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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Plenty of people here on KindleBoards have already sung the praises of Borsa Bella's Melissa Wisen, and with good reason: she's kind and professional, and her bags are adorable. I debated between purchasing one of her Original Kindle Bags and the Kindle Travel Bag before finally deciding on the latter, and I emailed Melissa to inquire about a custom order.

One thing I loved about doing business with Borsa Bella was how prompt and friendly Melissa was with her emails. She answered a couple of questions that I'd had and made the entire process go very smoothly. I had a custom fabric in mind for my Travel Bag, and Melissa gave me her address so I could have the fabric shipped directly to her in order to save on time and money, and she kept me appraised of each step as she received the fabric, made the bag, and mailed it out. Turnaround time was very quick for a handmade item and shipping was fast and affordable, so my bag (and the rest of the unused fabric) was in my hot little hands before I knew it. It was gorgeous, and the Kindle and my other necessities -- cell phone, iPod, and cigarette-case-as-wallet -- fit within the main compartment and the front pocket perfectly.

And then I noticed the popped seam.

I don't know if it happened while in transit or what, but one of the bottom corners had come undone. My sewing skills leave a lot to be desired and I didn't think I could repair it myself, so I emailed Melissa to let her know about the seam and to ask what I should do, sending along a photo for reference. I had a response within just a couple of hours: Melissa apologized for the trouble, saying that she'd never had a popped seam before (and, given the overall quality of the bag, I can believe it -- this woman clearly knows what she's doing!), and she asked me to send the bag back. She would fix it, mail it back the same day, and refund my shipping.

I sent the bag and my remaining fabric out the next morning via USPS Priority Mail, Melissa had it within a couple of days, and she emailed me to let me know what she'd done. Since it was obvious that she'd fixed the bag, she went ahead and made me another one! She mailed back both bags as well as what was left of my fabric, and I received them on Wednesday. You can tell that the original Travel Bag was repaired, yes, but I totally didn't expect Melissa to go to the time and trouble of making me a second bag; her commitment to her craft just blew me away. She was so sweet and concerned throughout the entire experience, too -- she really seems to care about her customers, which is becoming rare in today's society.

Good customer service is easy when everything goes right. When something goes wrong, the response is what separates the good companies from the poor. Based on this experience, Borsa Bella is a great company, and I wouldn't hesitate to do business again with Melissa or to recommend her to friends and family. If you've been on the fence about ordering a Borsa Bella bag for any reason, hop on down: the ordering experience is as wonderful as the bags are adorable! If more companies were like Borsa Bella, I think the world would be a happier place. Melissa truly went above and beyond in ensuring that I was happy with my order.

Now, as for the Kindle Travel Bag's looks... I'll let the photos speak for themselves:






































(Also shown: Hokusai Wave cover in navy and pewter sun charm from Oberon Design, and custom seashell skin from www.mytego.com. Please forgive the quality of the photos; I got sloppy when it came to cleaning up the shadows.)

The bag is put together really well, with sturdy stitching, padding, and a quilted interior to help protect your Kindle. I like the fact that the adjustable strap is removable, just in case you want to toss your Travel Bag in a larger purse or a backpack and you don't want the strap getting tangled up in everything. The zippers and other hardware seem to be of a high quality, and I appreciate the fact that the zippers are black rather than silver -- I think black goes better with this bag's colors overall (plus, it matches the strap). I really like how the fabric's design continues so flawlessly above and below the pocket zipper; it lines up perfectly, which just adds to the professional appearance of the Kindle Travel Bag.

I've had a few opportunities to take the Kindle Travel Bag out on the town with me in the past two days, and it's very comfortable to carry slung over a shoulder or across my chest. As mentioned, the Kindle fits nicely into the main compartment, and the front pocket is large enough to hold all the "essentials." Before getting my Kindle, I didn't often carry a purse, but I know I'm going to get a ton of use out of the Kindle Travel Bag.

