Let’s Get Crafty: Bagus Bags

Bagus (Indonesian): nice, beautiful lovely


During my time in Indonesia I needed something more. I was teaching and writing, but needed to fill my spare time with something that got me on fire for the country I lived in, I needed a unique way to relate and really remember the culture. I heard of other expat women who used their time and talent to make and sell beautiful goods from Indonesia – bags, necklaces etc; I wondered if I could do the same, so I started searching. What I found particular potential in was a textile called Batik. This silky fabric with beautiful motifs and amazing colors seemed to sum up the dynamic time I spent there. Made all over Indonesia, Batik is found on every island with respective designs and colors. This unique fabric was even UNESCO designated as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2009. Typically, Batik is made using a manual wax-resist dyeing technique with colors of brown, white and indigo, but you can find every color imaginable and even machine printed styles. As you can guess, I devoted my spare time to finding beautiful fabric which later turned into bags, purses, wallets, totes and even iPad cases. I was in awe. I wanted to test what people in Texas thought and their reaction was really a delight. The bags sold well and customers were more than interested in exotic, unique souvenirs from a faraway place.

So became Bagus Bags. A line of travel accessories with a colorful story and cultural heritage. As I return to Asia, I will continue my search for beautiful Batik fabric and the creation will continue. Indonesia is truly a beautiful and intrinsicallly creative country. Anyway, there’s more to come and I can’t wait to share it with you. Here are some photos to preview just some of the designs and styles.

Terima Kasih! Thank you!




  1. Carla Flores

    I bought one of the bags when you were in San Antonio at First Friday. I loved it so much that I wish I bought the whole set. When will it be able to purchase again? I really loved it!

    1. Monica Araceli

      I’m SO happy you liked your bag, Carla! That’s great. The good news is that I will be producing more in the coming months and will let you know as soon as I can ship them to Texas. Which bag did you purchase?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.