Can you tell us a little about yourself?
What exactly is Better Life Bags?
Better Life Bags creates custom, handmade bags that provide a fair, living wage for women in the heart of Detroit. Every bag is customizable on our website, and every step of the process is done by hand, from cutting the fabrics to sewing the bags to shipping them out.
What inspired you to start Better Life Bags?
Originally, it was just a fun hobby for me to have a creative outlet with when my first child was born. I didn’t know it would grow to be what it is today! Eventually, my workload was too much for one person to handle, so I approached my neighbor Nadia about helping me with the bags. After about 6 months, Nadia invited me into her home to see the bunk beds she had purchased for her children with the money she made from sewing the bags. This was when I realized Better Life Bags could make a difference in our community!
How did you come up with the name?
When I first started Better Life Bags, I used a portion of every sale to give a Kiva loan to a woman overseas, helping them create a better life through their education and business. As BLB grew, this mission shifted to helping women in our own community to create a better life for their families by employing them, and providing them with a fair, living wage.
Where are your products sold? Are they sold in stores?
We sell our products on our website at www.betterlifebags.com. We also have a brick and mortar shop in the front of our workshop that we open every Saturday for Retail Day!
What is your favorite part about running Better Life Bags?
I honestly love the flexibility that owning your own business gives. Our family loves to camp and travel, and we don’t have to ask for time off to do that! I can often work on the road or at campsites, so my job is really mobile. I also love hearing from our customers and seeing their excitement when they get their bags in the mail.
What is your least favorite part about running Better Life Bags?
Sometimes, the responsibility I feel to keep the business running since so many lives and families depend on it for income!
Is there a favorite product?
The Clara and the Harper are our two best selling bags because of their versatility! The Clara is an every-day tote that is perfect for running to the library, carrying your work load, or as your go-to purse. The Harper is our larger backpack. With all the pocket options and the opportunity to add a cross-body strap, it is a great option for a diaper bag or for traveling!
Every purchase provides a job for a woman in Detroit, can you tell us about that?
We do all of our own manufacturing – from beginning to end, so every single order provides multiple jobs for women in our community. Most of the women that work here are first generation immigrant women and have a barrier to traditional employment such as education or language.
How do you spread the word about your company?
We rely on our customers to be our ambassadors, sharing with their friends and family about our mission. We also use pop-ups around the country, shows, and online marketing to spread the word!
Do you have any advice for fellow entrepreneurs?
Just start! So many times I get emails from potential entrepreneurs who are trying to get all their questions answered before they start. Just go! Start small and be faithful with it as small thing. If it’s the right time and the right product, it will grow!
Founder and CEO / Steward of what God has done
Business Mentor / Intentional City Dweller