Tell us a little about you, Casandra.
I have four kids - one boy and three girls. I like to hang out with my kids, help with their school work. My favorite movie is Twilight, but I end up watching Frozen with my daughter. I love the work that I do, too. My favorite food is ribs and salad and macaroni.
What country where you born in? Can you describe your country to us? What was it like to live there?
I was born in Detroit, MI. It was hard growing up. I didn't have a mother, so my father took us in. It was hard for him because he drove a taxi. He got as many jobs as he could to help to take care of me and my brother and sister. He tried his best to help take care of us.
When did you start working at Better Life Bags? What has it been like to work there?
I started working here March 2014. It's been wonderful working here. I've learned a lot of new things that I didn't know before. Like how to sew and how to be patient. When I was first started I was off-edge about a lot of things, but people at BLB have taught me a lot about how to take care of my life and my work. This is my first job and it feels really good.
There are so many cultures represented among the employees. What have you learned from being around people of different races, religions, and cultures each day?
I've learned that no matter what race you are, we are brothers and sisters. And all you have to do if you don't understand, it just takes patience. It's amazing to be around different cultures. I've never been around so many different people and all the ladies are really nice. I love working with wonderful people. Understanding just takes patience.
What does your family and husband think about you working at Better Life Bags? What has having a job done for you personally?
Having a job has done a lot. It's helped me to pay my rent and bills, uniforms for my kids and heat in my house. I'm not a kid anymore and I'm learning how to step up and be an adult and do adult things that take care of my kids. Before working here, I applied at lots and lots of places. I was trying to get myself back on my feet, but no one would hire me because I didn't have any experience working anywhere. Rebecca took a chance on me and I've never been more grateful.
As a company with a mission, we aim to create high quality products that make a difference in the lives of our employees. We want to bring a great product to you at a price without massive markups that other retailers attach to their product. Since we manufacture our own bags, we are able to cut out the middle man and bring you a great bag at a great price.
Many of our fabrics are made in the USA and we buy our supplies from as many small business owners as we can. But the truth is, we don't know the extent of the supply chain for all of our materials. Our goal is to have 90% of our materials be ethically sourced by the end of 2016.
Our bags are all made in the USA and we pay our seamstresses really well. They end up earning between $18-$25/hour depending on the bag and how proficient they become over time.
We have a great team of managers that help shepherd and guide our BLB family. Their salary is included in the overhead category along with all our monthly expenses like Internet, rent, utilities, machine repair, and insurance. You know, all the boring but necessary elements of running a sustainable business.
BACK INTO BLB:
This is the fun part. This is what is left over after a bag has been made. We use this to create fun advertising campaigns, offer gifts on purchases, start to develop new products, and provide interest free loans for our employees.
Your purchase matters!