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from sails to totes

June 18, 2012

Ella Vickers grew up in Beaufort, NC, in a family of avid sailors. At eight, she first sailed on a Spritzle with her father and uncles. And she has been sailing ever since.

As a first mate on the yacht Columbia years ago, Vickers was inspired by the power of the vessel’s sails. During one off-season, the yacht needed its sails replaced.

Vickers asked for the told sails and recycled them into new tote bags for herself. She  never intended to start a business. But when people offered to buy bag after bag off her shoulder, she did.

In 1998, Vickers started making the bold, water-resistant totes from recycled sailcloth in Wilmington, NC. In 2005, the company became the Ella Vickers Recycled Sailcloth Collection.

The medium and large zippered and open totes are top sellers. A medium open tote is $88 and a large zippered tote is $158. The sturdy wine bag ($55 and spinnaker shower curtains ($100-$120) are popular additions to the graphic collection.

As graphics go, the large red stars and numbers are in demand on the eco-friendly totes.

People often ask for custom numbers, signifying special dates, such as birthdays and anniversaries. But numbers three (3) and eight (8) are popular requests.

The totes are available at If you are in the Wilmington area this summer, visit the shop at 311 Judges Road.

In the Atlanta area, find some styles at The Honeybee (on facebook, visit The Honeybee) in Smyrna.

Wine totes, like the ones pictured below, can be found at the Buckhead location of Sherlock’s Wine Merchant, 3401 Northside Parkway, Atlanta.

  1. These are beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Anonymous permalink

    I actually bought these for my sister-in-law and my daughter (both sailors) last Christmas and they loved them!

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