Nice to Meet You!
Hi y’all! My name’s Justine and I’m the woman behind the screen. I thought I’d introduce myself and tell you a little about my journey to Moab and why Moab Bag Co means so much to me!
I’m originally from the Chicago suburbs and went to college in Columbia Missouri. I’m a Midwest girl through and through, but I fell in love with the desert when I visited Utah in 2019. Have you ever had one of those moments where you just needed to Get Out? Not like the movie, but I needed out of the Midwest for a moment. A change of scenery, a vacation, a reason to look forward to something.
I planned a whole month out in Utah as a solo “find myself” trip, hopping from one National Park to another. I visited the Big 5 plus the north rim of the Grand Canyon; It was such a formative experience! I spent little over a week in Moab and absolutely loved it. Once I got home, I spent the next 3 years dreaming about moving out west. Something about seeing mountains and rocks and things that weren’t highways and other buildings above the horizon just seemed right.
In that time, and during Covid, I ended up going back to school and finishing my degree in Textile and Apparel Management; Marketing and Digital Merchandising (a mouthful to essentially say: retail business) and after a few unfortunate events, (i.e. a big breakup and all my friends moving away) I decided, what the heck, if I don’t move now I never will. I got lucky and ended up in Moab with housing and a job by June of ’22 before even entering the state. I know, I know, I’m incredibly lucky. It was the exact right timing with the right person and the right job, I couldn’t turn it down.
After my seasonal cafe job ended, I got connected with Rebecca McAllister (who I knew as the woman who always ordered a coconut milk chai latte and owned the business next door). If you’ve ever been to Moab and been inside the artist collective Moab Made, you know Rebecca! She’s the owner of Moab Made, Arteesian and Moab Bag Co and is an all-around amazing person.
I got started sewing for Moab Bag Co in the winter (because I did NOT want to figure out all that unemployment paperwork tbh) and here I am a year and change later running the day to day operations! Rebecca has been an amazing mentor and friend over the past year and has given me the opportunity to 1 – use my silly little college degree and 2 – do something I’m passionate about. I’ve only worked for small family-owned businesses, and I have a passion for sustainability and reusing the old.
I also bike! Not mountain bike, but I road bike and can do ~some~ larger gravel roads. I’m from the Midwest, remember? It's flat there. I can bike for miles when its flat! The hills and abundance of rocks to fall on still make me nervous as I work with my hands and don’t want to break those.
All this to say, I’m lucky and I know it. I’ve made an incredible community of friends and colleagues here in Moab. I met my *husband* here in Moab (newly wed – as of February 16th). I’ve gotten to travel to countless places around the area and see things I would have never dreamed of. It’s like being on a different planet out here. I am lucky to be able to work in my degree of study. I’m lucky to work for a small woman-owned business! I love what I do. I love creating new bag designs, working with a weird material, and having a say in how they look! I loved working markets last year and interacting with new and old customers alike.
I’ll always be someone who enjoys a customer forward position and talking with everyone who has comments, questions, or concerns. Don’t be a stranger and follow us on Instagram and Facebook @Moabbagco and feel free to follow my personal Instagram @juice.in.the.desert. Reach out with anything you’d like to see from us, any place you’d like to see our products and any tubes you’d like to send our way. I’ll always be eagerly waiting to make you feel like a part of our community.