What’s In My Bag? Erin Kiley of Portland Flea-for-All

It just may be the most exciting new venture to hit Portland in months.  We’ve heard all the press and read all the stories about the Portland Flea-for-All, but one thing no one has covered is what does one of the founders, Erin Kiley, carry around with her every day?  As you can imagine, the contents are as unique & cool as Erin herself.  Let’s take a look…



Handmade Handbag -

Erin’s passion for all things salvaged and handmade was evident right off the bat.  When I asked where she got her bag, her response was a simple “I made it.”  (No big deal, right?)  Wanting a bag that fit everything but didn’t look like a “giant bag,” Erin made it by piecing together material & bits from other bags like the rivets & leather trim.  It even has a contrasting stripe lining that she salvaged from an old bag as well.  Cute, stylish & practical…if this bag was for sale at the Flea-for-All, it would get snagged right up.

Go Green -

Although the bag was blue & gray, you’d be hard-pressed to find a bag that was “greener” than Erin’s.  She truly lives a recycled, restored and salvaged lifestyle.  She made her “notebook” (for taking notes at auctions) out of scrap paper that she cut & stapled together.  She carries not one, but two, ChicoBags for her groceries.  Her checkbook – recycled.  Her wallet – she’s had since she was 16, and even though it’s leather and she’s a vegetarian, she still refuses to throw it away.  Erin’s basic mentality is that she rarely has to buy new things…she can either buy old things or make them herself.  Hmm, sounds like a great motto for the Flea-for-All, huh?

Who Needs Sephora?

Beautiful & vintage, Erin carries a perfume locket that was her Grandmother’s.  Inside is her homemade solid perfume she made with beeswax and essential oils.  Her combination of choice – vetivert, bergamot, and neroli.  Smells wonderful and is so much prettier than those silly little plastic bottles.  Again, if Erin wasn’t the owner, she could be a top seller at the Flea.  This gal is super talented.

Flea Essentials -

As we neared the end of Erin’s bag, more evidence of her love for antiquing and salvaging surfaced.  Her trusty tape measure, for all of those awesome pieces of furniture she scores for the Flea.  Some pretty handmade flowers from one of the Flea vendors that she’ll be making into pincushions (is there anything this gal doesn’t make?).  And finally, some fun random matches she found in an antique dresser she bought in Cape Elizabeth.

A big THANKS to Erin for sharing your bag (and your talents!) with us!  See you at the Flea!

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