Last fall, Roy Badgley noticed a pile of empty coffee sacks while roasting coffee beans at the Midlothian Village Square Café Caturra. "The coffee [bags held] 280 to 340 pounds of green coffee," says Badgley, former directing partner at Café Caturra. He hated to pitch them because "they come from all over the world, and each bag is interesting and has different designs." After chatting with customers and colleagues, Badgley met with Julie Brooks, a Midlothian resident who was formerly a designer with Jones New York. Together they created Caffeine, a line of recycled, casual handbags, including the Patchwork bag, which recycles leftover pieces of the coffee-bean bags, transforming them into chic totes. Brooks' husband, David, CEO of Richmond's ACF Environmental (a supplier using environmental solutions to keep streams clean), forged a partnership with Badgley and his wife, using seamstresses in the ACF warehouse to make the bags. "The lead [tailor] had actually sewn handbags in Mexico," Badgley says. "He just went to town with really cool ideas."
Badgley picks up coffee sacks from Café Caturra, Blanchard's Coffee Co., Rostov's Coffee & Tea and from Allegro Coffee, sold at Whole Foods Market. ACF seamstresses sew about 50 handbags per month. Most recently, Brooks and Badgley launched Geogirl, a line of handbags made from jute, a hemp product that is highly sustainable. The line isn't just for Bohemians — it includes a bright-pink clutch adorned with a bow. Their lines received international coverage last month, with 100 of the bags featured in a fashion show in Dublin, thanks to one of Badgley's longtime friends.
Handbags of assorted styles ($18 to $30) are sold across the Richmond area at Confetti (2005-A Huguenot Road, 560-9012), Gather (920 Mount Hermon Road, 379-0441), Need Supply Co. (3010 W. Cary St., 767-1825) and Good Foods Grocery (1312 Gaskins Road, 740-3518; 3062 Stony Point Road, 320-6767). For more information, contact Badgley (301-6616) or Brooks (334-3635).