Home Economics: Sophia Callahan bottle bags | Varyer

For water and wine, for going outside

Macrame thirst support

If you’re like us, you love beverages, and that enjoyment increases when you’re fully hydrated for life's daily treks or when sharing with loved ones. Perhaps like us, you frequently find yourself in transit to a friends’ house or some such gathering with a lucky talisman as a full Nalgene, or a bottle of wine. It was the day that we found Sophia’s bags on the internet that this aquarian task changed from a burden to an accessorizing opportunity.

Home Economics is a bag project by strategist, researcher and maker, Sophia Callahan. Started in 2020, based in NYC, made for going outside. Under the brand, Sophia creates bottle bags in a variety of sizes and colorways for safe transport of your liquids wherever you’re going. We had the pleasure of chatting with Sophia to discuss her background and process, and it was a natural progression from admiration to collaboration on our own Varyer + Home Economics bottle bag.

Where are you from originally? If not NYC, how did you end up there?

I’m originally from Hermosa Beach, California, a small beach town/ suburb in Los Angeles county. I moved to New York 10 years ago to go to Parsons for undergrad.

The bags have a distinct upscale-summer-camp thing going on. Did you attend one?

Haha, that’s so fun. Yes, I went to a fancyish summer camp in Santa Cruz, California called Kennolyn. It was a 2-week sleepaway camp where we did archery, dance, pottery, camped in the woods and went to the beach boardwalk (my favorite day).

Tell us a bit about the process from idea to completion of a bottle bag.

The idea for the bottle bag started out with just me wanting to make one for myself and my mom. I went into many internet k-holes of paracord and macrame on YouTube and instructables and started slowly experimenting with different techniques and patterns until I finally got the bag to a place I was happy with. There’s a big community of Preppers and Pinterest people that are into this, so that in and of itself was really interesting.

In terms of making bags now, I like to pick the colors in the mornings and I try to find a good podcast or audiobook to get in the mood. It begins with cutting all the cord to the right sizes. I usually use a bottle as a mold and then start knotting. I finish the bag by melting the ends and adding the beads.

What other creative practices keep you going these days?

I feel like I’m actually at a crossroads on what I feel fiery about next. Though, I always come back to making books and zines - they help me get my thoughts in order and make me feel good and accomplished. I’ve also been cooking a lot too, which has been more immediately satisfying.

Describe the environment in which you most often create your pieces.

I recently moved into a space that has enough room for a studio. I’m still getting to know it, but very happy to have a space designated for making things. My brain is the best in the morning, so if I have a lot to do it's about creating the right environment the night before - cleaning my space, getting materials ready, and writing an encouraging to-do list that can greet me when I’m groggy the next day.

What are some of your favorite utilitarian pieces you own?

I’ve worn my black nylon Montbell crossbody everyday for the past 2-3 years. I always think I need to replace it and get something that feels a little more something-something, but I never do. It’s sturdy, light, can hold way more than it looks and is nondescript while still having it’s own little personality - a perfect and useful piece.

What is your go-to water bottle?

My dinged up 18oz yellow Hydro Flask.

Any artists or artisans you’re keen on at the moment?

Yes, always! I’m a big fan of Maia Ruth Lee - I love her pieces and am really inspired by her after-school arts program, Wild Rainbow.

Something you wish you could tell yourself at the start of your creative journey?

Just keep going, there’s no race or rush.

The V + Home Economics bottle bag is a paracord macrame bottle hammock, hand-tied in NYC. It is perfectly suited to 30-33oz water bottles like Nalgenes, larger Hydro Flasks, larger Kleen Kanteens, and most wine bottles. Colorway features brown and purple paracord with glow in the dark beaded accents (for that little extra flex on summer nights). The double strap can be adjusted to be worn over the shoulder or crossbody via the sliding knot, which can be pulled up and down to shorten or lengthen. The opening can be adjusted for bottle security.