Listening to Customer Feedback: My Key to Innovation

When I went back to Thailand to design my very first handbag collection, their words echoed in my head. I walked the streets of Bangkok looking for a shop with a sign in their window that read "we make lining." I didn’t find one, but I did find several shops selling fabric. After inquiring about the cost of custom linings for my new collection—perfect meaning any color but black, and even better if it said "Sapahn" on it—I was shocked at the sticker price. Over $10,000 plus thousands of meters of fabric, not to mention a two-plus month turnaround time. Clearly, this was out of my league on my startup budget. So, now what?

The Search for the Perfect Bag Lining

This was a moment where "the obstacle is the way" (for those Ryan Holiday fans). I started to eye all the other incredible fabrics these shops were selling. It turned out to be deadstock fabric from what larger factories didn’t sell. Here was my opportunity: to buy deadstock fabric, help reduce waste, and deliver something more than a big black hole experience to customers. Instead, we delivered something beautiful, unexpected, and fun! This journey helped me embrace the beauty I hold—the power to turn obstacles into opportunities and to create something truly special.

Even today, each lining is paired with a leather color, making Sapahn bags unique limited editions in their own right.

The Heart of Sapahn: Craftsmanship and Quality

At Sapahn, we’re proud of the things we put our name on. We're equally proud of every person whose skill and talent goes into creating our products. Our mission matters too much to compromise with anything less than the best. The care we pour into this brand is evident in our sourcing, our processes, and our people.

We’d love to hear from you! Share your stories, your favorite Sapahn moments, and what our bags mean to you. We'd even love to see some throwback linings 🙂 

Follow us on social media and tag us in your photos, or reply back to this email. Let’s celebrate the beauty and care that goes into every Sapahn product together. Show us the beauty you hold with your Sapahn bag.