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Friday, December 5, 2014

Custom with a Cause: Better Life Bags Feature & Review

A few months ago I began the search to replace my beloved work bag. Now ladies, you know how tough it can be to replace a favourite purse- this was the work equivalent. I needed something large & sturdy enough to handle my office on- the- go and the abuse I would be putting it through (my last bag bit the dust when one of the straps snapped from the weight!). I also wanted it to be easy on the eyes- who says function can't be fashionable? ;)

While shopping some of my favourite brands on Instagram I came across Better Life Bags, a US company with a purpose based in Detroit. I not only fell for their bags, but for the heart behind the brand. Founder Rebecca started the company after an overwhelming response to a home made diaper bag she made for herself when her own searches came up with no solution she liked; she has since made sure her talent also helps those in need. Since it's inception the company has contributed  a portion of profits to entrepreneurs in developing countries via Kiva.org, and  hires women within their community to make the bags who would otherwise not be able to find work. In a part of the US with a median income of only $23,000 and an unemployment rate of 20%, this work is a valuable opportunity to help improve living conditions for those the company hires, paying 20- 25% of the retail price of an item to the woman who constructs it. Click here for more info about the company's mission.

In addition to Better Life Bags' goal to make a difference, I love that the company has a variety of options to help you get exactly the bag you're looking for. You can choose  between  their ready- made options or  create your own custom bag. I decided to design my own (even though it's pretty much the same as the example in the product photo on the website) and I'm in love with the bag that arrived in the mail a few weeks later.

 
Isn't she pretty? Now you know why I customized mine like the BLB website!

After narrowing my choices, I finally decided on the 15" laptop sleeve- perfect for my portable office! The website makes it very simply to select the options you want for your bag, including fabric, hardware finish & more (see screenshots below). With this bag, like several on the site, you have additional options to customize, such as adding an outside pocket, an additional strap, or decorative leather tassel. And the quality can't be overlooked; the bags are made with real leather and a sturdy material lined with a quilted padding with  a zip closure.


The blank canvas- decisions, decisions!


You can swap out different fabrics & leather colours until you find your favourite combo

Because I ordered a custom bag it took a few weeks to arrive, but it was well worth the wait. I was really glad when I was able to easily get all of my folders, notebooks, laptop, etc in the bag (see photos below)- the dimensions online were accurate and I can easily slide my laptop in and out.




I'm so happy with this purchase and am absolutely in love (so much so that I included my purchase in the blog's 2014 Holiday Gift Guide). Add in that it was only $75 + shipping & taxes and I think it's excellent value for the price. If you're on the hunt for a bag- whether it be a purse, tote, diaper bag, etc- I highly recommend you check out Better Life Bags and support this amazing company with a cause.

To shop BLB & learn more about the company, visit their website or find them online:



Image Sources:
First 2 product photos & company logo courtesy of BLB
Screenshots taken from BLB website
Second 3 product photos, K Petrunia


December posts sponsored by Cutie Pie Boutique