Q&A with Carolina Tombolesi

Designer & Founder Carolina Tombolesi answers questions on the making of Urbana Sacs 

Q: Can you describe your bags in one or two lines?
A:  Urbana Sacs is a new collection of lifestyle and home accents sustainably handcrafted from washable paper.  Urbana Sacs is the first recycled completely customizable designs to accent your life.

Q: What inspired you to create Urbana Sacs?
A: A few months ago I decided to quit my job after 15 years of working as an architect at a large corporation. I wasn't sure what exactly I wanted to do next, but I knew it would be something creative. I started researching unique materials and exploring ways they could be used. While designing a porcelain espresso set with washable leather coasters, I stumbled across this unique leather-like paper fabric.  Excited by and curious about it, I decided to purchase it and play with it. I was instantly recharged and inspired by what I could create, which lead me to the urbana sacs creation. 

Q: Tell us about the materials.
A:  The Urbana Sacs washable paper is a sustainable lightweight material made with a variety of virgin pulp fiber blends and recycled polyester felts. It washes like fabric maintaining its original form so it can be used over and over again. Its unique properties make it a malleable and flexible material.  Because the sacs are handmade, and then shaped by the user, no two sacs are really exactly alike. 

Q: Is it true Urbana Sacs paper bags are washable?
A: Yes! I've even run them through the washing machine to test them. Photographers and set designers are loving the sacs because they reflect & absorb light in great ways, are flexible and unlike glass or ceramic containers they are light to carry to and from set. And, if they get dirty, they can be wiped with a sponge or submerged in warm water with mild soap.

Q: How do you use the product personally?
A: I use it a hundred different ways. I have a wall of them on shelves. In the kitchen, I keep some exotic salts & raw sugar in the small bags, napkins in the medium size ones, and for movie nights I serve guests popcorn in individual small bags. In the living room, I display flowers in them. In my bathroom, I use a very large Urbana sac to hold rolled up bath towels for guests, or as a laundry bag. And, in my office & studio I have them stuffed with paint brushes, pencils, business cards, and all kinds of office supplies. I use the carry bags for grocery shopping, to carry beach items or I even use them to carry materials to business meetings. 

Q: What other collections are you working on?
A: In addition to the first line of creative and carry sacs, the Urbana Sacs original collection, I am creating a line for people to participate in the creation of their sacs by selecting their own paper color and color stitching, and a line with metallic finish for more glamorous sacs. 

Shop the collection. See the video that inspires ways to use the sacs. See the making of urbana sacs video.  Follow urbana sacs on Facebook, Pinterest & Instagram