|The "Emily" diaper bag|
I'm not often "wow'd." It takes a great deal to truly impress me. This company did EXACTLY that.
If you've read my "About Me" section or clicked over to my LinkedIn page, you know that before I devoted myself to full-time-mommy-dom (and this blog!), I pursued my Master's degree in Nonprofit Management and had spent the last seven or so years in fundraising for nonprofit organizations. Additionally, I was really passionate about causes that promoted women and children.
Better Life Bags, while not a nonprofit, is a small business that provides jobs to women in the Detroit area who otherwise would not be able to find work. Maybe they fell on hard times, maybe they made one poor choice that has led them down the wrong path. They pay them a living wage, and provide skills training if necessary.
They also donate to women entrepreneurs in third world countries via kiva.org, which provides small business loans to folks looking to start their own businesses as a means to lift themselves out of poverty. (I actually had the pleasure of meeting the founder of Kiva at the Texas Nonprofit Summit in Austin late last year. She's one smart cookie, and created a brilliant concept!)
Through my experiences in the nonprofit sector, and most recently in my volunteer work at the Dallas County Jail, I know all too well that people, but especially women, aren't looking for free handouts. They want to work, to feel good about themselves and to take care of their families. Too often, it was ONE bad decision, ONE life altering traumatic event, ONE mistake made that sent them down a destructive path. All they need is someone who believes in them, will invest a little time, teach them some useful skills, and provide a little support for them to change their course, get their life back on track and start the climb out of poverty.
This company supports and enables women to begin that journey.
Not only is this bag ADORABLE, it's well made and constructed with quality materials. I got to pick everything about it out and make some additions to it, so it's customized to my needs. The website is fantastic and lets you preview the bag you "build" before you purchase it. It was made quickly, and shipped fast to my home. It's now EASILY my favorite bag that I own, and I have some high-end designer bags (this beats the heck out of my newest Louis Vuitton!) I could not recommend a company to do business with more!
|You can customize the color of leather, the fabric on the outside, pockets and lining and choose either gold or silver hardware. (Dress by J Crew; bangles by J Crew; watch by Michael Kors)|
|I chose tan/brown leather and a simple black and white fabric exterior, and used one of their new, brightly colored fabrics for the interior. I also went with gold hardware.|
|Close up of the interior fabric|
|There are two large pockets inside with an additional zippered pocket; two large external pockets on either side of the bag (perfect for bottles!) and one large pocket on the back of the bag.|
If you're in the market (or will be soon!) for a diaper bag, or want a custom-made purse or laptop bag, check them out!