"Designer" Diaper bag business -- Need feedback! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 31 Old 08-18-2004, 08:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi!

I wanted all your opinions. I'm wanting to start a business (online) sewing designer-looking diaper bags. These are "designer" type bags, in that they will have sturdy inner and outer layers, with a good, home decorating weight fabric on the outside. They will have ample pockets, and good, long-lasting, quality construction.

I am wanting to take some really stylish modern purse designs and make them into diaper bags. I figure, it's generally the mama who carries this bag -- she needs one that's stylish!

I'm also wanting to create a "quick-change" bag. This is the one-diaper-change bag (only the bare necessities) that you take with you when you're not going to be out long. Then, it will fit into the larger bag to take when you're going to be out longer or just need to carry more stuff.

Then, I also plan on making all the accessories -- bibs, wipes, changing pads (that actually fit on public changing tables), wet bags, etc. And, of course, these will match the bag, if desired.

I also intend for these bags to be completely washable -- only cotton fabrics will be used.

Would you guys be interested in something like this? (Not that I'm asking for orders. I just want to know if I'm making what the market wants to buy.) If not, please tell me what you would be looking for in a diaper bag.


Thanks!
namaste,
princess alex
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#2 of 31 Old 08-18-2004, 10:09 PM
 
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I am definitely interested! After four kids, I've finally treated myself to a pretty Petunia Pickle Bottom bag and I love it! And other Mom's always ask me about the bag and how to get one. Let me know what you come up with and if you want distributors. My friend and I have just opened our business and are actively searching for nicer style bags to carry. Feel free to PM me!!
Michelle
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#3 of 31 Old 08-18-2004, 11:01 PM
 
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I think it'd go over well. I know a couple of ladies who do a similar thing online.
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#4 of 31 Old 08-18-2004, 11:05 PM
 
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I think the quick change bag is a great idea!! It would be great to have something I could just grab when we are running to the grocery store instead of hauling the whole bag. Good luck!

Amanda, mom to dsd (16), dd (11), dd (8), and ds (born 11/12/11).
 

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#5 of 31 Old 08-19-2004, 01:46 AM
 
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Me, me, me! I've been searching high and low for the perfect bag and I haven't found it yet. I really want one that is washable and has all the bells and whistles - pockets, changing pad, wetbag, maybe a divider, and a mama tote/clutch (matching but something I can put MY stuff in so I can find it quick and so I can use it as a purse when I get out w/out kids). I want it to be special (read - designer look) but I want a backpack style. I'll be needing both hand to care for the kids (3 under 4)! If I haven't found one yet I'd be happy to be your first customer when you're ready.
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#6 of 31 Old 08-19-2004, 02:07 AM
 
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I think there would be a good market for it.
I agree with the pp, put a slot for mama stuff......I suggest an outer pocket for an easy access key area so you don't have to fumble around in the parking lot when your arms are full. How about place for wallet, cell phone, and maybe sunglasses too.
That's a lot of stuff! It would be quite a challenge to be able to find a way to fit everything.
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#7 of 31 Old 08-19-2004, 02:42 AM
 
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I love window shopping pretty diaper bags. I rely on my good ol' Parent Survival Pack, but I just made myself a little "Quick Change" bag to take one diaper, small package of wipes, wallet and keys. When I'm carrying everything in the backpack, my current knitting project goes in the little bag. Even my DH thought it was very clever! I know other mamas will love them!
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#8 of 31 Old 08-19-2004, 03:27 AM
 
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I like the matching mama tote/purse idea. Something that can go in the diaper bag but I can grab it when it's just me. Basically just big enough to hold my license, cc, lipstick, keys etc.
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#9 of 31 Old 08-19-2004, 11:57 AM
 
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LOVE the quick change idea, as wellas the mama tote/purse idea! Just please make the sure the quick change bag can hold cloth diapers and not just a thin little sposie!

Keep us updated. I'd love to see your wares!

