Tell us a little about you, Nadia.
I love to sew my bags and spend time with my kids helping them with homework. I have five children - three girls and two boys. I just learned how to drive and love to drive to the local park with my kids and watch the water. I like to take pictures, I love to cook and spend time with my friends.
What country where you born in? Can you describe your country to us? What was it like to live there?
I was born in Texas, but I moved back to Yemen when I was five years old. I don’t remember much about Texas. I grew up mostly in Yemen. Yemen is a good country before the wars broke out. All my family is still there and I worry about their safety. They have beautiful warm weather and a lot of nice shops. Yemen was beautiful.
When did you move to America? What were your feelings during your first month here? What was hard? What was exciting?
When I moved back when I was 17 - I was married and pregnant. I wanted to raise my children in the country of America. I was so excited when I came here. My husband’s family was here. I love it. It wasn’t hard for me to move back. I just wish the rest of my family could be here, too.
When did you start working at Better Life Bags? What has it been like to work there?
I started working in the summer of 2012. It is so fun to work at Better Life Bags. Before I had a lot of extra time in my day that I didn’t know what to do with. Working keeps me busy and I’ve learned a lot about sewing. When I found Rebecca and started sewing bags, I knew it was what I wanted to do forever.
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?
The beautiful thing is that before I thought I couldn’t talk with someone of another culture. And now when I’m in the office, all of us act like one. There is no race differences. We all eat together. There is nothing different between us.
What does your family and husband think about you working at Better Life Bags? What has having a job done for you personally?
They like me working here. The kids always ask how work is going. They are proud of me. My husband likes that I can work from home to support my family and have something to do to fill my days.
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!