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Daily Inspiration: Meet Julie DeCrescenzo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Julie DeCrescenzo.

Hi Julie, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Hello, my name is Julie. I started Snagz By Julie Eco-Bags following a 15 year career in Information Technology. I had always had a passion for painting, sewing and crafting. The exploration of my crafting interests and career change started when my son was in preschool a few years ago. I found enjoyment in designing and sewing reusable snack bags for his lunchbox. I enjoyed making bags that were unique to the characters and colors that he loved. It was also a great way for me to use less plastic bags for his lunches. After handcrafting a few bags for my son, I started making snack bags for my friends and family. Although I had sewed when I was younger, I was still learning my way around a sewing machine and learning about creating patterns. I started taking sewing and design classes from online and local instructors. Classes ranged from library workshops, textile shops, and a local sewing and design school. I learned how to make clothes, dresses, quilts, and pattern designing. I then took my newly acquired knowledge and joined a local community group that make quilts for foster families. I love being around people that sew or craft. I find sewing to be an escape from the drama of life. From the beginning, I fell in love with sewing and its ties to my family. As a child, I remember being around my family, working on crafts, sewing, mending, and art. While taking classes, I discovered that my favorite items to sew are reusable eco-friendly bags and products. As my sewing skills improved, my passion grew into my small business. I love being able to create something unique, functional, and environmentally friendly. I signed up my business for a local craft fair so that more people could enjoy my sustainable products. I spent many days cutting, sewing, and planning for my product display including a custom craft booth table built from repurposed items at home. My craft booth was made out of my father’s antique bird feeder and some reclaimed wood. The standard now for my business practice is to reuse and repurpose materials whenever possible. I repair and reuse vintage sewing machines, use excess fabric and material for new products, and try to incorporate zero waste practices into my business.

My customer bases are families and individuals who want to reduce plastic and waste in their everyday life. Many customers include eco-conscious people who are taking their first step to having zero waste or reduced waste homes. Since the first craft show, I have built my Snagz business by listening to people’s ideas on new products and their needs. I offer reusable snack bags, pet snack bags, produce bags, pocket-size folding grocery totes, non-paper napkins, and more. Snagz bags are great additions to a household zero waste collection and make for great gifts. If you are an astronomer, an animal lover, a skier, a hiker, a camper, I can make a beautifully designed bag for your unique taste. Recently, Snagz has been part of the Miss Colorado Earth organization. We put together instructional videos for the Miss Earth contestants on how to create their own reusable bags out of thrift store fabric. I believe strongly in buying fabric and materials from local and small businesses first. One thing that makes Snagz unique is that the product liner is made from locally sourced materials. This liner is food safe, BPA free, waterproof, and easy to care for. This year with the help of family and friends, we made masks, reusable paper towels and even reusable toilet paper during the supply shortage caused by the ongoing pandemic. Lastly, I am a proud volunteer for my City of Broomfield’s sustainable committee. The committee is a community-led volunteer group where we plan and promote sustainable practices for our community. This includes composting, waste initiatives, and cleanup efforts. Likewise, I think the Snagz brand represents that sustainability is a community effort. I am proud my business allows me to do my small part in contributing to saving the planet, and at the same time, make beautiful handmade products that people can “use and reuse” in their everyday lives.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back, would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The biggest challenge this year has been the on-going pandemic. Snagz had operated mostly in person at local craft fairs. When the in-person craft fairs shut down, I needed to focus on the online presence—building a user friendly website, connecting with customers, online videos to answer customer questions, and even sewing tutorials. Even though the pandemic was a challenge, it was also a chance to give back. During the early part of the pandemic, I was stocked and equipped to sew masks for front line workers and customers. Due to the supply shortage, I had great suggestions from customers to make unpaper napkins and even reusable toilet paper.

Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc?
Boden, Diane. Minimalist Mom Podcast. The Business of Making Podcast. Johnson, Bea. Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your Waste. (Book) Eco-Cycle A-Z Recycling Guide (app).

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  1. Annie

    February 3, 2021 at 12:24 am

    Julie very cool. Good for you for starting a small business. That’s so awesome & exciting.

    • Julie D

      February 22, 2021 at 9:38 pm

      Thanks Annie for the kind words and checking out the article.

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