Hi! I'm Rebecca: a Stay At Home Mom to an adorable little boy {JoJo}, a precious baby girl {Ditty}, and a wife who is still in love with her husband. I am the creator of Better Life Bags - a non profit custom handbag and accessory business that seeks to make lives better. All profits go to help those in need.  I'd love for you to stick around, subscribe to my posts, and support my business!

Read on to find out how Better Life Bags got started and why we exist
(written by my husband, Neil)

The story of Better Life Bags blows me away some times.  Becky got a sewing machine for her birthday one year and decided to make herself a diaper bag.  She posted the pictures on Facebook and BOOM, a never ending string of orders.

I am amazed at Becky's natural talent for sewing.  I am amazed at her ability to pick out great fabric patterns for our inventory.  I am amazed at her design abilities.  I am amazed when I repeatedly ask her where she got the idea for a bag and she says,

"ohh, I saw one in a store that I liked so I decided to make one like it and tweek it a little" 
"I just thought of the idea in my head."

I think that Becky has found her calling.  Perhaps she should have stuck with her original college major (Fashion Design).

I am also amazed by her commitment to customer service and quality.  It has always been her policy that it is better to take the time to make it right (even if it means starting over on something) than to let a customer receive a less than amazing product.  

I have watched Becky take all sorts of requests for new bags and customizations of bags that she has never done before and take the time to figure them out and produce an excellent product (though she always makes a practice one first because of her devotion to quality).

I have also been amazed by the wonderful customers, friends and fans who have been supporting her through wonderful and needed feedback and encouragement.  Thank you all so much.

What amazes me more though is the way that I have seen God's hand in this the whole way through.  He truly makes all things work together for the good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose.

God gave Becky a heart for the poor while she was in college and she lived out that calling during a year in Bakersfield, CA where she followed the model of our master Jesus but dwelling among those in need, proclaiming good news to the poor, and meeting the needs she saw along the way.

Also, during my time in Iraq with the Army, God gave me a heart to learn to build real peace with Muslims.  I saw that the kind peace Jesus meant when he said "blessed are the peacemakers" can never come at the barrel of the gun but instead through relationships built by people who know God's love.

It was around the time when these passions had become fully grown in both of us that God introduced us to each other.  We have had the pleasure of spending our dating relationship, our engagement, our first years of marriage, and the birth of our first child all while living in a wonderfully encouraging community where our faith has been strengthened.  

 However, recently we have felt a stronger and stronger pull to live out the call that God has put in us... BOTH to be like Jesus to the poor AND our work with Better Life Bags.

We know a couple in Michigan, living in a predominately Muslim community, intentionally building relationships with their neighbors.  They try to meet the needs of the immigrants in the community who are disadvantaged educationally and economically.
In one particular neighborhood where they live, about half of the population is foreign born, about 1/3 of the population lives under the poverty line, and the housing values have fallen by about 80%.  They have bought a house here and are starting a new school to meet specific needs in the community.

As we talked to them and thought more about our calling, we began to pray for an opportunity to get involved in a business.  We believe that if real change is going to happen in these communities, there will have to be job creation.

It was at the this time that Better Life Bags started to form.  Better Life Bags has always been involved in alleviating poverty through Kiva.org but we have yearned for more.  We feel like God is calling us to make a big, scary leap into His mission.
So we now live in Michigan in a very poor, mostly Muslim, immigrant neighborhood.  

 We will buy a house and fix it up to help remove a tiny bit of plight (which means LOTS of DIY and Before/After blog posts in the near future)!!

We will launch Better Life Bags full time as a non-profit organization in order to create jobs through commerce.  As the company grows, the revenues that we bring in above our operating costs will all be reinvested in the neighborhood through community service projects.  

We thank you all for your support so far and hope that you will continue to be a part of our Better Life Bag Team as we take this next step.

Love, Neil and Rebecca Smith

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