You may remember the recent BAN THE SINGLE USE PRIME MINISTER bag that went viral? The Inner West’s very own business-savvy creator Gwen Blake and her overnight start-up company Sans Sheriff rose to fame at the time of the last leadership spill, when she quickly produced and sold her canvas bag after the design went viral on social media. The SINGLE USE PM tote became the hottest bag of 2018, sold out in just days establishing Gwen’s brand new start up company… which she set up overnight on her mobile phone.
Now Gwen’s ready for the next instalment, this week unveiling a black bag emblazoned with the words ‘WOMEN ARE TOTES AMAZING’ – an idea that pays tribute to the phenomenal support she’s had from women.We asked Gwen to give us an insight into the ideas behind the totes and here’s what she had to tell us:
Tell us what has inspired your latest “Woman Are Totes Amazing” bag? ‘I was blown away by the support I received from women I knew, women I got to know, women in business groups and women in the media. It just felt like I had this amazing team of female warriors looking out for me, wishing me well and promoting my business. I 100 per cent attribute the success of Sans Sheriff down to the sisterhood.’
We understand your latest bag also gives back to the sisterhood – tell us about this: “I was really keen that my next project not only celebrated women, but also gave back to them. A percentage of the proceeds from my new tote bag project will be donated to White Ribbon Australia, the social movement to prevent men’s violence against women and children. As a mother of two young children, I’m particularly interested in the program ‘Breaking the Silence’ a free, professional learning program for principals and teachers, creating White Ribbon Schools across Australia. The program provides foundational knowledge, tools and strategies to implement respectful relationships and domestic violence education in schools.“
Do you think you will attract as much viral success as your first tote? “To help promote the bag, I’m running a competition asking people to post online a photo holding the bag while doing something amazing. Women ARE totes amazing and I want the pictures to demonstrate that in every way. I’m imagining the winning pictures could be of a woman surfing or mountain climbing, or she could be juggling caring for her kids with running a business on her laptop, or fixing a bicycle puncture while breastfeeding. I just want to flood people’s news-feeds with women doing all the amazing things they always do but that don’t necessarily get celebrated.”
There are some pretty exciting prizes, such as a light aircraft flying lesson, a pile of books by amazing female authors and much more.
We understand you also are co-owner of another creative Inner West business: “I’m also co-owner of Boxer & co. with business partner Mark Haygarth. We work in one of the most creative spaces in the Inner West – Flourmill Studios in Newtown, part of the old Silos. Our space is amazing, we have a giant old flour hopper in the studio and it’s a really lovely conversion from the Flourmill. We have the biggest space in there and it’s pretty cool!”
Boxer and Co is a brand and packaging design agency, working for some of Australia’s biggest and smallest supermarket brands. The majority of the Boxer and Co. employees are local to our vibrant Inner West.
I think it’s fair to say we harbour some of the most creative people in Sydney in The Inner West! I have one of the first Ban the Single Use Prime minister bags and I have to say it not only makes me smile but the quality of the bag, well it’s totes amazing!
If you want one you’ll need to get in fast, the previous bags sold out in days so purchase yours here. Don’t forget Christmas is just around the corner, oh and remember to enter the competition!
Annika and Blake