Zia+Lane+Sonora=Mi Vida Loca! :
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#10 of 31 Old 08-19-2004, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow! I had no idea there would be such a response! Thank you all for your suggestions -- and, keep them coming, if you have others!

Yes, Petunia Picklebottom and Sally Spicer (just to name two) are definitely influences in my bag designs. I love their quality fabric and construction.

I've had many of the ideas that you guys all have come up with. (To be honest, I was afraid of "revealing" too much of my ideas, for fear that someone else would jump ahead and do the same thing!)

So, based on my own R&D, and your suggestions, here are some of the details I've come up with so far:

1. The bags are sized to fit cloth and disposables. (We only use cloth, so, that's what the sizing is based on!)

2. The baby bags need to be able to "grow" with the family -- when the babe is out of diapers, the bag needs to be able to have another use (i.e., toddler bag, purse, kid packpack, etc.).

3. There will be a parent pouch which will be removable, making it possible to transfer from daily purse/briefcase to baby bag easily. Now, regarding whether this goes inside or outside the bag, I'm concerned about someone (thief) being able to just grab it off the outside. What are your thoughts?

4. I will have a few (probably no more than 6) different styles, ranging in size. However, all will be able to fit the changing pad and parent pouch (except, of course, for the "quick-change" bag).

5. The "quick-change" bag will actually we a wetbag with a matching outer print. The intention is for it to contain one diaper (including cover), one wipe (premoistened with "butt spray") in its own pocket, and a small changing "pad." Then, when you're through with the change, everything goes back in the bag, to be tossed into the laundry. Theoretically, you could pack 3-4 of these into a larger bag, which could be kept in the car. Then, depending on your nearness to your car, you could just drop off the dirty bag, and pick up a clean one for the next change. This would be useful for a day at the beach, hiking, the mall, etc.

As far as the wipes and bib are concerned, I was thinking of just making these in neutral colors, so they'll go with any bag, but can be purchased separately.

I'm also taking ideas from Pipsqueak (http://www.pipsqueak.com.au/index.html), and Happy Tushies (http://happytushies.com/store/Default.asp). If possible, visit those sites and let me know what you do and don't like about their products. I kind of like the idea of the "Baby Swag," where the bag and changing pad are one unit.


Thanks for letting me ramble, and for all the input! I greatly appreciate it!


namaste,
alex
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#11 of 31 Old 08-19-2004, 06:52 PM
 
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I've been looking and looking for the perfect diaper bag, haven't found one yet. Although the one you're describing comes closest to what I'm looking for. The parent pouch is definitely essential. I hate transferring all my stuff from my purse to the diaper bag and then back to my purse when I'm going out alone. Please spam me when your store opens!
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#12 of 31 Old 08-19-2004, 07:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaMAMAma
I've been looking and looking for the perfect diaper bag, haven't found one yet. Although the one you're describing comes closest to what I'm looking for. The parent pouch is definitely essential. I hate transferring all my stuff from my purse to the diaper bag and then back to my purse when I'm going out alone. Please spam me when your store opens!
Yup. Me too.
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#13 of 31 Old 08-19-2004, 07:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by princessalex
Wow! I had no idea there would be such a response! Thank you all for your suggestions -- and, keep them coming, if you have others!

Yes, Petunia Picklebottom and Sally Spicer (just to name two) are definitely influences in my bag designs. I love their quality fabric and construction.

I've had many of the ideas that you guys all have come up with. (To be honest, I was afraid of "revealing" too much of my ideas, for fear that someone else would jump ahead and do the same thing!)

So, based on my own R&D, and your suggestions, here are some of the details I've come up with so far:

1. The bags are sized to fit cloth and disposables. (We only use cloth, so, that's what the sizing is based on!)

2. The baby bags need to be able to "grow" with the family -- when the babe is out of diapers, the bag needs to be able to have another use (i.e., toddler bag, purse, kid packpack, etc.).

