50th Retail Store Opening - What Makes a Sea Bags Store?

The design of our retail stores mirrors the thoughtful approach to how we handcraft our bags. From preserving the sail's natural beauty and character marks when cutting sails into usable panels, to applying classic and nautical embellishments to the recycled sail cloth, we consider the importance of each design decision. On the cusp of opening our 50th Sea Bags store, we're celebrating the innovative approach to bringing the Sea Bags brand to life in all the places we've made port.

Portland factory store storefront

"By utilizing the existing unique characteristics of each space in designing and renovating each store, we keep our footprint light, costs down, and build-out time short, enabling us to stay true to our environmentally friendly approach and Yankee frugality." - Don Oakes, CEO.

Our stores follow a specific design language inspired by the gritty, authentic beauty of Portland's working waterfront—the location of our very first storefront. This rustic seaport style aligns with our strong commitment to sustainability and features reclaimed marine gear including buoys, authentic lobster traps, and rope. No matter where you are, a Sea Bags store transports you right to the shore (though most of them aren't far from it!) and gives you the feeling of setting off on a nautical adventure.

Paul Gori, the Vice President of Retail Stores, describes how designing and building a new store evolves; "The multi-faceted process first begins with a walk-through to get a feel for the new space. We look at the existing features or unique qualities of the new location that can be reinterpreted to reinforce our brand purpose. We prepare a floor plan and determine what brand elements will be added."

Our nautical store dressing details include masts from retired schooners, porthole windows, and even entire wooden dinghies. All our marine salvage is sourced locally and continues the story of the sea.

Retail store cube wall filled with totes
The Cube Wall in our Portland Flagship

Alongside our seaworthy décor, an additional iconic feature you'll notice is our unique Cube Wall. Often spanning an entire length of the store, the Cube Wall becomes a visual gallery of tote bags, highlighting classic best sellers, seasonal offerings, and new customer favorites including nautical stripes andwatercolor marine life designs. Filled with Medium and Large Totes, the Cube Wall gives us the opportunity to put our high standards of craftsmanship on full display.

Vintage Wall with hanging bags

Another staple of our retail store design is the always rotating Vintage Wall. Everchanging and distinct to each store's selection, these bags all feature original insignia cut right from the 'sweet spot' of the sail; you'll never find an empty spot on the vintage wall as product is replaced with a totally new design as soon as it sells. This ensures that every visit to a Sea Bags store offers something fresh to customers new and old.

The third, and most important staple of our retail stores, is our dedicated Retail Crew. Every Sea Bags store is operated by a team of well-informed, enthusiastic staff who can tell you anything you could ever need to know about our bags. Up to date on all new product launches and initiatives, our Retail team seeks to spread the message of Sea Bags and champion our mission of sustainability.

Retail Store Crew Members


Because our bags are all made from recycled sailcloth, our store affords customers the opportunity to see distinctive characteristics such as zig stitching and telltales in person and pick the bag with the details they like best. No matter the size of the Sea Bags store you are visiting, from the spacious Portland Flagship on Commercial Street to our smallest gem in Rockport on Bearskin Neck, there is always a beautiful new bag to discover.

Our retail footprint extends south from Bar Harbor in Downeast Maine all the way to tropical Key West, and west to the Great Lakes and California. Our 50th store opens this Memorial Day weekend in Vineyard Haven on Martha's Vineyard. We hope you'll visit one of our 50 during your adventures this season.

Vintage Sea Bags hanging from rafters

We could not have celebrated this milestone without our loyal customers. Thank you for your continued support as we aim to bring Sea Bags to a shore near you.

- Sea Bags Crew


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