WORK {WELL}

workspace wednesday // better life bags

By

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Rebecca Smith + Better Life Bags

Founder and Creative Director of Better Life Bags – a custom handbag company based in Detroit, MI. She loves her Jesus, her kids, her camera, and a good book paired with a bag of chocolate. Milk – not dark.

Website // Twitter // Biz Instagram // Personal Instagram // Facebook

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http://hr4nurseries.co.uk/blog Why did you start your business?

Our business started as a divine accident, actually. I made a diaper bag when I was first pregnant with my son, posted pictures of it on Facebook and custom orders started rolling in. After moving intentionally to a highly immigrant area of Detroit in 2010, I realized that many of the women I met could not work outside their homes for cultural reasons, yet they had a great need to provide for their families. At the same time, our little shop was growing quicker than I could keep up with myself, so I married the two needs together and hired my first seamstress. We now employ twelve people from our community and have a really fun interactive website to help with the custom aspect of our bags.

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where do i buy prednisone What keeps you motivated?

The fact that twelve people are relying on the success of our business to provide for their families. I also have grown to genuinely love our customers and interact with them on social media. And when I get discouraged, God will send me a dream, a Bible verse, or encouragement from someone else that will help realign my focus and remind me why I’m doing this business in the first place.

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How do you stay organized?

I hired an operations manager! She really helps to keep everything moving and organized on the production end of things. I keep weekly To Do lists for the business and my personal life, and utilize Google Docs and the Cloud for images and documents I need to share with other team members. I try to keep everything online and as automated as I can!

What is your biggest challenge?

Growing so fast has been a big challenge for us from the business and administrative end of things. I have had to learn everything about running a small business with employees in a really short {and stressful} amount of time. Taxes, insurance, and Payroll are a few of the surprises we encountered on our journey that have caused the biggest learning curve.

What is your greatest reward?

Seeing how this business has improved the lives of our employees has been super rewarding. One of them in particular has been able to buy bed frames for her kids as well as couches for her living room. She mentioned the other day that our name is really true. This business has really given her a “Better Life”. A personal reward for me is the deep friendships I’ve gained through the women who work for me as well as women online!

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What office product can you not live without?

My computer and iPhone! I spend 90% of my work time on one or both of them.

What software can you not live without?

Outright.com! It automatically pulls all our expenses and income into one place and makes reports for us. Life saver.

What apps make your life easier?

Our business would not be where it is today without Instagram. I may be a self-proclaimed social media marketing geek, but I literally spend hours thinking about how to market our products online.

When decorating/designing/organizing your office, where did you find your inspiration?

We just really needed something functional! After operating out of my kitchen for a year or so, I moved the business into the smallest room of our house. We outgrew that and moved our bedroom into the living room so that the business could have a bigger space. Six months later, we outgrew that room and found an empty Enterprise Rent-a-Car building a mile from our house that was for rent. When we first moved in, the ceiling tiles were missing and the carpet was wet from frozen pipes. Let’s just say that we’ve come a long way, but our decor inspiration was simply FUNCTION.

Brands or stores that are represented in your office:

All furniture from Ikea of Thrift Stores

Michigan Watercolor from Speckled Feather Goods

“Set you hearts on things above” Print from Echoes of Mercy

Leather buntings from Better Life Bags

Photos Provided By: Rebecca Smith

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