3. There will be a parent pouch which will be removable, making it possible to transfer from daily purse/briefcase to baby bag easily. Now, regarding whether this goes inside or outside the bag, I'm concerned about someone (thief) being able to just grab it off the outside. What are your thoughts?

4. I will have a few (probably no more than 6) different styles, ranging in size. However, all will be able to fit the changing pad and parent pouch (except, of course, for the "quick-change" bag).

5. The "quick-change" bag will actually we a wetbag with a matching outer print. The intention is for it to contain one diaper (including cover), one wipe (premoistened with "butt spray") in its own pocket, and a small changing "pad." Then, when you're through with the change, everything goes back in the bag, to be tossed into the laundry. Theoretically, you could pack 3-4 of these into a larger bag, which could be kept in the car. Then, depending on your nearness to your car, you could just drop off the dirty bag, and pick up a clean one for the next change. This would be useful for a day at the beach, hiking, the mall, etc.

As far as the wipes and bib are concerned, I was thinking of just making these in neutral colors, so they'll go with any bag, but can be purchased separately.

I'm also taking ideas from Pipsqueak (http://www.pipsqueak.com.au/index.html), and Happy Tushies (http://happytushies.com/store/Default.asp). If possible, visit those sites and let me know what you do and don't like about their products. I kind of like the idea of the "Baby Swag," where the bag and changing pad are one unit.
Personally I don't like the swag idea. Some moms are changing 3 year olds and don't want to have to fight a bag, sqwiggle wiggle, diaper, etc. Also, i've seen mom's practically rip an attached pad right out from under the babies because they are yanking at something caught in the bag, and holding the babe at the same time.
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#14 of 31 Old 08-19-2004, 08:49 PM
 
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This is getting good!

I love the quick change bag idea and would probably get one for each kid to hold 'their' stuff. That way when I go to church and each one is in a seperate nursery (big church) I could leave a seperate bag w/ each one. Also, when I realative or friend watches them they know what belongs to who. It would be really perfect if their name could be put on their bag somehow (embroidered maybe?).

So far I like Whimsical Wears best. I think this is the one with a base in the bottom to help it stand. Nice concept - not essential for me. www.whimsicalwears.com No mama tot/clutch though, but it looks like she maybe adding smaller bags. Always good to check out the competition.

I'm not crazy about the 'swag' concept either. It looks like you'd have to undo the whole thing to get out an item. I'm thinking your kid gets messy and you want to grab a wipe and clean them up. Do you have to unroll the whole bag and have all the parts flopping everywhere just to get it???
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#15 of 31 Old 08-20-2004, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wasn't sure how the "Baby Swag" would go over. Having two kids, one completely out of diapers, the other still in, I've seen the whole diaper cycle! I can see the "all-in-one" combo idea being cool for a very young babe, when you have to lay them down to do just about ANYthing with them! ;o} But, once they learn how to wiggle (much less sit up!), it's all over!

Besides, I've discovered that I can use just about everything in my diaper/baby bag for more than its original purpose (i.e., at the very least, wipes are used for more than just wiping butts!). Therefore, having everything simply handy to get to is much more important.

I visited Whimsical Wears, too. They are gorgeous bags! I didn't notice the base in the bag to help them stand up, though. I think I've seen them elsewhere -- just don't remember where! I was thinking about this feature, but, I want the bags to be competely machine-washable. And, I didn't think people would want to have to remember to remove something like that to wash it. What do you think? ('Cause, I could definitely add an acrylic base for extra sturdiness.)

Thanks!


namaste,
alex
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#16 of 31 Old 08-20-2004, 05:19 PM
 
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I think I'd be willing to remember to remove something to have the benefits of sturdiness and 'washability'. Maybe I saw the base mentioned at www.vivpickle.com
I don't remember there being a pic just a statement about it - wish I could remember where it was.
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#17 of 31 Old 08-20-2004, 09:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Kara,

Sorry, but I didn't see them there, either! However, I searched around and saw that Vera Bradley bags (totes, anyway) have hard bases. I was just thinking about it, and figured that I could easily add a zippered compartment in the bottom for the board to slide out of. It would be an easy feature!