Thank you, Melissa, for both a great product and exemplary customer service!

Grade: A+
 

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That is beautiful Jess :)
It is so good to know that Melissa handles things so well.
Especially since I have a kindle bag, and a kindle travel bag ordered :)
 

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I can believe she's never had a popped seam before; the quality on the bags I've received from her blows my mind.  You'd never know these were made in someone's home!

What a gorgeous fabric you chose, Jess--love the whole combo together. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, everybody!  :D

I considered making my own, too, patchymama; I have a sewing machine, but I'm just learning how to use it, and I figured I'd rather spend the money to get a professional-looking bag than make my own and have to deal with crooked stitches and such.  ;)  I'm so happy I did! I think the Borsa Bella fabrics offered are really cute, but none of them were quite "me," and I couldn't be happier with the custom fabric I chose. If you wanted to get a custom bag done, you can either buy your fabric locally in a store and send it to Melissa, or you can do like I did: order it online and have it sent directly to her.

If you do decide to get a custom Borsa Bella bag, you do realize that you're obligated to post photos when it arrives, right?  ;D
 

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oh I love that blue fabric - that would be my dream one for sure -

Not that I don't love my red one but Blue is my color - red was a departure for me ;)
 

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It all goes together so well  --  love the theme!

I also have to echo that Melissa does fabulous work.    I sewed professionally for a few years, and so I still look for imperfections out of habit...  and finding her kind of precision and attention to every detail is a rarity!

 

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I just discovered this thread and love the combo, Jess.

I love the quality of Melissa's work.  I've yet to contact her directly, but I did order a lord of the greens travel bag a few weeks after I received the laminated rose fabric top-zip kindle bag, because her work is so stunning.

Jess, is the Jaws logo on the cigarette box and if not, what is that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the compliments on the combo, Susan and mlewis78! :) And I still can't get over the quality of Melissa's work; as Victoria said upthread, you'd never know these bags were made in someone's home. One of these days, Melissa's gonna be famous, and we'll all be able to say, "We ordered Kindle bags from her when..." ;D

And yep, mlewis78, that is indeed the Jaws poster on my cigarette-case-as-wallet! Although what the book and movie did to the shark's reputation breaks my heart, it's still one of my favorite films. (We named our first dog "Brody" after the police chief, and the only time I've come close to crying when a celebrity has died was when Roy Scheider passed away last February.) As much as I like the cigarette case, though, it's taken a beating in my jeans pocket in the years that I've had it, and it's all but broken at this point. Beyond placing it in the outer pocket for this photoshoot, I won't get it near my Borsa Bella bag for fear that the case's sharp corners would tear the fabric. I think its eventual replacement will be a Hokusai Wave card holder from Oberon. =)
 

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Nice design and the pictures are excellent, props to the photographer
 

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jesspark said:
Thanks for the compliments on the combo, Susan and mlewis78! :) And I still can't get over the quality of Melissa's work; as Victoria said upthread, you'd never know these bags were made in someone's home. One of these days, Melissa's gonna be famous, and we'll all be able to say, "We ordered Kindle bags from her when..." ;D

And yep, mlewis78, that is indeed the Jaws poster on my cigarette-case-as-wallet! Although what the book and movie did to the shark's reputation breaks my heart, it's still one of my favorite films. (We named our first dog "Brody" after the police chief, and the only time I've come close to crying when a celebrity has died was when Roy Scheider passed away last February.) =)
Your "Jaws" poster caught my eye right away, too. I LOVE that movie, and usually watch it when the summer season is in full swing. It's a tradition in our family, much like watching "Christmas Vacation" Thanksgiving evening. ;)
 

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I'm going to have Melissa make me a custom bag, and yes, I promise to post pix.  What I really wanted to say though is how impressed I am with her customer service.  I have asked her about a million questions, and she has consistently responded within 24 hours, with very complete answers!  I'm sold, for sure.  Now I just need to get back to Hancock's to buy the fabric...

Kim
 
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