Sea Bags Maine has nearly 40 retail locations across the United States, four of which opened in Michigan in 2020. Charlevoix was lucky enough to gain a Sea Bags location at 325 Bridge Street in downtown. It is a great complement to Charlevoix's business mix with the emphasis of sustainability and proximity to the 2021 Best Harbor in the United States. Sea Bags has not hesitated to jump in and support community initiatives, including being a participating business for the new Charlevoix Downtown Dollars Gift Card program and sponsoring the Live on the Lake Summer Concerts.
Charlevoix Main Street DDA sent a list of questions to the Sea Bags team to highlight the unique features of their business and why they chose Charlevoix. Read on to learn more!
Tell us a little bit about the business.
Sea Bags are totes and accessories handcrafted from recycled sail cloth. Since 1999, we’ve saved over 700 tons of sails from the landfill.
Every Sea Bag is made in Portland, Maine from materials sourced from within the United States. We use one of the last remaining thread manufacturers in the U.S. and one of a few rope manufacturers in New England.
Why did Sea Bags choose to open a store in downtown Charlevoix?
Charlevoix, with its proximity on the shores of Lake Michigan, offered many qualities important to Sea Bags. The charming downtown area combined with a passionate sailing community, large seasonal tourist population, and storefront on Highway 31 with views of Round Lake, made it the ideal location for a Sea Bags store. Additionally, the warm welcome and generous support offered by the local community after moving into our store confirmed our belief that Charlevoix was a perfect choice.
What do you enjoy most about the Charlevoix area?
Charlevoix enjoys a scenic natural wonderland for every season. This area offers ideal settings for family recreational activities throughout the year like snow skiing, water skiing, boating, swimming, and camping. Hotel accommodations, fine restaurants, shopping, and many cultural events provide entertainment and options for any family outing. The peacefulness and safety of the area provides stability in health care, law enforcement, and community support for its visitors as well as for full-time residents. Service amenities are available throughout the year and help make the area very accessible from surrounding urban areas such as Chicago, Detroit, Lansing, and Indianapolis. However, the things that are most obvious and welcoming are the friendliness and hospitality offered by its residents!
What is something unique about your store/business?
We acquire sails through our sail trade program where individuals can receive Sea Bags in exchange for retired sails. We’ll even make a bag out of your sail. Sail trades can be done in our retail stores so if you live in the Charlevoix area, you can come right to the store with your sails—no appointment needed.
How would you describe downtown Charlevoix?
Charlevoix’s downtown provides many modern choices and conveniences while projecting a “small-town” demeanor where no question or request is dismissed or unappreciated. Nestled along Highway 31, Charlevoix sits on a major travel artery for any traveler heading north to the Mackinac Straits or south to Traverse City!
How has Charlevoix Main Street DDA helped your business?
The city of Charlevoix and the Main Street DDA has offered many supportive programs, especially during this past pandemic year, to help stores with everything from resources in developing strategic business plans, to providing various grant programs and assistance for local businesses, to providing many community-wide events focused upon bringing people downtown. The DDA also helps to advocate for business concerns large or small.
What’s your favorite thing about your product?
Every Sea Bag is one-of-a-kind. It’s common for our products to have features from the original sail, like stitching and hardware, in addition to character marks from its previous life on the water. Plus, sails are made from a range of materials, so the feel varies from bag to bag based on the type of sail it was made from.
What customers are saying:
"We stopped in yesterday as we were shopping along Bridge St. We were super impressed with the quality and sustainability of these bags made from recycled sails. The shopkeeper was really friendly and helpful. We enjoyed chatting with her while we shopped." - Jesse Locklear, Google Review
"I love these bags. Such a cool use of vintage sails. The staff here was so helpful in finding the exact bag I was looking for. They went above and beyond. Friendly, and the best customer service! Highly recommend!!" - Suzanne Brown, Google Review
Visit the Charlevoix Sea Bags location today!
325 Bridge Street
Charlevoix, MI 49720