Friday, March 26, 2010

Inventor Showcase: Esse Reusable Bags

To kick of the Earth Day celebrations Womentorz is proud do be showcasing Esse Reusable Bags.  These are a must have for the next time you go grocery shopping.  I just received the CarryAll Tote and cannot believe all of the innovative elements within the product itself.  You can't appreciate the quality of this invention until you see it in person.  I was truly amazed!!!  There are so many parts of the bag that makes being green convenient and fashionable.  

I have had the best time getting to know all about the inventors of this important product that's cleaning up the Earth one grocery bag at a time.   

Q. How, why and when do you and your partner come up with Esse Reusable Bags?

In 2007, I was standing in line at my local market when I realized that, once again, I had forgot my reusable bag! I thought how great it would be if I had a bag that could be small enough to be stored in my purse. I got home, called Dawn and said "I have an idea..."she said "uh, what's new" (haha) and then, "me too". The following week, not knowing each other's idea, we sat down at my kitchen island and whipped out our prototypes. Hers was a cute version of the cheap, polypropylene grocery bag (the ones with all the advertising on them) and mine was a cut up, taped up version that served as a pathetic starting point for our Everyday Bag. From there, we decided that the next biggest dilemma we had was never having enough reusable bags when shopping for our family... and the CarryAll Tote was born.

Q. How does your product make grocery shopping along with being conscious of the environment easier?

We tried to cover all the bases when designing our line by making them convenient, stylish and hopefully, unforgettable. We chose to use recycled PET (plastic bottles!) material where possible and designed them to be used individually as well as together in the CarryAll Tote or Pak bag. We have one of the first ever complete lines of reusable bags to replace all paper, plastic and the flimsy produce bags at the grocery store.  The Everyday Bag is also the perfect bag for the mall, department store, convenient store... everywhere you shop, every day.
Q. What role does each of you play in the running of the business? Dreamer (me). Doer (Dawn). We really do have a great balance in that Dawn does what I tell her to and she tells me if I can spend money.

Q. What was your experience like in the actual design and manufacturing of your product?

The design part was great. We had a lot of fun and tweaked everything until we were both totally satisfied. Some would say we're still tweaking because one of us in never fully satisfied... but I'm not sayin' who. Choosing the right fabric, colors and patterns is much more difficult than we had ever imagined but thankfully we have similar taste. Manufacturing was even more difficult. We spent over year trying to find a Stateside sewing company but with 7 bags sold together as one set, we found our retail price would exceed $200! We've finally found a trusted vendor and are in full production mode.

Q. Who or what motivates you through challenging moments all businesses have?

Each other, our passion for our product and our husbands wanting to know when they can retire (or at least be "shipping managers"). We have always been recycling, resourceful women with a dream of someday having our own business. Esse is a perfect fit for us both.

Q. What did each of you do prior to your invention?

Dawn was, and still is a part-time business manger for a small courier company. She says that I am an artist (mosaics and interiors). We've both always been pretty involved in our children's school and their many activities and try hard to keep our families as a #1 priority.

Q. What an interesting fact about both of you we wouldn’t know by just talking to you?

Dawn's birthday is 5-5 and mine is 7-7, in the same year. Both our mother's names are Linda. The first time we met each other 17 years ago (right after our 18th birthday...he he) we talked about our desire for owning our own businesses and how cool it would be to do something together, someday. And now, here we are!

You will be able to learn more about Esse Reusable Bags when the new Womentorz site is relaunched on April 1st.  You can purchase this product on their website at

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