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Haut Totes + Giveaway

I was over the moon in awe and admiration when I stumbled upon Haut Totes. The wide variety of tote bags, pouches and cell phone bags, are nothing close to ordinary! Did I mention, that they are all hand made with exclusive fabrics, in Northern Nevada, by Melissa Lewis?!

I read her brief introduction on her etsy page and was so inspired, that I knew I had to introduce her to you. Yes, you guessed it! Melissa is Nina on the Moon’s Honorary Sister for the month of October! 

Not only is Melissa Lewis the creative master-mind  behind the uniquely diverse, hand bag collection, Haut Totes, she is also an empowering mother to two young girls, Satori and Sydney.

The love Melissa has for herself, her family and life, truly exudes through her product! Just take a look at all of the bold and vibrant prints! Melissa does it all, she cuts, sews, packs and ships every single bag. I hadn’t seen purses like these before, they are so much fun and feminine, I can’t help but smile! 

Please take the time to read (and hopefully be inspired!) my brief interview with Melissa!

1. How did Haut Totes get its start? I am a stay at home mom to two young girls. My older daughter has a neuromuscular condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy and uses a power wheelchair which makes it hard for her to carry a purse. She complained that the bags available for wheelchairs were so boring and ugly. So, I made her a pink skull and hot pink faux fur bag that attaches to the side of her wheel chair. Long story short, since that happened in 2008, I have made and shipped literally thousands of bags all over the world.


2. Do you have a plan (“motto”) for life and business?
– Laugh a little, life is short
– Believe in yourself and your product
– Plan for success
– Be flexible and open to new ideas
– Be organized
(above: Melissa’s studio)
3.  How do your daughters influence your work? My daughter were the reason I started Haut Totes, and the reason I continue with it. I do love the sewing, but if it weren’t for the fact that my sewing pays for some of the extra things we wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise, I certainly wouldn’t do it 70 hours a week!

4. You have done some travelling around the world, what is your favourite or most influential place? As for travel, I have been lucky enough to do a fair amount. I lived in Russia in 1993-94 and spent quite a bit of time in Turkey and Ghana. As well as shorter (few weeks) visits to Egypt, Australia, Netherlands, New Zealand, etc. I think the most inspirational place I’ve been would be Odumase Krobo, Ghana. I went there a few years back and stayed with a powder glass bead maker and his family for a month. The colours and textiles in Ghana are so vibrant and the people were extremely friendly and welcoming.
5. How has your practice changed over time? How do you deal with that pressure? I’m still trying to improve the way I deal with stress. My business has become far more successful than I anticipated and my “part-time” job is now 70-80 hours a week. I try to be very organized in my sewing studio or I lose huge amounts of time and REALLY stress out looking for stuff! I have to admit that laundry piles up, and I cook more frozen foods than I used to, but sometimes deciding to make frozen lasagna for dinner and taking the extra half hour you might have used cooking, to soak in a hot bath with a cup of tea does wonders for stress.
6. Any words of advice/tips for people who want to express their creativity, but don’t know how? Believe in yourself and your product!










Melissa would like to spread the love to TWO Nina on the Moon readers! The first giveaway will be the large, Pinup “Lovely Latinas” Tote Bag, and the second is the “Lovely Latina” Pinup Girl Zippered Pouch!



(Above: Large Pinup “Lovely Latinas” Tote Bag)

(Above: “Lovely Latina” Pinup Girl Zippered Pouch)
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93 Comments

  • Reply chillin with Quillin

    That is an awsome interview, she is really talented and does lovely work, she deserves alot of credit for what she does including taking care of her family, great job!!!!
    Paula

    October 10, 2011 at 3:45 pm
  • Reply Deppa

    Oh good luck to everyone!
    Pretty designs and also pretty inspiration to create something fabulous.

    See you!

    October 10, 2011 at 3:54 pm
  • Reply If Curves Could Talk (Stefanie)

    I did the following!

    1. Follow Nina on the Moon
    2. Like Nina on the Moon Facebook
    3. Like Haut Totes Facebook
    4. Follow@HautTotes

    Stefanie@ifcurvescouldtalk.com

    October 10, 2011 at 4:33 pm
  • Reply lasophia

    what an inspiring woman! I love how organized her studio is! I don’t think I’ll ever get anywhere until I get organized. You shouldn’t see my room haha.

