Some people love wine bars, some like sports bars, we love coffee shops. You never know who you're going to meet or what you might overhear which was exactly the case for us a few months ago while sipping the bean at Cathedral Coffee in Portland, Oregon (highly recommend this shop by the way). As luck would have it, we were sitting right next to a group of 30 something professional women discussing their favorite features in a bag.
That's right, they were talking about their favorite features, not their favorite bags!
As bag designers/makers you can imagine how fast the eavesdropping began as we listened intently for what they loved most. It was curious to us that none of the women seemed to have a bag that met all of their needs. Rather, each woman expressed a favorite feature or two that made them chose a particular bag as their favorite but none excitedly claimed to have it all in one bag.
Maybe it's impossible to create the perfect bag for more than one women but we found ourselves checking off a lot of stuff that one or several of our bags contain. We'll let you be the judge about ours or anyone else's bag, but here's the list we, or rather they, "put on the coffee table" in hopes that it helps you think through your own requirements for a bag before shopping for your next one.
We'll share it with you via the quotes we wrote down:
1 - "I love it because it carries everything I need." This was met with broad agreement and a couple of counter examples like, "my bag's so big I end up carrying everything I don't need and it's so heavy my shoulder hurts by the end of the day."
2 - "I have to have zippers to secure my stuff." Lots of positive head nodding followed this comment as others complained about bags with snaps that get loose, straps that don't really fasten, or bags with closures that you just end up leaving open until items spill out.
3 - "Feel this bag, I just love the way it feels." This part of the discussion led us to believe that stiffer bags are out and softer leather bags are in.
4 - "I like it because the strap is adjustable and it even fits over my winter coat without binding."
5 - "These little pockets are important for me because I don't have to dig through all my stuff to get the little thing I need." Again, lots of agreement on this and some dissatisfaction with larger bucket type bags.
6 - "I've got this bag in 3 different colors so it's easy to change from one to another to fit what I'm wearing." This was an excellent argument for buying multiple colors once you find a bag that works from a fashion and function standpoint.
We so wanted to jump in and start telling this little coffee clutch about our Embrazio bags but opted to remain silent and listen for more learning. We came away thankful for the insights and wondering how many other gal pals talk features instead of bags. By the time we'd walked out of the shop and on to the next boutique, we were already designing another "perfect bag."