How I started smartalecky

t shirt bag smartalecky

Made from a T-Shirt!

So many people ask me about my bags, here is a bonus post for this week.

I’d been to college, traveled, and been part of some really special events. And for all of these events in my life I had tee shirts, piles and piles of tee shirts. I didn’t really wear them on weekends, just around the house and I definitely couldn’t wear them to work. I was now a professional and all grown up. What to do?

They were generating their own separate load on wash day, which was adding to costs. So, there, in the laundromat the idea was birthed. I came up with the idea to recycle my old tees into something more usable and creative.

In 2002 I started smartalecky and began making tee shirts into bags. Girls were so excited by the design and quality of the bags. It really moved women to be able to hold onto their memories and turn them into something usable like a handbag. The girls loved the bags and business was moving along. But what about the guys? Also, now professional and all grown up with their even larger pile of tee shirts.

This is when My Honey, then boyfriend suggested that I make something for the guys. Handing me a pile of punk tee shirts My Honey said the magic word, “pillow” and with that I began to sew up a batch of throw pillows which became a big hit! After being recognized in the New York City newspapers during the Earth Day celebration, I realized that smartalecky had something awesome to contribute to the “Green” movement.

Many shirts are part of my collection from traveling all over the world. Some are from right here in New York. I love to reconstruct t shirts to make bags, pillows, scarfs, and quilts.

I make everything by hand (no sweat shops)!


Link to the right —–>

About Tara Kamiya

I am a personality blogger of Japanese & African American marriage and motherhood. Featured in the U.S. on Four Weddings Season 2. For product reviews, speaking engagements and appearances please contact me via email:
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