    October 10, 2011 at 6:30 pm
  • Reply meki

    I did the following!

    1. Follow Nina on the Moon as meki
    2. Like Nina on the Moon Facebook
    3. Like Haut Totes Facebook
    4. Follow@HautTotes

    melody_1504(at)yahoo(dot)com

    October 11, 2011 at 3:49 pm
  • Reply Kimberly W

    I did the following!

    1. Follow Nina on the Moon – Kimberly W
    2. Like Nina on the Moon Facebook – Kimberly Fine Wright
    3. Like Haut Totes Facebook- Kimberly Fine Wright
    4. Follow@HautTotes as @ WrightWin
    halochanel at gmail dot com

    Stefanie@ifcurvescouldtalk.com

    October 11, 2011 at 4:28 pm
  • Reply Kimberly W

    Blogged
    http://welcometothefabfactory.blogspot.com/2011/10/win-haut-totes.html
    halochanel at gmail dot com

    October 11, 2011 at 4:29 pm
  • Reply Kimberly W

    I follow Nia On the Moon on twitter @ WrightWin
    halochanel at gmail dot com

    October 11, 2011 at 4:31 pm
  • Reply Kimberly W

    tweeted
    http://twitter.com/#!/WrightWin/status/123795443795759105
    halochanel at gmail dot com

    October 11, 2011 at 4:32 pm
  • Reply Kimberly W

    I Let Melissa know which is your favorite tote on her facebook (Kimberly Fine Wright)
    halochanel at gmail dot com

    October 11, 2011 at 4:33 pm
  • Reply Nina

    perfect!! 🙂

    October 11, 2011 at 5:52 pm
  • Reply fashion meets art

    wonderful blog, i’m following you now. hope you’ll follow me back. if you can’t see my google member list, please press F5 . thank you so much, honey!
    wish you wonderful day.
    maren anita

    http://www.fashion-meets-art.blogspot.com

    October 11, 2011 at 6:03 pm
  • Reply Sandy D

    Her craft room makes me wanna cry. SO awesome!!!

    October 11, 2011 at 7:21 pm
  • Reply Gabi

    beautiful designs! great interview.
    thanks for you comment. I follow you now.
    bye!

    October 11, 2011 at 7:51 pm
  • Reply Vicky

    Happy I saw this on LLB! Really enjoyed the interview and this tote is exactly my lil sis’ style! Hope I win for her! 😀

    I did the following!

    1. Followed Nina on the Moon
    2. Liked Nina on the Moon Facebook
    3. Liked Haut Totes Facebook
    4. Followed @HautTotes

    Vickye29 at gmail.com

    @DocSabia

    http://www.kindnessandkisses.com

    October 11, 2011 at 9:30 pm
  • Reply MiLulu

    I hope this is international -it would be so cool to have one of her totes!

    I follow Nina on the Moon: GFC- Lulu
    I like Nina on the Moon Facebook: Olesia Flegka
    I like Haut Totes Facebook: Olesia Flegka
    I follow@HautTotes: @LuluFleg

    I sent follower request to @ninaonthemoon: @LuluFleg
    Tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/LuluFleg/status/124060533363179522

    redalepou@yahoo.com

    October 12, 2011 at 9:56 am
  • Reply BellaVida

    I follow on GFC, Liked both FB pages BellaVida Letty and on twitter @BellaVidaLetty.

    The bag is gorgeous!

    October 12, 2011 at 5:24 pm
  • Reply Lori

    I did it too 🙂

    1. Follow Nina on the Moon as meki
    2. Like Nina on the Moon Facebook
    3. Like Haut Totes Facebook
    4. Follow@HautTotes

    Now I will go in for a more detailed look

    October 12, 2011 at 10:06 pm
  • Reply Lori

    And i love the bag!!

    October 12, 2011 at 10:07 pm
  • Reply planettreasures

    Fabulous!
    I am so insanely jealous of her studio!
    I am now following this blog + like on FB + like Haut totes on Fb.
    I was already a Haut tote twitter follower.

