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Photo courtesy of Jennifer Giambroni
(l to r - back: Agnes Briones, executive director of the Small Business Commission; Small Business Commissioners Florence Alberts and Jordanna Thigpen; front: Louise Bartlett of Beatnik Bags and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom)
  Beatnik Bags a Finalist for San Francisco's Most Innovative Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year Award

San Francisco - January 11, 2005 - The Small Business Commission selected Beatnik Bags as a finalist in the 2nd annual Shop Outside the Box "Most Innovative Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year" award at a December 11th, 2004 ceremony in Union Square. Mayor Gavin Newsom presented the awards at the Saturday marketplace event, which highlighted small, microentrepreneurs that make and sell products in San Francisco.

Winners were selected based on their innovative business ideas, dedicated entrepreneurial spirit and their commitment to making and selling their products in San Francisco. A total of 36 small businesses took part in the Shop Outside the Box campaign, which culminated with the December 11th holiday marketplace where they sold products in Union Square.

"This year's nominees represented a variety of creative concepts that really represent the diversity and spirit of innovation here in the City," said Small Business Commission President, David Sahagun. "Small businesses, which account for 99% of all private sector businesses in San Francisco and collectively generate $15.8 billion in revenue to the Cityís economy, are an extremely important part of why San Francisco is such a vibrant place to live, work and play. Shop Outside the Box is just one way of helping to increase their visibility while encouraging Bay Area residents to shop locally during the holidays and every day."

"I am very grateful to be recognized as an important part of the San Francisco community!," said Beatnik Bags founder Louise Bartlett. "I am proud to be a small business owner in San Francisco and I am grateful for the support I receive from organizations including the Small Business Administration and Womenís Initiative for Self Employment and artists helping artists thrive. There is such a high level of creativity in this city. San Francisco is a place that respects diversity and encourages creativity and risk-taking."

About Beatnik Bags
In 2001, owner-designer Louise Bartlett launched Beatnik Bagsña generation of yoga bags, backpacks, totes, and accessories inspired by the radical self-expression of the Beat movement and a commitment to environmental responsibility. Made from recycled textiles and jewels, the creations boast vibrant prints, rich textures, and serendipitous accents that guarantee a departure from mainstream, mass-produced designs.

The bags are proudly made in small batches of limited-edition combinations of colors and fabrics to honor the uniqueness of all who carry them. Each bag is made from a variety of durable, high-quality surplus materials from upholsterers and other companies such as Chaco Shoes and Miss Fits. Zippered pulls on pockets boast hand-selected beads from thrift-store jewelry. Bartlett continually seeks inspiration in found materials to add new flourishes of individuality to the bags.

Beatnik Bags are sold in over 120 retail locations in the U.S. and abroad. All bags are created in a sweatshop-free environment in San Francisco.

Learn more:

Small businesses take over Union Square, Dec 10, 2004, SF Examiner

Shop Outside the Box, Small Business Commission



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