*Spotlight on Michelle and Stefanie*
The story of BagInspiration begins with a friendship and a Mexican candy wrapper. Michelle and Stefanie met at a playgroup in September 2000 when their boys were three years old. They quickly became good friends and spent many more playgroups, dinners and shopping trips together. Over the years they have gone from working mothers to stay-at-home moms and back again. No matter where they work, they have busy lives raising their children (Stefanie has three and Michelle has two) and managing their families in Middleton, WI.
It’s a rare morning that doesn’t begin with a phone conversation on the way to work or whatever errand is on the list for the day. Of course, over the years, some of these conversations were about their concern for the environment. Cloth grocery bags and fluorescent light bulbs replaced plastic and incandescent. Both began buying more organic foods and joined a local Community Supported Agriculture farm. But, sometimes the friends found it challenging to be green and a busy wife and mother.
Flash forward nine years from that September playgroup to a family vacation in Mexico. Michelle fell in love with a handbag made from recycled candy wrappers made by Mexican women and had to have it. After seeing it, Stefanie was inspired to purchase an adorable bag made from recycled billboards at a local shop for herself.
Inspired by the story behind the candy wrapper bag, the friends began to seek out other bags made from recycled materials. They found a plethora of unique and stylish handbags made from everything from recycled juice pouches, seatbelts, and used tires. Many were also certified as fair trade products which added to the appeal for the women.
They saw an opportunity to do more for the environment by bringing all of these great eco-friendly bags together and offering them to other eco and fashion conscious women. In 2010, two months after buying the original candy wrapper bag in Mexico, BagInspiration was born. Now Michelle and Stefanie hope to inspire others to go green.
Their interest in going green extends beyond just bags. Both are committed to incorporating more green practices into their lives at greeninspirationblog.com.