    October 13, 2011 at 11:23 pm
  • Reply Marcela

    I followed on GFC, FB, Haut totes on twitter and FB too!

    October 14, 2011 at 5:45 pm
  • Reply Marcela

    I follow you on twitter now( :

    October 14, 2011 at 5:46 pm
  • Reply Burcin

    Hi hun!

    gfc: Burcin
    email: burcin.cevik.bir at gmail dot com

    fb name: Burcin
    twitter name: Burcidi

    Also following you on twitter!

    October 14, 2011 at 9:00 pm
  • Reply JillHogan

    I did all of the mandatory entries
    (JillHogan on GFC; jill.hogan on Facebook; @jill_hogan on twitter)

    October 14, 2011 at 9:36 pm
  • Reply JillHogan

    I sent a request to follow @ninaonthemoon on twitter
    @jill_hogan

    October 14, 2011 at 9:37 pm
  • Reply JillHogan

    I commented on her Facebook page as jill.hogan about the Goth Steampunk girl tote.

    October 14, 2011 at 9:40 pm
  • Reply DESPINA

    I did the first three but don’t have a Twitter account :-/
    GFC: deb_oro
    FB: Despina Vnt
    I hope my entry is valid. Amazing presentation, thank you…

    DESPINA
    deb_oro@yahoo.gr

    October 14, 2011 at 10:27 pm
  • Reply pinkim

    OK, I did the first 4 for one entry…thank you for stopping by my little pink blog…Pinkim

    October 15, 2011 at 3:11 am
  • Reply pinkim

    I sent you a follow request on twitter for another entry…

    October 15, 2011 at 3:12 am
  • Reply AlliesAdornments

    GFC #574

    October 15, 2011 at 3:19 am
  • Reply AlliesAdornments

    FB like Haut Totes #3128

    October 15, 2011 at 3:23 am
  • Reply AlliesAdornments

    Already following HautTotes, sent a Twitter request from @AlliesAdornment

    October 15, 2011 at 3:26 am
  • Reply kindy

    1. Followed Nina on the Moon -GFC: kindy sohkhlet newmai
    2. Liked Nina on the Moon Facebook-kindy sohkhlet newmai
    3. Liked Haut Totes Facebook-
    4. Followed @HautTotes-@thatskindy
    Thanks for stopping by my blog! 🙂

    October 15, 2011 at 3:45 am
  • Reply kindy

    sent you a follow request on twitter:@thatskindy
    commented on HauteTotes facebook page.
    tweet:https://twitter.com/#!/thatskindy/status/125055396112113665
    thanks!

    October 15, 2011 at 3:52 am
  • Reply Cerena Leigh

    -I’m a gfc follower of yours (luckycldh)
    -I follow HautTotes on twitter (@cerenaleigh)
    -I like HautTotes on FB (Cerena Hammond)
    -I like NinaontheMoon on FB (Cerena Hammond)

    Cerena Leigh
    Luckycldh(at)aol(dot)com

    October 15, 2011 at 4:07 am
  • Reply Dominique

    -I follow you on GFC: Dominique
    -I like you on FB: Nikki Marie
    -I like HautTotes on FB: Nikki Marie
    -I follow HautTotes on Twitter: @laylees

    couponcookie at gmail dot com

    October 15, 2011 at 10:11 am
  • Reply Dominique

    I sent a follow request to you on Twitter: @laylees

    couponcookie at gmail dot com

    October 15, 2011 at 10:13 am
  • Reply fisiwoman

    Enter me please! I love the giveaway!

    1. Follow Nina on the Moon (gfc is fisiwoman)
    2. Like Nina on the Moon Facebook (Ana Belén R M)
    3. Like Haut Totes Facebook
    4. Follow@HautTotes (@Fisigiawa).

    Ana Belén R.M
    fisiwoman(at)hotmail(dot)com
    Spain

    October 15, 2011 at 10:13 am
  • Reply fisiwoman

    I sent a follow request to you on Twitter (@Fisigiawa)

    Ana Belén R.M
    fisiwoman(at)hotmail(dot)com
    Spain

    October 15, 2011 at 10:14 am
  • Reply fisiwoman

    Tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/Fisigiawa/status/125152090434711552

    Ana Belén R.M
    fisiwoman(at)hotmail(dot)com
    Spain

    October 15, 2011 at 10:14 am
  • Reply fisiwoman

    Commented on her FB too.

