On one autumn evening we invited our gold customers to the studio to capture the ageing of their bags. Leather is a natural material – over time it develops a nice patina by absorbing life elements like sunlight, moisture, splashes of water etc. We are grateful to have found people who appreciate this kind of process.
In addition to photos we also got feedback about the essence of our brand – everyone wrote why they value our products and the way we work. Enjoy browsing around!
KRISTELOwner of the Ready to Work Hard handbag
"It's always a pleasure to visit Stella Soomlais studio because it has such a great atmosphere and all the people are simply lovely! I like the thinking behind the Stella Soomlais brand – that the products are designed to use up as much leather as possible.
All Stella Soomlais products are carefully thought through and very practical. By simply changing the straps, your handbag is transformed into a clutch, your backpack becomes a handbag, etc. Thanks to the versatile minimalist design, it's easy to match the bags with everything in your wardrobe.
It's also very important to me to know where and who made my bag. And it's very convenient that they also offer a after-care service!"
ANUOwner of the Go to the Library backpack
"Stella Soomlais is a great high quality Estonian brand. I’m proud to wear Stella Soomlais bags. The design is always sustainable, long-lasting and simply beautiful which delights both your eyes and heart.
I’ve got two bags – the classic Go to the Library backpack and the Capital of Plenty clutch. I always travel with both of them – one holds my documents, money and phone. Everything else fits into my backpack. When not travelling, I use the backpack every day because it’s exactly the right size and shape for my needs. I can’t wish for a better bag than the Go to the Library backpack.
During four years, the bag hasn’t aged a day but has become very dear to me. It’s as if designed for me – very functional, very comfortable and also very handsome!"
EEVAOwner of the Go to the Library backpack
"Stella Soomlais brand offers a delightful mixture of timeless style, natural materials and ethical worldview that appeals to me. In addition to that, the designer and her team always radiate warmth and make the clients feel special."
KEITOwner of the Take a Short Day Off handbag
"I like the Stella Soomlais bags because its minimalist style allows me to wear them in a wide variety of situations and match them with different outfits.
Despite its simplicity, the design is memorable, attractive and never boring. I like that the bags are durable and high-quality which means that they look great even after several years of daily use. They also offer great advice and support on how to best care for your bags."
KATRINOwner of Ready to Work Hard and Capital of Plenty handbags
"Beautiful handbags have always been a sort of a passion of mine. I don’t always give in to these feelings of affection but while travelling during the last few years, I’ve often found myself getting deliberately lost at antiques markets which has meant that several bags with long stories to tell have found their way home with me.
But then there was Stella. I think that once you see her and her team’s work, you’ll know instantly that it’s theirs. The creativity that they sew into leather stands out with its simplicity and originality which completely justifies any purchase you make from them.
In addition to that, I like that we hold the same values. Stella Soomlais bags can be given a new life and that’s a way of thinking I approve of."
ANNA-MARIAOwner of the Treasure Box handbag
"I like the Stella Soomlais bags because they are stylish, made with love and Estonian. I’ve never been a big fan of large bags because stuff tends to get lost in them. The Treasure Box handbag is exactly the right size to fit everything you need. It’s designed in a way that you can wear it casually on your everyday errands and also take it with you to more formal events."
MERLEOwner of a custom made bag
"Accessories, including bags, are the dot on the i. It’s the detail that hides the devil. The laconic Stella Soomlais bag design freed from the shackles of ornaments and excessive decor is striking and even iconic. It’s the dot on the i that hits the spot.
But it’s much more than that. I like that I know the person who came up with the design of my bag and I know where it was made, that they’ve thought of what happens after and designed an entire life cycle for my bag. I also like that I know where to turn if I ever have a problem with my bag.
This reminds me of David Vseviov who explains in the ERR video clip for “Üks lugu” (“One Story”) his idea of why we need culture. He describes a fleeting meeting in a candy queue at the market – a large black cat was sitting under the counter which reminded him and the others in front of him of Bulgakov’s cat. This cat which was part of a mundane everyday chore became such a meaningful symbol that made complete strangers look at each other to express their surprise and shared understanding.
This is a story of how literature creates a common ground and invisible bond that goes beyond language or upbringing. Vseviov claims that only culture can create these glances where we instantly understand each other.
I feel that design can achieve a similar effect. If you meet your bag’s brother or sister in a mundane situation, then you’ll instantly know that you share the same mindscape with the owner – you feel like you almost know each other and you feel the urge to give them a kind nod."
SILVIAOwner of a custom made bag
"All fashion designers, journalists and stylists are always repeating this famous mantra – purchase quality base items that you can wear everyday and in every situation. Then add a few exciting accessories and a show-stopping dress as an accent to bring your outfit to life.
