Annie’s Upcycles makes these reusable handbags a trendy mix of country and chic
Read the story of how one girl’s faith for a horse brought about a new business venture.
Annie DeLong seems like your average 13-year-old, and for the most part, she probably is. But make no mistake, Annie has a gift—and she wants to sell it to you.
Annie’s Upcycles, a new line of ready-made recycled carrying bags, are exactly the kind of gift you’d get for your friend who loves living in the country and wants to show it in every way, even if it’s something as mundane as getting groceries are carting things from one place to another.
But if you’re worried about your re-usable shopping bag looking like every other deep blue Walmart sack, don’t be; Annie’s bags are made from 100% recycled feed sacks—exactly like the ones you’d recognize from your local feed store.
It all started with a horse.
When her family moved to a farm outside Sapulpa, it seemed that things were finally falling into place; they had the room for a horse, but not the animal itself.
When Annie found some old saddles in a barn on their property, she began fixing them up and cleaning them, believing for a horse that would one day be under it, even though she had no clue how she’d get one.
Her mother, Brooke DeLong, saw Annie’s faith and was inspired. She decided to share the message with others on Facebook, telling about Annie’s desire and calling it “faith in action.”
Even she didn’t expect what happened next, though: someone on Facebook, so moved by Annie’s faith, messaged Brooke and told her they had a horse that Annie could have. For free.
Just a short while later, Annie met Red, a Appaloosa/Quarter Horse mix, and the two seemed made for each other. Annie has since ridden Red not only around the farm, but in parades.
Annie was expectedly ecstatic, having seen her faith manifested in a way she’d always believed would happen, but now she had another problem to solve; turns out that a horse is expensive to keep.
“We needed regular maintenance, a ferrier, feed, blankets, vet bills…all those things cost money.”
As the family brainstormed the situation together, they saw it as another opportunity to stretch Annie’s faith, and take on the responsibility of owning an animal.
Thankfully, she’d already began working on the idea that she’d eventually use to fuel her love for her horse, and encourage others to reuse items they already had.
Armed with a late 50’s vintage Singer sewing machine, Annie got to work cutting and re-stitching feed sacks, ranging from chicken feed to horse and cattle feed, among others, and was able to put together several well-made handbags from these 40-50lbs feed sacks.
“They’re great for things like wet clothes and groceries,” Brooke DeLong says. “They’re waterproof and very durable.”
And again, if you’re a country aficionado, they’re stylish. As odd as it sounds, a sack of chicken feed can look rather dashing in your shopping cart or from the back of your car.
The bags, which cost around $8.00, are available on Annie’s Upcycles Facebook page, or you can buy them at Home Branded Meats at 802 W. Taft.