    Ana Belén R.M
    fisiwoman(at)hotmail(dot)com
    Spain

    October 15, 2011 at 10:15 am
  • Reply Dominique

    Left a comment via FB: Nikki Marie

    http://www.facebook.com/HautTotes?ref=ts#!/HautTotes/posts/10150329367101485

    couponcookie at gmail dot com

    October 15, 2011 at 10:17 am
  • Reply Dominique

    Tweeted:

    http://twitter.com/#!/laylees/status/125153885814927360

    couponcookie at gmail dot com

    October 15, 2011 at 10:20 am
  • Reply Boheme.Fille

    I’m a follower of your blog, I also like you and HautTotes on fb with the name Simona Floroaia. I follow @HautTotes on twitter with LaBohemeFille.

    boheme.fille@yahoo.com

    October 15, 2011 at 10:29 am
  • Reply Boheme.Fille

    I follow @Ninaonthemoon on twitter.

    October 15, 2011 at 10:30 am
  • Reply Boheme.Fille

    i let Melissa know what my favorite tote is on her fb page with the name Simona Floroaia.

    October 15, 2011 at 10:31 am
  • Reply Jenny

    hi…I follow you..

    GFC name: Jenny

    twosisters8795@hotmail.com

    October 15, 2011 at 2:14 pm
  • Reply Jenny

    I have liked Nina on the Moon Facebook

    Name: My dreams and my reality

    twosisters8795@hotmail.com

    October 15, 2011 at 2:15 pm
  • Reply Jenny

    I have like Haut Totes Facebook

    Name: My dreams and my reality

    twosisters8795@hotmail.com

    October 15, 2011 at 2:15 pm
  • Reply Jenny

    I follow@HautTotes

    Name: Jennilicious

    twosisters8795@hotmail.com

    October 15, 2011 at 2:16 pm
  • Reply Jenny

    I follow @Ninaonthemoon

    Name: Jennilicious

    twosisters8795@hotmail.com

    October 15, 2011 at 2:17 pm
  • Reply aMz88

    hi 😀 thank u for inviting me ^^

    1. Follow Nina on the Moon (GFC amz88)
    2. Like Nina on the Moon Facebook (aimee kheer)
    3. Like Haut Totes Facebook (aimee kheer)
    4. Follow@HautTotes (AmzDragonSlayer)

    Extra entries (1 each)
    2. Follow @Ninaonthemoon (AmzDragonSlayer)
    3. Tweet about the giveaway, and mention @ninaonthemoon and @haut totes (AmzDragonSlayer)
    4. Let Melissa know which is your favorite tote by leaving a comment on her facebook (aimee kheer)

    thank u muchie 🙂

    October 15, 2011 at 4:21 pm
  • Reply Bee W Bedard

    completed all 4 mandatory entries
    FB: Brenda Witherspoon-Bedard
    GFC: Brenda Witherspoon
    Twitter: @BeeWBedard
    brendawitherspoon at hotmail dot com

    October 15, 2011 at 4:28 pm
  • Reply Bee W Bedard

    Following @Ninaonthemoon
    brendawitherspoon at hotmail dot com

    October 15, 2011 at 4:29 pm
  • Reply Bee W Bedard

    Let Melissa know which is my favorite tote by leaving a comment on her facebook
    brendawitherspoon at hotmail dot com

