o tote bag my tote bag
May 28, 2016 3:41 PM   Subscribe

I would like to surprise a friend by replacing her favorite tote bag, a conference giveaway that is fraying & on its next-to-last legs. Can you help me find one? The actual bag style, not what it says (i.e. conference art) is the important part. The fact that it was a conference giveaway makes me think it's available SOMEwhere, if it was used in bulk like that.

She got it in 2006 or 2008 at a museum professionals conference of some sort in Denver, but I don't remember enough to contact the organizers and ask if they happen to still know.

Specs: It's a canvas bag with a pocket on the front (or on one side, whatever). It has a set of short carrying handles. It ALSO has a long strap that allows you to wear it cross-body. I'd guess it's 9 " x 12", maybe bigger—she uses it for library books. Like this, I guess, but less fancy—the straps are sewn directly onto the bag and are not adjustable. (Plus it has that crucial front pocket.)

Any ideas? I would love to track one down for her.
posted by listen, lady to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (14 answers total)
ETA: The cross-body strap is a SINGLE strap, not a strap attached to each side of the bag. Also NOT interested in LL Bean boat style bags. Regular canvas tote, but better.
posted by listen, lady at 3:43 PM on May 28, 2016

Oh: sample image! Maybe had four sides & flat bottom like this. And no, I can't get a second look at the bag or ask her to describe it. That ship has sailed. It's a surprise, so "pretty close" is not what I'm after. I want that exact style or no bag at all.
posted by listen, lady at 3:48 PM on May 28, 2016

What are you willing to spend? This one on Etsy looks pretty close, and it's custom so you could have a pocket added to the outside.
posted by jabes at 3:53 PM on May 28, 2016

This looks perfect but it's missing the pocket. That could easily be added on!
posted by jabes at 3:58 PM on May 28, 2016

So like this except with a pocket on one side or the other?
posted by teremala at 4:01 PM on May 28, 2016

Well, the best I found was this, which has only one set of handles/straps, but which has other attractions. Same bad with different lettering that site (Bookish).
posted by SemiSalt at 4:05 PM on May 28, 2016

This one?

Also the Baggu canvas duck bag looks remarkably like what you want: no pocket though
posted by hepta at 4:06 PM on May 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Could you ring Denver's most famous museum and ask to speak to one of their staff who is in the same field as your bud? Likely they went to the same conference and might help you find the organisers who may remember the supplier. In my experience the printer of the art work has sourced the wares for these things. They tend to have relationships with suppliers.

That's how I'd sleuth it. Good luck.
posted by taff at 4:16 PM on May 28, 2016

This one is so cute - I might have to get it for myself!
posted by kbar1 at 4:32 PM on May 28, 2016

This looks perfect but it's missing the pocket.

PRETTY sure this one didn't have a zipper. And I just want the thing, not a similar thing with an addition.

It's FINE if the answer is "no, what you want cannot be found." I don't need "here's something similar to what you want maybe."
posted by listen, lady at 4:33 PM on May 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

If it helps at all, the tote likely came from the American Alliance of Museums annual conference, which was held in Denver in 2008 (it was named American Association of Museums back then.) You could call their DC headquarters to ask if they remember whence the totes came - but wait until next week because this year's conference is happening right now.
posted by AliceBlue at 4:33 PM on May 28, 2016 [4 favorites]

If it helps at all,

Yes, thank you!!!!
posted by listen, lady at 4:35 PM on May 28, 2016

[listen, lady, this needs to not turn into a dialogue. You can flag non-responsive answers if you need to rather than responding to each one. Responses from the OP should add substantive information. Helpful Mefites, please read the question closely to be sure you're answering what's asked!]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 4:37 PM on May 28, 2016 [6 favorites]

Yeah, I still have mine from that conference in active use. Mine only has one long strap, not the shorter handles - I don't know if they gave out two different types or not. I'm tempted to put mine through the wash and send it to you for your friend but it's been used so much it's probably not in much better shape than theirs. They are great bags though. If it would help I can find mine and take a photo.
posted by PussKillian at 7:35 PM on May 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

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