baleia (Portuguese) = whale (English)
Since the United States’ earliest years, ships have visited the Azores Islands in Portugal. The islands’ location in the middle of deep water whale habitat made them the perfect location to serve the needs of whalers. These same ships took on supplies and crew members in the Azores, which began a long and strong relationship between the islands and American whaling ports such as New Bedford.
The Portuguese in New Bedford continued to be tied closely to the sea, working on whale ships as both sailors and captains. They entered the business world as ship owners, textile manufacturers, and new business owners. Azorean Americans retained close ties to the islands, while creating a unique, lively community in the United States.
Baleia Bags is rooted here in the heart of The Whaling City. Made up of 3 generations of Portuguese Americans. Our founder came to the United States as a young girl at the age of 16 from the Island of Terceira. She had already mastered the art of designing and sewing clothing. She found herself working as many Portuguese immigrants did at that time, in the shoe industry where her hard work and dedication led her to experience all aspects of the manufacturing process. With the eventual elimination of shoe manufacturing in New England she found herself working in the Marine Canvas industry where her love for boats, combined with her eye for beautiful and durable fabrics fed her drive to create a very custom and high quality product. It is with her boating clients in mind, she decided to take that same love of marine fabrics and design a bag that everyone can use and love!