    October 15, 2011 at 4:31 pm
  • Reply Maegan Morin

    I follow Nina on the Moon on GFC (same name)
    I like Nina on the Moon on facebook (same name)
    I like Haut Totes on facebook (same name)
    I follow Haut Totes on twitter as zaira_faith

    megnate at telus dot net

    October 16, 2011 at 6:17 am
  • Reply Yto

    1. Follow Nina on the Moon as Yto
    2. Like Nina on the Moon Facebook as Elena Vogel
    3. Like Haut Totes Facebook as Elena Vogel
    4. Follow@HautTotes as Yto77

    witchvela at web dot de

    thanks for the giveaway ^^

    October 18, 2011 at 8:28 pm
  • Reply Yto

    i Follow @Ninaonthemoon as Yto77

    witchvela at web dot de

    October 18, 2011 at 8:29 pm
  • Reply Yto

    tweet: https://twitter.com/#!/Yto77/status/126394744753496064

    witchvela at web dot de

    October 18, 2011 at 8:31 pm
  • Reply Oana

    GFC: Oana
    Like Nina on the Moon Facebook: Oana Catalina
    Like Haut Totes Facebook: Oana Catalina
    Follow@HautTotes: @kittyqtza

    oana [dot] catalyna [at] yahoo [dot] com

    October 19, 2011 at 6:48 am
  • Reply Oana

    Twitter follower of you: @kittyqtza

    oana [dot] catalyna [at] yahoo [dot] com

    October 19, 2011 at 6:49 am
  • Reply Oana

    Tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/kittyqtza/status/126550942643527680

    oana [dot] catalyna [at] yahoo [dot] com

    October 19, 2011 at 6:51 am
  • Reply uno uno

    I did the following!

    1. Follow Nina on the Moon as meki
    2. Like Nina on the Moon Facebook
    3. Like Haut Totes Facebook
    4. Follow@HautTotes

    my email: sois00@yahoo.de

    and I wish luck to all 😉

    October 22, 2011 at 8:36 am
  • Reply itin

    1. Follow Nina on the Moon via GFC: Itin

    2. Like Nina on the Moon Facebook: Itin Bique Calvo

    3. Like Haut Totes Facebook: Itin Bique Calvo

    4. Follow@HautTotes on twitter: @itinbiquecalvo

    extra…

    Follow @Ninaonthemoon on twitter: @itinbiquecalvo

    Tweeted about the giveaway: https://twitter.com/#!/itinbiquecalvo/status/128037588144631808

    Favorite tote: https://www.facebook.com/HautTotes/posts/10150338591971485

    email: itinbcalvo@gmail.com

    October 23, 2011 at 9:28 am
  • Reply oksana

    GFC follower: ksyshenka
    I like you on FB: Oksana Vadimirovna
    I Like Haut Totes Facebook and sent regards from you:
    https://www.facebook.com/HautTotes/posts/10150346293781485
    Following @HautTotes on Twitter! (@oksana2372)

    Thank you for the chance!

    ksyshenka(at)yahoo(dot)com

    October 30, 2011 at 10:23 am
  • Reply oksana

    Following you on Twitter! (@oksana2372)

    ksyshenka(at)yahoo(dot)com

    October 30, 2011 at 10:32 am
  • Reply oksana

    Tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/#!/oksana2372/status/130591581827891200

    (@oksana2372)

    ksyshenka(at)yahoo(dot)com

    October 30, 2011 at 10:33 am
  • Reply oksana

    I let Melissa know which is my favorite tote by leaving a comment on her facebook:

    https://www.facebook.com/HautTotes/posts/10150346302361485

    (oksana vladimirovna)

    ksyshenka(at)yahoo(dot)com

    October 30, 2011 at 10:40 am
  • Reply AdelpheBre

    I did it!
    Followed(AdelpheBre), liked Nina on the Moon and Haut Totes on FB (Breonna Roberts), & followed @ HautTotes (@AdelpheBre). Whew! 🙂

    November 4, 2011 at 2:02 am
  • Reply AdelpheBre

    Following @ninaonthemoon too! (@AdelpheBre)

    November 4, 2011 at 2:04 am
  • Reply AdelpheBre

    Left a FB comment for Melissa. This is my fave: http://www.etsy.com/listing/51480624/empress-garden-golden-peacock-tote-bag

    November 4, 2011 at 2:10 am
  • Reply christina

    Hi, I’m joining 🙂

    1. Follow Nina on the Moon via GFC as Christina De Castro
    2. Like Nina on the Moon Facebook as Teng De Castro
    3. Like Haut Totes Facebook as Teng De Castro
    4. Follow@HautTotes as @tinay0723

