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what's inspiring me today: Better Life Bags

by Kristi Quill March 03, 2015

i have found that i am really looking forward to wednesdays lately. (seriously. who says that?) i am so excited to share new talent and friends that i have fallen in love with. some of these shops have amazing talent and some have inspiring purposes. better life bags has both.

rebecca, the creator and owner, of better life bags took her passion and turned into a community project. she up and moved her family to an area where she knew she could make a difference and change lives not through hands outs but through employment. i am so excited to introduce you to  rebecca so you can hear in her own words what her business is all about.

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what inspired you to create Better Life Bags?

Our business started as a divine accident, actually.  I made a diaper bag when I was first pregnant with my son, posted pictures of it on Facebook and custom orders started rolling in.  After moving intentionally to a highly immigrant area of Detroit in 2010, I realized that many of the women I met could not work outside their homes for cultural reasons, yet they had a great need to provide for their families.  At the same time, our little shop was growing quicker than I could keep up with myself, so I married the two needs together and hired my first seamstress.  We now employ thirteen people from our community and have a really fun interactive website to help with the custom aspect of our bags.

 

what is the mission behind Better Life Bags?

We hire women, who otherwise could not work, to work for us.  We pay them a living wage and watch them gain dignity, honor, and respect. 

I want to use this business as a way to employ women from our community who also needed the ability to work inside their homes and become primary or secondary providers for their family.  

 

how have you seen your bags impact your community?

Seeing how this business has improved the lives of our employees has been super rewarding.  One of them in particular has been able to buy bed frames for her kids as well as couches for her living room.  She mentioned the other day that our name is really true.  This business has really given her a “Better Life”.

 

are you still in detroit? what do you love about it? 

We are!  We are located in a community called Hamtramck - right in the heart of Detroit. I love the urban environment and the way needs are so obvious around us.  

 

what's your fav product right now and why?

I have to say I'm loving our Ashley and Carrie bags.  Each combination is just so fun to see what comes through the shop! The  Emily and  Brynnda are our best sellers right now too.

 

what has been your greatest challenge as an entrepreneur? ever thought of going on shark tank? ;)

Growing so fast has been a big challenge for us from the business and administrative end of things.  I have had to learn everything about running a small business with employees in a really short {and stressful} amount of time.  Taxes, insurance, and payroll are a few of the surprises we encountered on our journey that have caused the biggest learning curve.

I would be scared to death to go on Shark Tank, but think it would be pretty cool.  I actually day dream about going on that show a lot.  I already have a lot of my answers prepared and think we would impress them with our financials!  It's our mission and commitment to keeping our bags made in America that I worry wouldn't go over well with the Sharks.  Who knows what the future holds!  I so appreciate that show and what it does for start ups and small business!  

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we recently had the opportunity to make a cute sign for Rebecca's new shop.  what an honor to know a BOP sign is greeting her customers!

if you haven't check out rebecca's shop or follow her on instagram and  facebook for some serious inspiration. knowing my purchase makes a serious difference in someone's life makes shopping all the more rewarding. plus, i end up with a cute new bag too.

Kristi Quill
Kristi Quill


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