The Maine tote bag is practically a staple in the repertoire of accessories for every woman who calls this unique state their home. Everyone from soccer moms to fashionistas have at least one that they can grab on the way out the door to school, work, or on vacation.
Maybe it’s the convenience that makes them so ubiquitous, or perhaps their versatility. Do you need a shopping bag, a purse, or a picnic basket? A tote bag can do all that, and in a state where the sun will shine in the morning, and give way to a snowstorm in the evening, versatility is necessary.
While bags similar to Totes have been in use for centuries, the modern bag can be attributed to L.L. Bean, a true Maine company. In the 1940’s, L.L. Bean introduced their signature canvas bag as a boating satchel, but soon people began to use it for other purposes, including for fashion.
While L.L. Bean never strayed far from their classic design, other Maine entrepreneurs put their own unique spin on the bag. Sea Bags, a company founded and based in Portland, repurposes retired ship sails to make their totes. Now the business has grown to include different types of bags and products, but remains dedicated to it original innovative design.
Ann Veronica Harrison started her bag company in 2003 in Cape Elizabeth ME, inspired by a company from her Massachusetts hometown, Marblehead Handprints. All Ann Veronica Handprint bags are screen printed onto 100% canvas and have become well known across the east coast. And now…
There is a new company to add to the history of Maine Tote bags, but with a slightly different twist. Ancora Bags is a Western Maine Based company that is takes its inspiration from the forests and mountains that make up this distinct region of Maine. Almost all production can be traced back to Western Maine, including the local stitchers who put the bags together. Ancora Bags exemplifies the versatility that made totes so popular in the first place while infusing them with that special Maine Mountain flare.
- Grace Hooke, Sales and Marketing