Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? A bag that helps you make new friends? Well, for this introvert it totally worked! If you think of the easiest conversations starters that work well with women, a compliment about their shoes, cute earrings, or fabulous shirt always start things off on the right foot. From there you can connect over favorite colors, best stores to shop in, your love of Target, and before you know it you’re sitting down for a bacon latte* and eating a cupcake.
My Better Life Bag was like a new-friend magnet at Allume. I’ve never had a bag do that before. I’ve also never handed out the business cards that come tucked into products, but I actually ran out of them last weekend. Clearly, the bag is super cute. But it goes beyond looks.
Better Life Bags are handmade, custom designed bags that are sewn by amazing women who wouldn’t otherwise be able to get a job (you can learn more about their mission here). The hardest part about this bag wasn’t deciding whether or not I wanted one – that was easy. A cause related bag? Sign me up, sister.
The hard part was choosing the leather. And the fabric. Oh and that fabric panel. Oh and the one that goes there. Too many choices! I knew I would love the Brynnda because I needed a bag that was a little bit bigger (hello, toddler who makes me carry all her things), and I wanted a crossbody style strap. Once I settled on stripes and chevron (ok, if you know me, you’re wondering why that actually took so long), added a tassel, and submitted my order, I had to wait.
Um. Y’all. Making a bag by hand takes a long time. This isn’t a 2 day delivery from Amazon. This is someone, with a name, and a story, and an amazing talent, sewing my bag. BY HAND.
I moved everything into it as soon as it came in the mail. I’m not one to change bags often. To be honest, I haven’t swapped bags since last Christmas, so for me to immediately fall in love was a sign. This bag and I were meant to be. With a large outside pocket on the bag, a smaller one on the front, a beautiful gold hook to close it and a roomy interior pocket (with a small lined, zippered pocket), I was able to fit everything I needed in it with room to spare.
The only downfall is that I chose a fabric that isn’t exactly toddler friendly. Within a day of riding in my car, my new bag now has some lovely pink juice stains on the back. And from where it’s rubbed against my jeans it now has some darker spots. But the fabric holds up well and it’s survived a run through a rainstorm without me taking the time to treat the leather!
And then I decided to take it with me to Allume. As my carry-on. Which meant it suddenly had to carry all my normal purse-stuff, but also a full change of clothing, laptop, laptop cord, essential toiletries, and some chocolate. It was perfect. As soon as I got to the hotel, I dumped all the non-essentials and carried it around with me the entire weekend. The crossbody strap gave me hands-free freedom to shop and drink coffee, and several other Better Life Bag owners stopped me with “Oh the Brynnda! Don’t you love it? Isn’t it the best?”
Here’s the thing. I know it can be hard to commit to a purchase like this. The cost can feel overwhelming. But when you realize that this bag is giving someone employment, that they’re making it by hand, for you and it’s not being mass produced out of an ethically questionable factory? It’s worth it.
And you might even make some new friends 🙂
*I did in fact have a bacon latte at Allume. And bacon caramel corn. I kind of like bacon.
Better Life Bags sent me this bag in exchange for an honest review. All the opinions above are my own. Including and not limited to my love of bacon.