And, one last "survey" question: Would you rather purchase a diaper/baby bag that's already made (i.e., to my specifications) and can be shipped right away, or have it custom-made to your needs (and, wait 2-4 weeks for it)? Or, would it be best to offer both kinds?

Thanks!
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#18 of 31 Old 08-20-2004, 10:08 PM
 
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I think it would be best to offer both, and if possible with a wide variety of fabric. A lot of times I find a bag I like but the fabric is just not my style. I would love to buy a bag in stock, but definitely willing to wait 2-4 weeks for the right bag. I had to wait over a month for slings, so 2-4 weeks is nothing!
The bottom compartment sounds like a great idea. I was looking at the lands end diaper bags and the changing pad is stored in the bottom compartment which sounded a great idea to me.
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#19 of 31 Old 08-20-2004, 10:20 PM
 
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Sorry about that Alex; I didn't mean to send you on a wild goose chase! BTW, I have a Lands End bag and I hate it! Now dh used it to carry his hair coloring supplies in (he is a licensed cosmotologist on the side). I washed it even though your now supposed to and the bottom protective material started to get holes.

I would wait for a bag!! Everywhere I've looked I'd have to get a custom order and wait so I think that is pretty common. Of course there are those who prefer instant gratification and if you have some in stock then you get their business too!

Love the removable bottom idea! Keeps it flexible- if you like it in great and if you don't it comes out! I thought maybe you would cover it and lay it in the bottom of the bag but a compartment is so much better! No m&ms(etc-) hiding under there.
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#20 of 31 Old 08-20-2004, 11:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Kabes
Love the removable bottom idea! Keeps it flexible- if you like it in great and if you don't it comes out! I thought maybe you would cover it and lay it in the bottom of the bag but a compartment is so much better! No m&ms(etc-) hiding under there.

Yep -- definitely didn't want to have any opening in the bottom of the lining! Don't need a place for "funkies" to hide!

And, it's great to know that mamas are happy to wait for a custom bag! Now, to the sewing table!


Thanks!
namaste,
alex
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#21 of 31 Old 08-20-2004, 11:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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By the way, I was thinking about having the changing pad have its own outside pocket (probably closing with a zipper or a snap), so that it's easy to just reach in the bag and grab the changing pad -- all with one hand. Then, once the babe is safely lying down, you can put the bag down to get the rest of the changing gear out! This is a very important thing for me!

I was thinking that having it in the bottom might be difficult to get out with just one hand.
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#22 of 31 Old 08-21-2004, 12:37 AM
 
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Good thought! I'm thinking the snap closure would be more easily managed one handed than the zipper. My Lands End bag has an outside pocket for the changing pad which was good but no closure so sometimes it would fall out - totally bad.

Since I have really been wanting a backpack style bag I'm thinking that if the changing pad pocket were on the back (under the straps) it would double as padding making the bag more comfy to carry - added bonus.
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#23 of 31 Old 08-21-2004, 04:03 AM
 
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I love love love the pipsqueak design, (mother of 3 month old) that said, from reading the other posts, I don't know how well it would work with older babies. The one thing I would change on their design is the side flaps look like all the stuff in them would fall out if you used it on one of those hang-from-the-wall-public-restroom type changing areas.

Price would be a consideration for me, we still use the free-no-frills bag that our hospital gives out. My husband has recently started using his backpack style lap top bag, which is great. The laptop compartment is perfect for dipe's and there are lots of additional compartments.

I'd like one pre-made, I live overseas with an apo address and sometimes it takes forever.....

