The Favorite Dress

Let me share with you why I am so excited about the the Favorite Dress!

The Favorite Dress is classic in shape and style. The cut of this dress is timeless and will look good on you in 10 years, whether you are 20 or 50 now. This dress has been been made with extreme care out of fabrics that have been hand picked by me, all sourced from other local businesses. My sincere intention is that this dress is going to make the beautiful you feel like the one and only the star you are! 

Because each piece is made to order, each Favorite Dress is perfect for someone who hates to shop, or doesn’t have time to shop. I will measure you and help you pick a fabric that meets your color, care and drape preferences.

The Favorite Dress Experience is also perfect for someone who might be interested in learning to sew or wants to really know more about what goes into making a dress. Each Experience will be imaginative, unique and co-created together!

But how did it come to be?

I realized I most love my business when I encounter people who want to know how everything works. They want to see the process and feel like they are part of the story of what they are buying. So I wanted to create something that highlighted that type of experience. This dress isn’t about me as a designer, it is all about me listening to the person who will wearing the dress so they look their very best.

I’ll be popping up at Viscera in Oakland, CA's downtown for the month of November & I can arrange to meet you at my studio in Oakland’s Chinatown or give you a demo over Skype if you aren’t local. Want to invite me to pop up somewhere? I’d love to! Please contact me and I’ll get back to you super soon!

So please dear friends, bring me your crazy fabrics, your loved heirloom threads, your hunger for learning, or just your simple need for a dress that fits you right. I am so excited to meet you!

The Materials & How To Care for Your Bag

I can’t even remember exactly where the idea to wax linen came from exactly, but these bags are made out of waxed linen, which is water resistant and a little more special than waxed canvas. The texture is oh so touchable, not to mention impeccably handsome!

Linen is a natural fiber that comes from the flax plant. It is incredibly strong and because it is from a plant, you can grow more of it as long as there’s water, healthy soil and sunshine. The type I’m using is the same that is used for these gorgeous home linens.

I get the material un-dyed which is why there is some natural variation in the color. The products are offered in two options: Natural Flax and Custom Turmeric. You can literally eat the dye because it is just spice and vinegar. The turmeric fades and changes with time, sort of like your favorite jeans. 

The wax is the kind that comes from bees. Plain and simple. For the prototypes, I melted it in an old crockpot and applied it to the linen with a brush, then it literally melts in with a little passion from the heat gun. I buy the beeswax just down the street. And I get my leather from a local seller in the mission district of San Francisco.  

The bag exterior can be wiped clean with a wet cloth. A small amount of gentle soap can also be used for tougher areas. Over time, the texture will change. Each bag will come with a small pat of wax. If you want to re-apply the wax to make any areas more water resistant, simply heat the wax with a hairdryer and rub it into the fabric, wiping off any excess. 

If you have any questions, let us know via the contact page. 

The Origin Story

The original idea for Esperanza Workshop came during a time when I was cycling a lot. I don’t have a car, so my bike and my feet are my major modes of transportation.

In addition to commuting, I have also taken my beloved steel frame on some gorgeous long rides, including an epic tour of the California coast. The freedom to go as you please and the challenge of overcoming miles and miles of climbing have been inspiring and motivating emotions that have impacted every area of my life. 

My dear friend Mark is also an avid cycling buddy and has some really unique bike bag designs. But when I tried the one I admired most, it simply didn’t work for me. So Mark started talking and sketching to develop a more female-friendly design.

Of course, at this point, I wanted to see what else was available. After all, it would have been easier to buy something already made, so I started looking for something similar. What surprised me was that very few functional and beautiful bags are made for the female cyclist. When I dug a little deeper, I also realized that there are very few female designers in the field. And, there are very few products that are aesthetically pleasing that serve multiple purposes, with cycling specifically included. This made me determined to change this. 

So, with Mark's patient teaching, I learned to sew and developed prototypes for bags that I would want to use every day. I enlisted the help and advice of others along the way. They were cyclists and pedestrians alike, who gave me great input on my prototypes. Right now, I'm thrilled to launch Esperanza Workshop as a brand that stands for two elegant, beautiful and functional bags.

The Dorothy tote literally goes everywhere with me. I carry her to work. She’s also spent some time with me in France, India and Vietnam. She’s great for my laptop heading into a business meeting and she gets compliments at the grocery store. She is even great as a beach bag. 

I hope to provide you with products that you can put your stuff in and go about your life and never have to think about it working for you or looking good. I want the bags to last, which is why I'm providing an unconditional warranty on the first 100 products of each style sold.

And what I really want is for you to feel the freedom and inspiration which comes from doing what you love every single day. As Esperanza Workshop grows, please let me know this: What are you hoping for? 

With gratitude,

Jen