I say this myself everyday but still my wardrobe consists exclusively of these quirky accents! When I wake up on a typical morning and have to choose something to wear that would be suitable for work and also practical enough that I could run to the pool afterwards and then go straight to the theatre followed by a visit to my friend’s for a sneaky glass of wine, then I never have anything to wear!
But I’ve got a Stella Soomlais bag which has space for my laptop, swimming costume, towel, heels, handful of pearls, bottle of wine and everything else I might need for my day! The bag is also so attractive that it doesn't matter what I’m wearing anyway because people will only notice my bag. It’s a bag that always saves the day!"
KEIUOwner of a custom made bag
"Broadly speaking, there are three reasons why my wardrobe includes three Stella Soomlais bags (all of them carry different functions, honestly!).
Firstly, there’s the aesthetics – the bags are simply beautiful. At least in my eyes. Secondly, there’s the practicality – they’re durable. It’s also great from a values point of view to invest into something that lasts instead of adding to the piles of rubbish, unused material and mistreatment of workers that comes with fast fashion.
Thirdly, there are the stories – a product on its own is boring but an item which tells a story and reminds you of conversations with people you like carries with it pleasant thoughts in addition to whatever it holds inside. My bag tells the story of Stella and her colleagues and my friends who gave me my first Stella Soomlais bag as a gift years ago."
MARTOwner of a custom made bag
"Stella Soomlais brand has a distinct face, plan and vision. I like how innovative they are and how they want to do things differently. After four years of use, my bag still looks good, is practical and stands out from the crowd."
MADLEENOwner of the Capital of Plenty handbag
"At first, I turned to Stella Soomlais studio because they’re an Estonian brand and I think it’s important to support Estonian companies. It also helped that the products look gorgeous – minimalist and sufficiently timeless but also unique and fresh.
Stella Soomlais brand adds value with the good quality of the products and the brand’s sustainable thinking. I also enjoy their direct, caring and sincere communication with the clients.
The bag is incredibly high quality because of both the leather they’ve used and the way it’s made. It also doesn’t hurt that every time I go out with my bag, I always receive a compliment for either my bag or my choice of brand."
AVEOwner of the Ready to Work Hard, Take a Long Day Off and Capital of Plenty handbags
"Stella Soomlais has for several years been the only brand whose bags I purchase. Firstly because they’ve made the Perfect Bag for All Occasions especially for me.
Secondly because I truly believe that a high quality bag should remain a loyal companion for years or even decades. Thoughtful design (and I also enjoy their aesthetics very much), very high quality, emphasis on sustainability and beautiful people behind the brand are what makes Stella Soomlais brand so special.
Everything is right, my soul is happy and my eyes like what they see!"
ANNOwner of the Go to the Library backpack
"I’ve worn my Stella Soomlais bag every single day for four years in a row. You can see it from how the leather has worn over time. I’ve changed the zips but otherwise it hasn’t let me down once. I’ve used it as a laptop bag, grocery bag, pillow or foot rest during long trips, picnic table and several other things. My whole life fits into this bag."
PRIITOwner of a custom made bag
"I’m happy with my bag because it’s durable and reminds me of my 30th birthday when I received the bag as a gift. I’m also grateful that the Stella Soomlais team shows interest in my bag’s condition and offers maintenance now and again."
MONIKAOwner of the Go to the Library backpack and a custom made bag
"Stella Soomlais bags are my trusty companions. I like their robust and simple style and material which is durable, genuine and alive. The quality is simply exquisite – I’m still using the first version of the Go to the Library bag every single day which has gone through several refreshes in the studio!
I used to share working space with Stella for many years, so I’ve seen how the brand has developed and I would go to the end of the world with her, her team and her bags."
KATREOwner of a custom made bag
"I’ve got three Stella Soomlais bags. They’re all completely different models so you can see that I’m a big fan of Stella Soomlais bags. Firstly, I like how the bags look. They are elegant but also youthful and fit for a trendy hipster. You can wear them with a dress and heels but also with sneakers and jeans.
Secondly, I like the idea that I’m supporting Estonian handicraft. Thirdly, I like that the bags are made of real leather and that I can take my bags in for a refresh now and again or even do it myself at the studio."
HELE-MALLOwner of the Ready to Work Hard handbag
"I like products that have been soulfully created by people with beautiful souls. The work they do is of such high quality and the products last for a long time and will always bring you joy. They approach their clients with the same dedication – they are always happy and helpful.
I’ve got five Stella Soomlais bags and a glasses case. Even though the glasses case is the smallest, it’s so cheerfully yellow – every time when I’m searching for it from my bag (I keep a lot of necessary things in my bag), I always find it easily. And if I’m not in the best mood, a quick glimpse at my glasses case always makes everything a little bit better."