Welcome to Better Life Bags! Gosh, we're glad you're here.
Better Life Bags started as Rebecca Smith's hobby. To beat boredom during the last month's of her first pregnancy, she made herself a diaper bag and posted pictures of it on Facebook. After hearing feedback on how many people wanted to buy one, she opened an ETSY shop in August of 2009 and decided to give 10% of every bag sale to a low income entreprenuer overseas through microloans. She named the ETSY shop "Better Life Bags" and sent a picture of the person the loan was going to help with each bag purchase - to show customers how someone's life was being made better as a result of their bag purchase.
In 2010, she and her family moved to a low income area of Detroit, Michigan and her eyes were opened to what povery, unemployment, and blight can do to a city and the people living there.
When orders experienced a boom in 2012, she turned to her neighborhood for help. She hired a woman originally from Yemen, named Nadia, to start sewing bags alongside her. After a few months of spending time with Nadia and paying her for the work she was doing, Rebecca saw a shift in her attitude and economic status. Her family was finally able to afford bed frames for their four children and a dining room table. Better Life Bags was making lives better in Rebecca's own community.
Our mission is to hire women who have various barriers to employment to make our custom leather and fabric bags. They are adopted into our Better Life family and given a chance to succeed in life, family, and friendship.
Even from the beginning, all of our bags have been custom and made-to-order for you - the customer! And our interactive website makes it really fun to design your own bag. Click on the "Design Your Own" tab at the top and play around for hours if you have to. When you are ready to have our ladies make it for you, just add it to your cart and check out! We will get working on it right away!
If you can't wait the 2-3 weeks it takes to create your custom bag, you can always shop our "Ready to Ship" section!
We really believe we have created a unique business that brings together YOUR design efforts with tangible needs in our community of Detroit, Michigan. Every bag we sell means more women that we can hire! Your bag will come with the name of the woman who made your bag - bringing the personal connection straight to your mailbox. We'd love it if you hung that card on your fridge to think about that woman whose life is being changed as a result of your purposeful purchase.