The quick change bag sounds great, it would be nice if it had a clip or loop so slingin' moms could clip it to their rings. Best of luck!!!!
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#24 of 31 Old 08-21-2004, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kabes
I'm thinking the snap closure would be more easily managed one handed than the zipper. My Lands End bag has an outside pocket for the changing pad which was good but no closure so sometimes it would fall out - totally bad.
Good point!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kabes
Since I have really been wanting a backpack style bag I'm thinking that if the changing pad pocket were on the back (under the straps) it would double as padding making the bag more comfy to carry - added bonus.
Great minds must really think alike -- I was thinking this same thing!



namaste,
alex
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#25 of 31 Old 08-21-2004, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by KellyK
I love love love the pipsqueak design, (mother of 3 month old) that said, from reading the other posts, I don't know how well it would work with older babies.
Yeah, I can see how they would be great for little babes, but, speaking from experience, not so great on wiggly toddlers!


Quote:
The one thing I would change on their design is the side flaps look like all the stuff in them would fall out if you used it on one of those hang-from-the-wall-public-restroom type changing areas.
I had been planning on making them with pockets that "hung over" the sides of the wall-mounted changing tables. I designed the pockets to have elastic, so things don't fall out, and the pocket flaps would attach to the main changing pad with snaps, and could be interchangable (you could attach them to either side, depending on if you're a righty or a lefty).


Quote:
Price would be a consideration for me, we still use the free-no-frills bag that our hospital gives out.
Unfortunately, this type of bag isn't going to be able to be made nearly as inexpensively as you can find them at Target or Toys "R" Us. My bags are designed to last years. The type of fabric and construction needed to achieve that make it more expensive.


Quote:
The quick change bag sounds great, it would be nice if it had a clip or loop so slingin' moms could clip it to their rings.
Coincidentally, I was up last night, trying to figure out a handle/loop/strap design! I'm thinking that it needs to be able to hang from a sling, a stroller, a hook on the wall, or, just from a hand. BUT, it needs to be a simple design -- after all, it's getting washed a lot more than the regular diaper bag!


namaste,
alex
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#26 of 31 Old 08-21-2004, 12:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by princessalex
Coincidentally, I was up last night, trying to figure out a handle/loop/strap design! I'm thinking that it needs to be able to hang from a sling, a stroller, a hook on the wall, or, just from a hand. BUT, it needs to be a simple design -- after all, it's getting washed a lot more than the regular diaper bag!
Maybe a strap (not too long) that attatched to a D-ring on the bag with a small swivel clip? Not sure how the metal against the fabric will hold up with washing. But if it would hold up long term I think the function would be great. Carry with strap hang from strap or undo and thread it through the rings on a sling or the handle on a stroller.

Or. . . a D-ring or fabric loop on the bag and the strap could feed through and snap onto itself. Maybe this would serve the purpose of multi function but stand the test of time better.
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#27 of 31 Old 08-21-2004, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kabes
Or. . . a D-ring or fabric loop on the bag and the strap could feed through and snap onto itself. Maybe this would serve the purpose of multi function but stand the test of time better.
This is kinda what I was thinking -- a small strap/loop that attached to the bag on one end of the strap, and had a snap on the other end, so that it could be attached to the strollers with a bar for a handle, too! Would a strap that was essentially the length of a "wrist strap" be a good length for attaching to the sling ring? (I've only had a pouch carrier, so I have no experience with the sling rings.)


namaste,
alex
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#28 of 31 Old 08-21-2004, 12:35 PM
 
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I think wrist strap length would work on a ring sling. i've never attached a bag to my sling but it seems like it would be right to me.
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#29 of 31 Old 08-21-2004, 01:41 PM
 
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I like the idea of a smaller bag that fits into a larger bag... PM me when you're up and running, hopefully I won't be broke! :LOL
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#30 of 31 Old 08-23-2004, 01:30 AM
 
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Alex,
Just a thouht or he changingpad o a bckpack style bag-
If the opening was to the side of the bag andat the top t would be more easily accessed. No straps to get in the way and if you are carrying the baby you could easily get the changing pad out while still holding the baby. Then lay him/her down and take the backpack off and begin to change.
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