    Extra entries (1 each)
    1. Blog about here: http://wannabesupermommy.blogspot.com/2011/11/haut-totes.html

    at FB here: http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=134631043309146&id=230544870294275

    2. Follow @Ninaonthemoon as @tinay0723
    3. Tweet about the giveaway and mentioned @ninaonthemoon and @haut totes here:
    https://twitter.com/#!/tinay0723/status/132746387501748224
    4. Let Melissa know my favorite tote on her facebook here:
    http://www.facebook.com/HautTotes/posts/10150353063696485

    November 5, 2011 at 9:19 am
  • Reply wickedfaerie

    Great giveaway, I am following Nina on the Moon and I liked her on facebook.

    Thanks
    Sue

    wickedfaerie13@gmail.com

    November 6, 2011 at 12:27 am
  • Reply Ľubaša

    I did all 4 for the first entry
    FB Lubka Kotmanikova
    twitter, GFC Lubaska
    lubaska dot k at gmail dot com

    November 6, 2011 at 6:42 am
  • Reply Ľubaša

    I follow you on twitter (Lubaska)
    lubaska dot k at gmail dot com

    November 6, 2011 at 6:42 am
  • Reply Ľubaša

    I tweeted
    http://twitter.com/#!/Lubaska/status/133073038416687104
    lubaska dot k at gmail dot com

    November 6, 2011 at 6:48 am
  • Reply Ľubaša

    I shared my fav tote on her FB page: https://www.facebook.com/HautTotes/posts/10150354014626485
    lubaska dot k at gmail dot com

    November 6, 2011 at 6:53 am
  • Reply hofken

    1. I Follow Nina on the Moon – Cynthia Richardson
    2. I Like Nina on the Moon Facebook – Cynthia M Richardson
    3. I Like Haut Totes Facebook – Cynthia M Richardzon
    4. I Follow@HautTotes @hofken

    Cynthia.Richardson@azbar.org

    November 6, 2011 at 6:57 pm
  • Reply hofken

    I Follow @Ninaonthemoon @hofken

    Cynthia.Richardson@azbar.org

    November 6, 2011 at 7:19 pm
  • Reply Marina

    I am following your page as Marina D., I liked both pages on facebook as Marina M.B. and I am following on twitter as isollea 🙂

    isollea at gmail dot com

    November 7, 2011 at 12:36 pm
  • Reply Marina

    I am also following you on a twitter as an extra entry 🙂
    isollea at gmail dot com

    November 7, 2011 at 12:40 pm
  • Reply Armada Volya

    Did all 4 (my name is Armada Volya on both FB and Twitter)
    armada@armadasartcorner.com

    November 7, 2011 at 3:26 pm
  • Reply Armada Volya

    following you on twitter

    November 7, 2011 at 3:39 pm
  • Reply Armada Volya

    left a post on Melisa’s FB page

    November 7, 2011 at 3:39 pm
  • Reply jen

    1. Followed Nina on the Moon GFC: Jeny Gangan
    2. Like Nina on the Moon Facebook: Jeniffer Gangan
    3. Like Haut Totes Facebook
    4. Follow @HautTotes : JenyOnDBlock
    5. Followed @Ninaonthemoon
    6. Tweeted about the giveaway : https://twitter.com/#!/JenyOnDBlock/status/133974880818434048
    7. Let Melissa know which is my favorite tote by leaving a comment on her facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HautTotes/posts/10150356793361485

    November 8, 2011 at 6:40 pm
  • Reply Morgan

    Hi! I am already a loyal follower of Nina on the Moon. 🙂 I liked Nina on the Moon and Haut Totes on Facebook under Morgan Taggart. I am also following HautTotes on Twitter under @MorganTaggart. My email is mtaggart4852 (at) gmail (dot) com!

    November 8, 2011 at 11:44 pm
  • Reply Morgan

    I’m following Nina on the Moon on Twitter under @MorganTaggart. My email is mtaggart4852 (at) gmail (dot) com!

    November 8, 2011 at 11:45 pm
  • Reply Morgan

    I wrote on HautTotes wall telling her my favorite item. 🙂 My email is mtaggart4852 (at) gmail (dot) com!

    November 8, 2011 at 11:47 pm
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