Jilly Bean Bags is a partnership among sisters Ann Holmgren and Sandra Callahan, along with Ann’s daughter, the eponymous Jill “Jilly Bean” Holmgren, all Massachusetts natives. Their unique and popular handmade handbags are made from a variety of materials including denim, leather, quilt, corduroy, and fur. The handles are made from beads, bamboo, ribbon, acrylic and wood.
The company started in 2005 shortly after an eventful visit by Sandra to her sister’s home on Cape Cod. Ann, who had been sewing her own curtains, quilts, pillows and couch covers for years, had tried her hand at creating a canvas handbag. Sandra suggested that the new work would be even more striking by adding a beaded handle. Taking the initiative to purchase gold and green beads, Sandra strung them into beaded handles and attached them to the handbag giving birth to the prototype Jilly Bean Bag. Since then, they have made and sold over a thousand Jilly Bean Bags. Ann and Jill produce the handbags and Sandra makes the handles.