by Maddy Zollo Rusbosin | June 20, 2017

Made in FLA: Hayden Reis

A Sarasota-based sailcloth bag company catches wind

Large tote in banana leaf pattern; Photography by Jessie Preza

Large tote in banana leaf pattern; photography by Jessie Preza

As a young mother, Emily Stroud’s weekends revolved around taking her children to the beach, to the pool and on the boat in the waters of Sarasota Bay. It was then that the Gainesville native realized there wasn’t a bag that covered all her packing needs: something durable, functional and on-trend. Deciding she couldn’t be alone in this struggle, Stroud created bag brand Hayden Reis—named for her son, Hayden, and her daughter, Reis.

“I chose sailcloth as the material since it’s resilient and water-resistant. Unlike other companies who use recycled sails, my bags are made from new cloth to avoid mildew,” explains Stroud. “I also wanted to use bright, contemporary colors, so the line’s more fashion-forward than nautical.”

The carry-alls come in a wide range of sizes and hues, have travel-friendly zip closures and include pockets for organization. Their practical design has caught the attention not only of Ritz Carltons and boutiques across the state but also of boat and yacht owners, who use Hayden Reis’s customization service to order bags embroidered with their vessel’s name or logo. The brand’s reach has even gone global: “The bags are also carried in Bora Bora and Germany,” says Stroud.