On the hunt for a diaper bag but overwhelmed by the options? We chat with one mama who was inspired to start making her own, with some seriously stylish results…
There are so diaper bags out there, mama! To procure one made with high-quality materials that are also free of harsh chemicals such as BPA, PVC and Phthalates proves to be a challenge for many parents. My website recently managed to find a range of diaper bags and accessories from a company in New York that not only uses health, eco-friendly materials, but also adopts mindful business practices.
Twelvelittle’s posh, trendy and functional diaper bags and accessories are the brainchild of professional bag designer Julia Min and co-designer, Julia Chang. Twelvelittle’s bags are extremely successful in the U.S. and have garnered a huge following. Their stylish bags are often carried by Hollywood celebrity moms and featured in numerous fashion spreads.
Julia, who is an experienced bag designer and an alumna of Parsons School of Design, carefully crafts and designs each diaper bag with individual style, while also engineering them with every practicality.
She ensures that bags are light-weight and made of high-quality, water-resistant fabrics and genuine leather, so that each and every Twelvelittle diaper bag is perfect for carrying baby essentials in style. We love that this means their bags become the perfect accessory even after graduating from the diaper bag stage.
I recently interviewed Julia – also a mama of 3 – to find out more about these amazing bags, and what keeps her motivated and inspired as a working mama…
What inspired you as a bag designer the most when you created Twelvelittle’s range of diaper bags and accessories?
When I was pregnant with my first child, I had a hard time finding the perfect diaper bag. Since I worked in the fashion industry for a long time, I was always on the hunt to find stylish bags. However this time, I needed to find a stylish “diaper” bag. When I was 6 months pregnant, I started designing diaper bags which were both fashionable and functional, something I would personally be proud to carry around with a baby.
With so many new product launches of diaper bags and accessories, how do you differentiate and stand-out against copy-cats in the diaper bag and accessories industry?
When we first started designing, we made sure we were not just another diaper bag brand with a similar look and function as other diaper bags in the market. We had to find a niche in the market. So every time we design a new bag, we do extensive research on what is already out and also search for inspiration from the fashion industry. We make sure our designs are our own, and not another look of a different bag. There are times when a competitor creates similar looking products, but normally they are made with extremely cheap materials and quality. So eventually our customers see the difference and are more satisfied with spending a little more on our bags.
Twelvelittle’s bags are made from materials free of harsh chemicals like BPA, PVC and Phthalates. Was it a conscious decision to gear the brand towards green living and using sustainable materials?
That is the end goal. In running a small business, it is extremely challenging to make everything we do to be “green” and entirely sustainable. However we make small steps towards our goal every time we produce our next set of products. We first started with making sure our materials were free of harsh chemicals such as BPA, PVC and Phthalates, and then we tried our best to reduce material wastage. So step by step, we try to be sustainable as much as possible.
Twelvelittle is very successful in the US, how do you want to replicate this success in Asia? How did you grow the brand there and why did you launch there first?
More market research, and understand what the moms in Asia are looking for when searching for a diaper bag. We also need see what kind of marketing we need to approach to attract our brand to moms in different countries.
You have 3 young children, how do you cope with motherhood and building a successful business?
Balancing work and parenting is definitely one of the most difficult things any working mom can relate to. I constantly asked myself if my kids would resent me for not being with them all day, and if I am doing enough as a mom. I also compared myself with other moms to see what was the norm. Once I realized every mom is different and I stopped being hard on myself, I became a better mom.
My advice to new working moms: Do what makes you happy, because a happy mom makes a happy family. And any time you spend with your kids, make sure you are truly spending time with them; put your cell phone away because texts, emails, and status updates can all wait.
What are your future plans for Twelvelittle?
Continue to be an innovative brand that produces quality products that help parenting, with style and function in mind. As we expand the brand, we also want to see where we can offer help. Currently, we donate our bags to many local non-profit organisations to parents and families in need. As our company grows, we are searching for ways to be a more consistent positive influence.