The tagline for a new online business, Hoist Away Bags, pretty much says it all: “raising old sails to new heights.”

Founder and owner Laura Cleminson began dabbling in recycling sailcloth into bags in the fall of 2010.

“I got serious in the first quarter of 2011,” she said. “I had the idea to make some bags for the (Piscataqua Sailing Association) for fund-raisers, awards, things like that.”

Cleminson, a member of the PSA, discovered her bags were an immediate hit. Members encouraged her to expand her vision and make it into a viable business. Cleminson, who lives and makes the bags in York, Maine, agreed and moved forward with Hoist Away Bags.

More about the bags:

As all the bags are made with retired sails, no two are alike. Cleminson said if a bag has a letter or number on it, it’s because that was part of the original sail. Every bag has the legacy of where the sailcloth came from stiched in. This includes the boat and skipper’s name, type of vessel and a tidbit about its history on the water and date the sail was donated.

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