On a cool summer morning in 2014, I decided to run from Lausanne to Morges (the next town). After over an hour of running, I finally arrived in Morges. As I walked through the town center vendors were just setting up their stalls for the Saturday vegetable and fish market. A fish merchant had written “Le poisson s’en fish” on his chalkboard. He had purposefully misspelled “fiche” as “fish”. The French expression for "I don't care" is “je m'en fiche”, and “fiche” is pronounced “feesh”. I laughed to myself upon seeing the merchant's sign.
Just weeks prior to that I was in San Francisco, where I saw a box of chocolate shaped like a can of sardines, at a confection shop. Each piece of chocolate was individually wrapped in tin foil and looked like real sardines!
As I walked through the town of Morges on that Saturday morning, the neurons firing in synchrony in my brain brought these two seemingly insignificant events together and I thought of the design concept for the “Je m’en fish” tote bag. We placed a drawing of a vintage can of sardines on the bag and put the French-English play on words, “Je m’en fish”, on it. Et voila! This is how our je m’en fish bag came to be.
Me with happy fishermen at the Seattle Pike Place Market